MOBO founder Kanya King shares open letter on racism in the music industry


The letter highlights the music industry’s failings and calls for significant backing for a new event, United We Stand.

MOBO founder Kanya King has shared an open letter on racism in the music industry. Addressed to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, the letter criticises the music industry’s role in upholding racism and outlines some of the struggles King has faced since founding MOBO 25 years ago. She also highlights the lack of Black executives in the industry and the difficulties faced by many Black-run organisations.

“The music industry, it is fair to say, could and should have dealt better with black artists, black run companies and taken on more black executives,” King writes. “In many cases the black businesses, institutions and communities that give rise to black expression and talented individuals have not been able to benefit or partake in the financial rewards that have driven billions to the UK and global economies and helped create entire industries.”

Following Black Out Tuesday, King has also called on powerful figures in the industry to back United We Stand, a “celebratory” event and show of solidarity. “We feel there is a need for a high level event to bring the creative and entertainment industries together so that we can show solidarity, express our strong voices and work together to help implement changes” she says in the letter. “Our rallying call to the music industry – the record labels, music talent, managers & agents, PR companies and others – let us unify, come together and produce a celebratory event with such a crucial purpose as we work towards a world free from racism, injustice and brutality.”

Read Kanya King’s letter in full on the MOBO website.