Kanya King is the CEO and founder of MOBO awards. She is recognized globally as an innovator and an entrepreneur, in the music industry in Britain. She has played a key role in giving significance to black music as well as culture, and has made it become popular in mainstream society in UK. Kanya is a renowned speaker too, who targets different audiences.
Raised in Kilburn, North West London by her Ghanaian father and Irish mother, Kanya is the youngest daughter of nine children and grew up listening to and being inspired by black music. Whilst studying English Literature at Goldsmiths College in London, Kanya decided to organise her own live music events to highlight both the importance of and public demand for music of black origin. Dedicated to following her passion, Kanya decided to take this one step further in 1996 whilst she was working as a TV researcher. Kanya came up with the idea of an awards ceremony with mass-market appeal, which would celebrate these specific genres and music influenced & inspired by black music. When she lacked financial support, she re-mortgaged her house to fund the TV production. She has managed to grow MOBO from a young girl’s dream, to a globally recognized brand. One of the main aims of MOBO is to encourage young people to pursue musical dreams, and entrepreneurial ones.
She was presented with her MBE at Buckingham Palace by Prince Charles, and personally invited by the queen to an event to celebrate women’s exceptional achievements. Kanya has received innumerable recognitions, for instance, recently she was chosen as one of the most influential people in London, by Evening Standard. She was awarded an honorary fellowship by Goldsmiths College as recognition for her services in the international music business.