The glitz and glamour of one of the UK’s most prestigious music industry award ceremonies is on the cards for an up-and-coming singer who grew up in Newmarket.
Etta Bond will be heading to Glasgow next month for the MOBO Awards, where she will be one of ten musicians nominated in the Newcomer of the Year category.
The 23 year old, a former pupil of Fairstead House School in Fordham Road and the King’s School in Ely, has already worked with chart-topping stars Plan B, Professor Green, Kano and Wretch 32, and won praise from established artists such as Jessie J, Stooshe and Azealia Banks.
And such was the faith in her work, Etta was the first artist to be snapped up by the singer/songwriter and record producer, Labrinth, when he launched his own record label, Odd Child Recordings, an off-shoot of Simon Cowell’s label Syco.
Speaking to the Journal, Etta said she felt “blessed” to have been recognised by the MOBOs as an artist in her own right.
“I didn’t even consider that I would be nominated,” she said. “It was a bit of a suprise, but I’m really happy.
“I got a tweet on my laptop that said I had been nominated. It was a normal day, I was just sitting on my bed.
“I’m just really excited to attend the award show and to go as an artist in my own right, rather than because I have been working with others.
“It feels like I have been making music for most of my life. I never expected anything like this so it’s really nice to get the recognition. There are a lot of musicians out there who don’t get this, so it’s a blessing.”
A career in music has been a long-held dream for Etta, who lived in Newmarket from the age of two until she moved to London at 16 to take up a place at the Italia Conti Academy of Performing Arts.
Before that, she attended Bodywork Theatre School in Cambridge from the age of three, studied performing arts at Tring School in Hertfordshire, and wrote her first song aged 14. She completed her studies at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in London.
When asked who she was most inspired by, she leaves out the likes of Jill Scott, Billie Holiday, Etta James and Amy Winehouse and instead named her mother, Chrissie, who lives in Freckenham, as her greatest inspiration.
Etta said: “She is very eccentric and open-minded. She has always been the one that has supported me. She never said it was a rediculous idea being a singer, so to be able to call her up and and say I have been nominated for a MOBO is really nice.”
Another person she hoped she made proud is Labrinth, a close friend she calls “Lab” after initially meeting on Myspace seven years ago.
Etta said: “We started working together almost immediately and we’ve been working together since. We’ve been a family unit for a while now.”
And of the many famous faces to support her material, she said: “One minute you’re watching these people on TV and the next minute they are finding some form of respect for you and what you do.
“It’s always welcome to get support for your music from people in the industry.”
Etta is passionate about soul, hip hop and jazz, but said her music has something for everyone.
“There is something for rebellious teenagers, people in deep thought, something for your gran, mum and little sister. I’m continually working on material. I’m just enjoying making music.”
The MOBO Awards’ previous Best Newcomer winners have gone on to achieve global success, including Estelle, Rita Ora and Chipmunk.
Etta said: “I can only be best newcomer once so I’m just going to enjoy it. I’m not expecting to win, but of course it would be lovely.”
The MOBO Awards take place at the SSE Hydro arena on October 19. To vote for Etta, visit www.mobo.com. You can follow her on Twitter @EttaBond.