Estelle Nabs Five Mobo Award Nominations & Speaks Out on Adele & Duffy

Every time Estelle’s Kanye West-cameod single “American Boy” circulates on our iPod, we can’t help but to get amped. So when we heard the British songstress nabbed five Mobo (Music of Black Origin) Award nominations, we were elated.

The 28-year-old singer earned more nods, including Best UK Female, Album, Song, R&B/Soul and Video, than fresh-faced stunner Leona Lewis, who recently became the first British woman to reach No. 1 in the US singles charts for more than 20 years for her hit, “Bleeding Love.”

More shocking than going face-to-face with hitmaker Lewis, Estelle is reportedly pissed to be going up against white British songstresses Adele & Duffy (whose “Warwick Avenue” we are completely haunted by and ga ga over!).

“It’s hilarious,” Estelle told the London Times. “I’m not mad at ’em – but I’m just wondering, how the hell is there not a single black person in the press singing soul? Adele ain’t soul. She sounds like she heard some Aretha records once and she’s got a deeper voice – that don’t mean she’s soul.”

The 13th annual awards will be held in London on October 15.

Janelle Monae Dubbed ‘Girlie Grace Jones’ in GQ Newcomer Spread

Featured in the latest issue of GQ, quirky singer Janelle Monae says of signing with Diddy, “I wanted to work with someone who’d get excited then leave me alone creatively.”

The Atlanta native’s debut EP, Metropolis: The Chase, is also called an “explosion of retrofuturistic funk, a bombastic one-woman sci-fi rock opera,” by the magazine, which also compliments her on having “the looks of a girlie Grace Jones.”

Of her style, which she has picked up from studying footage of James Brown, Buddy Holly, Mick Jagger and Judy Garland, the 23-year-old says, “I just learned how to let my own inner whatever-it-is come out.”

Janelle Monae on James Brown: ‘There is No Other Performer Like Him Today’

With her current project, Metropolis, being released in four separate “suites,” Janelle Monae took the time to talk to the S.F. Fashion Examiner about her musical tastes, clothing style and inspiration.

Here’s a snippet of her ode to the late James Brown–the Godfather of Soul.

“I love James Brown,” she said. “There is no other performer like him today. I don’t think there will be another performer like him.”

“I really loved his humanitarian characteristics. He was a philanthropist. He cared about his community,” the Kansas-native added. “For me, I have a core value that I strongly stick to–I have a responsibility to my community and other young girls…James Brown is someone I always looked up to because he never got too detached from his community and his upbringing. He made sure he always stayed connected to the people.”

Check out the complete interview.

Ga Ga: Black Kids’ New Album Out July 22

Black Kids’ highly-anticipated debut LP, Partie Traumatic, will be out on Tuesday, and the Jacksonville-based band is loving the buzz they’ve attained from blogs.

“We were literally just plucked from Jacksonville and thrown in front of a crowd,” drummer Kevin Snow tells Billboard of their rise to Internet stardom (blog chatter increased 900% after they were mentioned in the New York Times). “And it just kept going. At this point, we haven’t been home in nearly a year.”

“There are still lots of people just discovering the band,” says Jason Hradil, the group’s marketing manager at Columbia. “They will certainly be able to develop an audience beyond bloggers.”

Black Kids’ debut, Partie Traumatic, which was recorded with former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, was released July 7 in the U.K., debuting at No. 5. The singles, “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You” and “Hurricane Jane,” reached Nos. 11 and 36, respectively, on the U.K. Singles chart, according to Billboard.

Ga Ga: Little Jackie’s Anything But Little

With her bold lyrics and fresh fro, singer-songwriter Imani Coppola of Brooklyn-based hip-hop/pop duo Little Jackie (also, with programmer Adam Pallin), has an indie hit on her hands with “The World Should Revolve Around Me”—off their CD, The Stoop.

We recently spotted the video for the single on TV, and were elated by the skating culture, Brooklyn stoops, and a cameo by actress Rosie Perez (no, she didn’t give us any aggressive dance moves in spandex and ghetto gold earrings!)

As for the aforementioned lyrics: If every woman felt this way about themselves, we wouldn’t have so many Lifetime Original Movies:

There’s only one me in the galaxy
I am an endangered species
This kind of flower don’t grow on Earth
Just lettin’ you know for what it’s worth

PHOTO: Courtesy of Little Jackie

Ga Ga: Janelle Monae’s Bad Boy Introduction

Having recently performed at the fourth annual Afro-Punk Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Janelle Monae is heading to the masses with Bad Boy at her side.

The latest addition to the house of Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Entertainment, Monae is a cross between David Bowie, Andy Warhol, Grace Jones and James Brown…we have to give kudos where kudos is due because we loves us some quirk! Diddy recently said that Monae is “one of the most important signings of my career.”

Pre-Bad Boy, Kansas-native Monae hit the Big Apple to study at the prestigious music and theatre conservatory, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. She later relocated to Atlanta, got a cult following, started her own indie label with producers Nate “Rocket” Wonder and Chuck Lightning (Wondaland Arts Society), and released her groundbreaking album, METROPOLIS.

Bad Boy is re-releasing Monae’s sci-fi-themed METROPOLIS project–complete with an alter ego, Cindi Mayweather, and a comic book. Titled Metropolis:The Chase Suite, the re-release is coming out in August, while on the third of that same month, Monae will be performing at Central Park SummerStage in NYC.

Ga Ga: J*Davey Releases Double LP

The duo J*Davey (Jack Davey & Brook D’Leau), which has been praised by ?Questlove as the “swift kick in the ass I’ve been praying for black music to produce,” partied and performed Tuesday night at their double EP release party for their latest effort, The Beauty in Distortion/The Land of the Lost, at The Echo Park in L.A.

Their fusion of soul-based melodies, electro-funk and New Wave is beyond categorization of Neo-Soul or R&B—they’ve created their own trail mix of influences from Prince to Peter Gabriel. “We’re the black Eurythmics,” D’Leau said in 2006.

Although the twosome formed J*Davey in 1999, it was their single, “Mr. Mister,” featuring Jack Davey straddling a mannequin in black lingerie—that had the Internet buzzing.

We’re currently ga ga for their song, “Turn the Lights Out“, and for this YouTube clip of Jack Davey’s (real name: Briana Cartwright) former life as an Assistant Music Producer on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

PHOTO: Courtesy of J*Davey by Pablo Aguilar