Entertainment Music

Airtel Trace Music Star makes comeback

KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka
ONE of the biggest pan-African talent search competition, Airtel Trace Music Star, starts tomorrow with American singer, songwriter, actress and record producer Keri Hilson on the hunt for Africa’s next music talent.
With about 2.3 million calls made in its previous season, the Airtel Trace Music star talent search is the biggest music competition to ever take place in Africa with the number of contestants surpassing European and American talent shows such as the Voice and Idols.
The mobile phone-based talent search competition also won the Best Pan-African Initiative accolade at the AfricaCom Awards held in Cape Town, South Africa.
Last year’s winner was Mayunga of Tanzania, who was crowned by Senegalese-American megastar Akon. He won a record deal as well as promotion for a total value exceeding US$500,000 and a mentorship programme with Akon.
His first track Nice Couple reached number one on all major radio and television charts in his home country. A few months ago, he was in Los Angeles with Akon to record his second single Please Don’t Go Away and shoot the music video.
Now its second season, this year’s competition will see Niger join Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia as the newest African countries to enter the competition.
“The best singing talent in each territory will be identified, rewarded and put in competition to run for the title of best African music talent. To participate, contestants will need to call a short code number with their mobile phones, record their songs to stand a chance to become the next big music star in Africa. The grand finale will be held in Lagos, Nigeria,” according to Trace country coordinator for Zambia Tivo Shikapwasha.
“The grand prize comprises a mentorship programme with multi-award winning American singer-song-writer Keri Hilson in Atlanta. The winner will not only star in their own music video alongside Keri Hilson; he or she will get an opportunity to record a duet with the Knock your Down songstress, as well as receive a signed contract with a major music label and worldwide media exposure through various Trace’s platforms.”

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