KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka
TIWAMYENJI Phiri, who was crowned as the 2016 Airtel TRACE Music Star winner but is now going under the name of Tiwah Hillz, has released a
self-love single titled Beautiful alongside her mentor Keri Hilson, the American singer, songwriter, actress and record producer.
The song is about women seeing past their imperfections and loving the skin they are in. Hilson, who has become something of an inspiration and mentor to the competition winner, wrote the single.
“My experience of working with her was something one can only dream of. The delivery that was put into the song was outstanding; it all turned out beautiful – just like the song title,” Tiwah Hillz says in a press statement obtained by the Weekend Mail.
“My journey after winning the competition has been amazing. This experience has opened so many doors for me. I thank Trace Music Stars for helping me make all my dreams come true.”
Olivier Laouchez, the chief executive officer, chairman and co-founder of Trace, is excited to see the release of Beautiful.
“There are few things as exciting as unearthing new talent and being able to contribute to that development. This is a great milestone for us all,” Olivier says.
Tiwah Hillz and Keri Hilson’s video of Beautiful will premiere exclusively on Trace Urban, Trace Naija and Trace Africa this coming Friday. The single will drop also through Zone 4 label/Mosley Music Group on the same Friday as well on all digital platforms.
The prize for Tiwah Hillz winning the competition included mentorship for a year with Keri Hilson as well as worldwide media exposure through various Trace platforms.
With over 2.7 million registered calls last year, Airtel Trace Music Star proved to be the biggest competition in Africa. The finale that occurred in Lagos, Nigeria, was a star-studded affair, which saw Tiwah Hillz being crowned the continent’s next top talent by industry heavyweights that included the DRC’s Fally Ipupa.
The competition among the 10 finalists was fierce, with Tanzania’s Melissa John beating Madagascar’s representative Johanna Rakotomavo to take second place. The night offered great talent but finally it was Tiwah whom the celebrity judges, Keri Hilson, Briant “BeeHigh” Biggs and Fally Ipupa voted as Africa’s next top talent.
Tiwah’s win followed a magnificent rendition of “When You Believe”, the song from the 1998 DreamWorks film The Prince of Egypt, originally recorded by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.
Tiwa studied public relations and advertising under Cambridge International UK and is the first of four children, born to a politician father and her mother who is a nurse, who all supported her every step in the competition.
Born in Lusaka in 1992, Tiwah was already composing her own songs at the tender age of 13. She continued to pursue her passion as she grew, ultimately entering a music competition that would push her into the spotlight and onto our television screens.