The maiden edition of Nigeria’s first Afrobeats reality show, the Naija Star Search, will commence on September 4 on ST Nollywood channels on StarTimes.
Eighteen contestants have been rigorously selected by the show’s judges led by music label executive Kenny Ogungbe; celebrated music producer ID Cabasa; and singer Asha Gangali. VJ Adams is the host of the show.
The judges would look for authenticity, potential, originality and street credibility among the talents. Naija Star Search will see the contestants showcase their singing prowess while battling for N10 million prize.
Furthermore, the top seven finalists from the show would be groomed by the Kennis Music label and given a platform to turn their raw talents into superstars.
Kenny ‘Keke’ Ogungbe, the head judge of the show, revealed that over 4,000 contestants had sent in their entries for the competition.
The music reality show, which aims at sustaining the Afrobeats culture and nurturing young talent, is an initiative of StarTimes in association with Kennis Music.
Speaking at the unveiling event in Lagos, StarTimes Chief Operations Officer Tunde Aina said, “Naija Star Search is fashioned to be an exclusive Afrobeats show, the first of its kind in the country. Contestants will perform only Naija songs, starting with the classics and contemporaries to warm their vibes (ginger their swagger) and then singing original songs composed by themselves.
“With guidance and criticism from the judges, these talents will be schooled in the art and business of Afrobeats music for the next three months.
“Ultimately, the goal is to discover the next promising talents with the potential to blow. Top performing talents will work with Kennis Music, who will groom, mentor, produce and market their songs to a music-loving audience in Nigeria and Africa.
Comparing Naija Star Search to the future of afrobeats, Kenny Ogungbe said, “Afrobeats will never die. The people sustaining it now are in their mid-twenties and thirties. To sustain it, we need to groom new talents in their teens so that we will still have those holding it in the next ten years. We are here for the future to project the beauty of Naija music.
Adding to what Kenny said, ID Cabasa said, “we are here to sustain the momentum that is building in the ecosystem of Afrobeats globally. To do this, we don’t just want to leave it to those that are there now. We don’t want a situation where once our legends die, they die with the history, music, and genre culture.
“We saw a lot of young talents during the audition process, which blew our minds. Naija Star Search has become a pivot for any ambitious artiste for the limelight. Currently, it is very hard to break through in the music industry.
“To promote an artiste now, you would need millions of naira. This platform was set up to push them even when they didn’t have that push. So, any outstanding talent in this reality show would come out with great potential. We will be training them on songwriting, how to record their songs and how to sustain themselves in the industry since it’s easier to blow than sustain oneself in the industry.”