Airtel, TRACE Roll out Nigeria’s Biggest Mobile Song Contest

By Adebayo Dawodu

Leading Telecom service provider Airtel Nigeria, in collaboration with international music video channel, TRACE (DSTV Channel 325) has announced the roll out of the mobile device song contest tagged 'Airtel Trace Music Star', following the unveil of 5678, the special short code for the competition.

Airtel Trace Music Star' is a mobile song contest which allows contestants to audition right from their phones to earn a chance of becoming the next big music star in Nigeria and Africa in addition to being mentored by global superstar, Akon.

The contestants will be aided by an interactive voice prompt, loaded with bi-lingual functionality in English and Pidgin which will assist in eliminating language barriers and enable youths from across Nigeria to participate in the competition.

Speaking on the initiative, Chief Commercial Officer, Maurice Newa, noted that Airtel's aim of initiating the platform is to empower Nigerian youths by giving them opportunities to develop their innate skills, achieve their dreams and possibly become the next biggest stars. In his words:

“Airtel is delighted to be associated with TRACE in providing excitement and entertainment opportunities for our teeming customers and music lovers to showcase their talents to Nigeria and the rest of Africa. This initiative is geared towards supporting and nurturing the potentials of Nigerian youths. The uniqueness of this initiative is that contestants are able to express their singing talent through their mobile phones from the comfort of any location they choose', he said.

To participate in the competition, contestants will need to call 5678 with their Airtel phones and record their songs. The platform also provides an option to rehearse on a phone karaoke that scores the performance.

Once the recordings are done, the auditioning will be carried out by a select group of judges comprising A-list music acts and industry experts. The auditioning sessions for this competition will run for eight weeks after which the organizers will stop taking entries.

Voting will begin immediately after the first set of auditions and will happen for a total of twelve weeks before the final winner is selected. The public will also be able to vote for their favorite contestants whose songs will be selected for the next round. There will be weekly prizes for various categories.

The competition is also taking place across 12 other countries where Airtel has presence; Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda Zambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, The Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon.

The best singing talent in each country will be identified, rewarded and put in competition with the best singing talents of other participating countries to run for the Title of best African Music Talent. The overall grand prize comprises of a recording deal with Kon Live, a distributed label through Universal Music Group and an intense mentorship programme with Akon in the United States of America.

In his statement, Akon expressed pleasure in joining Airtel and TRACE to develop innovative ways of identifying and nurturing dynamic music talent throughout the continent. The intersection between technology and artist development is elevated by the presence of this ground-breaking music competition concept.”