The Voice Africa: Overall winner to bag USD100,000
By Wod Omoro
The Voice Africa is a formidable music competition format music and entertainment show in the world, airing in over 180 countries. Building on the success of The Voice Nigeria, Airtel Africa has partnered with the executive producers of seasons three and four, FAME Studios Africa, to roll out the award-winning concept in countries where it operates.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of one of the activations in Kampala on Friday, Noella Byuma; the head of brand and communication Airtel Uganda said that they are looking for music talent right from the grassroots.
The first stage was a video audition, in which entrants registered at www.thevoice.africa.com and uploaded a one-minute video of them singing.
On Wednesday 21st December, the first blind auditions took place in the northern city of Gulu, and the second phase of the audition happened at Protea Hotel in Kampala, and from the 5,000 Ugandan entries, seven will be selected and they will travel to Nigeria for the continental competition representing Uganda.
14 countries will be participating in total. Other than Uganda, other countries that will participate include; Niger, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Madagascar, Seychelles, Rep of Congo, Chad, Rwanda, DRC, Nigeria, and Gabon, with each country having seven contestants and two contestants will go on a wildcard thanks to the judges’ to make the total of 100.
Byuma says that the seven winners from Uganda will get USD5,000 each as a token of appreciation for participating in the competition
In Nigeria, the contestants will go through different stages of the competition including knockout stages until the final stage where the overall winner of the Voice Africa will walk away with USD100,000 and a recording contract with Universal Studios.
“Byuma believes that there is a great possibility that the overall winner could come from Uganda because of the talent that we have as a country.
The show is expected to attract and showcase the brightest of African musical talents, alongside a high-profile panel of coaches and TV hosts, and act as a launch pad for global recognition.
How different is the Voice Africa from previous music talent search shows?
Byuma says that the difference between the voice Africa and previous music talent search shows is that participants are picked based on their talent only without the bias of physical appearance from the judges as she added: “The difference with the voice is that once a participants walks in, the judges have their backs to you, and they listen to how you are singing like the tonation, the quality of the voice and your general presentation and they are only able to turn to see you once they are impressed or think you have what it takes.”
She further notes that the question of bias to participants is wiped out since the judges choose basing purely on talent rather than physical appearance, and what the participants need to do is to impress the judges regardless of how they look.
Voting of the contestants will be done by the viewers, but the judges’ decision will also be put into consideration in some instances.
In the recent past we have seen Ugandan artiste getting signed to international music brands like Sony Africa, Universal Records where female crooner Irene Ntale is signed to, but the fruits of her signature are yet to be seen years later after signing the deal.
If you asked a random music lover on the streets of Kampala to choose between the Irene Ntale of Swangz Avenue; a reputable local music label and Universal Records, there is a 100% chance that they will choose the former, because she has hardly had any hit song ever since going ‘international.’
In relation to the above, Byuma says that the brand reputation of Airtel is the reason why the Voice Africa chose to partner with them, and the question of what happens to the overall winner after is something that can be determined after crossing the bridge.
The Voice Africa will feature high-profile coaches who help the participants shape their musical career journey and if we are lucky and a Ugandan wins, they will have a life-changing opportunity of a recording contract with Universal Studios, which is the leading music producer label in the world.