The search for the next afrobeats superstar has begun as StarTimes, in partnership with Kennis Music, kicked off the physical audition for the Naija Star Search season 1.
Naija Star Search show is unique because the focus is solely on Afrobeats, an umbrella term for all kinds of songs originating in Nigeria.
Music Label Executive, Kenny Ogungbe, led ID Cabasa and Asa Gangali to audition contestants in Lagos.
Ogungbe said the judges would be looking out for authenticity, potential, originality and street credibility among the talents who will finally be selected for the show.
He added that about 10 finalists from the show would be groomed by Kennis Music label and given a platform to turn their raw talents into superstars.
“In 10 seconds, I can tell if a contestant has that fire in him or her. I can tell you because I am a radio DJ and I know when the talent is there. This is something I have been doing for almost 30 years and the idea with this is to take it to the masses, the grassroots, your next door neighbour,” Ogungbe said.
Weighing in on the show, ID Cabasa, a celebrated music producer, who is responsible for several musical hits from 9ice to Olamide and Wizkid, said the Naija Star Search could not come at a better time.
He said, “Naija Star Search is coming at a time when Afrobeats has been able to gain its ground as a global genre. What platforms like this will offer aspiring talents is the opportunity to hit it and hit it big as well as getting paid in global currencies like Dollars.
“For me, I will be looking forward to what the contestant is bringing on, which includes the talent, the energy and the star power because the plan is to ensure our winners go on to do great things in the Nigerian, African and global music scenes. We just don’t want to have a show and the winner goes home – no; we would be working with winners and supporting them to get their footing and succeed under our mentorship and support.”
On his part, co-audition judge, Asa Gangali, noted that it is imperative for all contestants to know that they are winners for them to have qualified for the show.
“I am glad and happy that this talent hunt show is focusing on the Afrobeats genre to enable us to breed and groom the next big Afrobeats star,” Asa Gangali said.
On the selection process, Ogungbe explained, “we have streamlined the participants so we don’t have those who don’t know what they want. Again, we have stressed that we want young, vibrant and energetic talents with vibes between the age of 18 and 35.
“These talents will be singing or rapping Afrobeats basically and not other genres because, on a global scale, Afrobeats is the genre from Nigeria and is currently on the front burner so much that it has displaced Jamaican Reggae dancehall. We will spot, nurture and groom these talents to stardom and also use all our platforms including Kennis TV, Kennis Music, Kennis FM, and our brands, as well as StarTimes channels, to push and promote these winners and talents from Naija Star Search.
“Don’t forget, it’s a continuous process, it won’t end here. This is not new to us because we have done it with Star Quest, which produced KC Presh, Da Crystals, and Diamonds, amongst others. We will do it again because Kennis Music or Kenny Keke Ogungbe is still a force to reckon with in the music industry and we have partnered with some of the best as judges that include ID Cabasa and Iyanya.”
The Naija Star Search is set to hit television screens on StarTimes soon.