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Rated Next back for second season

The talent show Coca-Cola Rated Next is coming back to our TV screens.

This will be the second campaign for the show that seeks to find Uganda’s next singing sensation after a successful season last year. This year’s edition plans to tap into the huge pool of talent that abounds in Uganda’s music community and showcase aspiring talent and performers within the country.

During the launch at the Century Bottling Company (CBC) plant in Namanve, Coca Cola Brand Manager Brandon Ssemanda described the second season as a sign of the company’s commitment to the development and celebration of local music talent.

“Once again, participants will only be allowed to audition with local content,” he said.

The event also saw the launch of four singles by three of the season one Rated Next finalists, Kenneth Mugabi, Rebecca Nanziri and Daniel Kaweesi. Mugabi performed an Afro fusion influenced song, Nnubuka, with a tempting sound of a tube fiddle over it. He exhibited  maturity and growth since leaving the show last year.

His song is good and acceptable but his voice can easily be confused for Qute Kaye’s and his music arrangement may as well be too sophiscated for an ordinary local music lover. Nanziri proved she could as well be Rated Next’s biggest discovery, with her safe and comfortable kidandali genre. Her style is in line with the popular local sound you must have heard from the Eagles Production and Fusion band.

Before he performed, season one winner Kaweesi started by reassuring his fans he was indeed in studios, where he is almost done with his debut album, with one single, Nebwonfunyafunya, already complete with its video. The song has a catchy chorus, which is easy to sing along. His other single, Number Emu, is not so friendly that it may need constant airplay to be made sense of.

Showing on Urban TV, Rated Next is the third musical project Coca-Cola has strongly been part of. After partnering with Capital FM to discover the likes of Sarah Zawedde, Dorothy Bukirwa, Cinderella Sanyu and the Late Keefah Mwesigwa on the Coca-Cola Real Stars in 2003, in 2004 the company worked with a lot of East African producers on the successful Coca-Cola Popstars that gave birth to Blu*3, Wakilisha and Sema.

Last year, the company introduced the Coke Studio, a continental show that has given chance to our own musicians Lillian Mbabazi, Joel Ssebunjo and Qwela band to partner with musicians from other countries. According to the Century Bottling MD, Norton Kingwill, they are determined to find a star in every Ugandan.

Hosted by Urban TV’s Charlie “Denzel” Mwiyeretsi, the show will return with its all-star judging panel consisting of Siima Sabiti, Maurice Kirya and Sharpe Sewali. The winner stands to walk away with a recording deal with Swangz Avenue, on top of a Shs 50 million cash prize.

The show kicks off this Friday with the first regional audition in Mbarara.

kaggwandre@gmail.com

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