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Seven Ugandans to contest in The Voice Africa

A woman auditioning for The Voice Africa

A woman auditioning for The Voice Africa

The hunt for Africa’s best vocalist is on as The Voice Africa spreads to 14 African countries where seven Ugandans will join contestants from Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya, DRC and Rwanda, among others.

Since its inception in 2015, The Voice Africa has only been held in Nigeria but for the first time ever, the musical contest will be featured in other African countries. Airtel partnered with The Voice Africa to give talented persons a chance to showcase their talent by recording a one-minute video of themselves singing, then proceed to register and upload the video to the Voice Africa website. This investment is expected to ignite more interest in Uganda’s music industry and its commercialization.

Now, with the first round of auditions having ended on November 20, successful applicants will be invited to attend a live audition in Uganda. Following the live audition, the seven strongest vocalists from Uganda will be flown to Nigeria to film the show, alongside seven other contestants from each of the other participating countries.

The next stage is the unique and show-stopping Blind Auditions, for which The Voice is internationally renowned. Decisions from a high-profile panel of coaches will be based solely on voice, and not looks or nationality.  The coaches hear the contestants perform, but don’t get to see them, thanks to the rotating chairs.

Once the coaches’ teams are filled, they enter the Battle Round, where coaches will dedicate themselves to developing their artists with help from their celebrity advisers.  At the end of various vocal challenges, only the strongest members of each coach’s roster remain and proceed to the knockout rounds, where coaches will decide who to take to the live shows.

In this final phase, 16 potential superstars from across Africa will compete each week during a live broadcast scheduled for March 2023. The television audience will then vote to save their favourite artistes and one winner will be named ‘The Voice Africa’.

The winner will be rewarded with $100,000 (Shs 380m) prize package, including a recording contract. Each of the seven contestants from each country will also receive $5,000 (Shs 18.8m) and other goodies.

Akin Salami, CEO of FAME Studios and executive producer, The Voice Africa, said, “More than ever before, we are delighted to embark on this great project for Africa. This is the first of its kind in the history of The Voice Africa and we are looking forward to seeing creativity in its raw form. The Voice Africa will be a game-changer providing more global exposure for African talents.”

Musical contests are well-known for producing some of the best vocal talents the world-over. Bruno Kiggundu aka Bruno K, a former Airtel Trace Star first runner-up and now celebrated R&B artiste, attributes the growth of his career to the competition, which opened many doors for him.

Other artistes that have built successful music careers as a result of contests include Naava Grey, who is still soaring high from her time in Tusker Project Fame in 2008; Winnie Nwagi whose vocal ability stems right from her Coca-Cola Rated Next performances back in the day, and the Mutesasira siblings, Esther and Ezekiel Mutesasira, who not only won the first season of East Africa’s Got Talent but also went ahead to headline news with their incredible performances in Canada’s Got Talent, among other artistes.  

It remains to be seen which Ugandans will make it to the finals in Nigeria.  In Uganda, The Voice Africa will be aired on NTV Uganda and KFM radio every Sunday at 8pm.  

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