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Airtel Trace Music Star back February

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Barely three days after Airtel Malawi announced that the Airtel Trace Music Star will be back this year, Trace has revealed that the competition will start in February.

In a press statement, Trace also announced that the official mentor for the competition’s season two is an American singer, songwriter, actress and record producer Keri Hilson.

The statement said that season two of the Pan-African talent search competition which debuted last year will see Hilson on the hunt for Africa’s next music talent from February.

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Last year’s mentor was multi-award winning musician Akon.

The statement said that with 2.3 million calls made in its previous season, the Airtel Trace Music Star talent search is the biggest music competition to ever take place in Africa.

“The number of contestants surpassed European and American talent shows such as The Voice and Idols.

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The mobile phone-based talent search contest also won the Best Pan-African Initiative accolade at the prestigious AfricaCom Awards held in Cape Town, South Africa,” reads the statement.

Niger is a new recruit this year, joining Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Zambia.

The organisers said that the best singing talent in each territory will be identified, rewarded and put in competition to run for the title of best African music talent.

Trace Country Manager, (Malawi) Annie Chisala, said all was set for the competition which starts with the local contest before the grand battle involving pan-African countries.

To participate, contestants will need to call in a short code number with their mobile phones, record their songs to stand a chance to become the next big music star in Africa.

Last year, the grand finale was held in Kenya but this time it will be held in Lagos, Nigeria.

The grand prize comprises a mentorship programme with Hilson in Atlanta, USA.

The winner will not only star in their own music video alongside Hilson but he or she will get an opportunity to record a duet with the ‘Knock You Down’ songstress, as well as receive a signed contract with a major music label and worldwide media exposure through various Trace’s platforms.

Last year’s winner was Tanzania’s Mayunga Andrew Nalimi.

Mayunga won a record deal with Universal Music, mentorship from Akon and promotion for a total value exceeding US$500,000.

The Tanzania’s first track ‘Nice Couple’ reached number one on all major radio and TV charts in his home country.

A few months ago, he was in Los Angeles with Akon to record his second single ‘Please Don’t Go Away’ and shoot the music video.

On the local level, singer and keyboardist Sam Mjura Mkandawire, who is also a member of Mafilika Band came first and pocketed K14 million.

He then went on to fly the country’s flag during the Pan African grand finale where he made it to top six.

Trace is a leading urban and black entertainment group with activities in 180 countries.

It is a signature hub for black and urban entertainment content and offers TV channels, FM radios and mobile services among others.

Times Television spearheaded by Times Group was among the partners in last Airtel Trace Music Star season one.

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