Blantyre-based Shalom Kuyeli and Lilongwe-based Chisomo Chimoto, sister to celebrated musician Skeffa Chimoto, are the winners in Conquer the Mic Season One competition driven by DBR Studios.
Kuyeli, a student at St Andrews High School, came first and has pocketed the top prize of K1 million whereas Chisomo, as a runner up, received a tablet worth K300,000.
The top winner said her triumph caught her by surprise.
“I never thought I would come this far but I am happy,” Kuyeli said.
Chisomo said she was excited to have come second in the competition that attracted 500 contestants.
“It felt good when I was told that I had come out second, especially where there were more contestants. Apart from winning a tablet, the competition has brought belief to me that I have what it takes to excel in music,” Chisomo said.
She further said that the competition has also kept her on her toes and that she wants to move out of her comfort zone and expose her talent.
“I am so passionate about music and people have told me several times that I have a beautiful voice but I never took it seriously. With this success, I think I need to push for sure.
It was, of course, challenging sending videos through online but we learnt something, especially this time when technology is taking shape,” she said.
DBR Studios Director Hope Tikvah Msowoya said yesterday that they were excited that they have now finalised season one.
“I started this competition last year with my company DBR Studios. We run this competition online through DBR Studios Facebook page,” Msowoya said.
He said, to join, contestants were expected to send a recording of their song, be it acappella or with instruments.
“We had a TNM line contestants were using to submit their videos. We had episodes from top 500 to top 100 then to top 50 to top 25, top 10 and then last two. The last two had a live performance and then submitted it to the line and we premiered it. So, basically, the judges would just meet, brainstorm and then choose,” Msowoya said.
Some of the fixed judges for the competition were Ruth Kulaisi, Shadreck Kalukusha and Kelvin Sings whereas guest judges were Lumbani Phiri, Faith Mussa and Fredokiss.
Msowoya said the idea to create Conquer the Mic came because of Covid lockdown.
“People were confined to their homes due to lockdown and, so, we thought we could keep the youth busy with music. The goal was to give a purpose to the youth by engaging them on an online platform. We had challenges but we battled the tides and now we have completed everything to have the winner,” he said.
He said he was happy that, for the first time in the country, they had held a 100 percent digital competition.
“This is a plus especially in this digital era and it shows that we are heading towards innovative and digital ways of doing things,” Msowoya said.
He bemoaned lack of support from the corporate world but was quick to say that season two will start in July and that their goal was to run it for six months just like idols.