MTN is not a novice in the Nigerian entertainment industry. It has sponsored talent shows like Project Fame (for nine seasons), created infrastructure like its CallerTunes platform and its recently launched music streaming platform Music Time. This time though, the company has created its own original music talent show dubbed “Y’ello Star” and almost everything about it is different from other shows like The Voice Nigeria, Project Fame and Nigerian Idol.
The premise of the show is pretty much the same as that of most talent shows – to discover, nurture, expose and launch music talents among young Nigerians. That’s why there is going to be an academy element in the Y’ello Star competition so participants can learn the technicals of the art and business of entertainment. The show will be produced by production house Afrinolly for MTN.
“We know that there are a lot of talented people in Nigeria who need to turn up their musical careers. This platform will help launch them to musical heights. We have a wealth of experience in supporting Nigerian talent and are confident we can improve on our past successes,” said Rahul De, Chief Marketing Officer at MTN Nigeria at the launch, which was held at the rooftop of MTN car park in Ikoyi on February 16, 2020.
Auditions will not happen in physical locations like they typically do with other talent shows of this kind. Interested participants will send in their content online. However, there will be judges on the show who will access the contestants abilities to use what they have been thought as the show goes on. Y’ello Star also has another interesting differentiator card up its sleeve. One of the grand prizes for the show is a fully furnished house, complete with an in-house recording studio. For comparison, Project Fame gave its 2010 winner Chidinma Ekile N2.5 million and a brand new car.
“MTN Yello Star is the thing. It’s a big deal. Trust me guys. Just wait! Watch out!” said Chidinma at the launch. “I’m a product of reality shows so I think reality shows are very good. They help young people who are hopeful come out and showcase their talents. Of course, also meet people and gain new experiences.”
Onyekachi Elizabeth Gilbert Onwuka aka “yeka onka” who won the 2011 edition of Nigerian Idol received N7.5 Million, a recording contract with Sony, a car and an all expense paid trip to South Africa. Yemi Alade, who has now become a superstar, won the Peak Talent Hunt show in 2010. She received a N1 million cash prize and a N4 million contract with WAMCO Nigeria, organizers of the show.
The general format for these shows tends to follow this setup: a cash prize (usually less that N5 million), a brand new car and trips or other items like electronics or endorsement deals. In many ways, MTN Y’ello Star is pushing the envelope when you consider the practical advantages of a house with its own recording studio.
All our favourite artists, like Wizkid and Olamide, either have makeshift studios in their homes or mobile versions because access to good recording equipment is very important in any music career. You never know when inspiration will hit. A house also offers a different type of stability compared to having to still rent a place out of the prize money. It realistically gives the artist a better chance at creating great content.
The Y’ello Star will also get a recording deal, a brand new car and other freebies so whoever comes out top out of the 20 contestants that will be on the show have a lot of good stuff coming their way. Applications are currently open and they are open to anyone across the country, MTN subscriber or not. Other gist you need can be found on the show’s site yellostar.ng. May the best person win!
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