Recording artistes flock to TPF auditions

If you thought auditions for the Tusker Project Fame were for amateurs and little known musicians, you should probably give it a second thought.
If you thought auditions for the Tusker Project Fame were for amateurs and little known musicians, you should probably give it a second thought.
If you thought auditions for the Tusker Project Fame were for amateurs and little known musicians, you should probably give it a second thought.

If you thought auditions for the Tusker Project Fame were for amateurs and little known musicians, you should probably give it a second thought.

Auditions for the sixth edition of the East African Breweries Limited (EABL) sponsored regional music contest kicked off in Kigali on Saturday as was the case in other East African countries and South Sudan.

The two-day exercise, held at Sports View Hotel in Remera, saw several Rwandan recording artistes, including prominent names such as Patrick Nyamitari, Elion Victory and Ricky Password join the amateurs for a chance to take part in the music contest.

Nyamitari is one of Rwanda’s leading gospel singers, while Victory is best known for his songs ‘Marita’ and ‘Amafaranga’. Ricky Password is one of the upcoming stars, whose songs ‘Twibyinire’ and ‘Molomolo’ enjoys good airplay on local FM stations.

Speaking after the auditions, Nyamitari said he was confident he would make it to Nairobi, the seat for final quest for the regional contest.

“We talked to the judges and organisers before the auditions and they told us that it doesn’t matter whether we have recorded songs or not, as long as our songs are not popular in the other East African countries,” Nyamitari told the media.

Others who auditioned include Peace known for his mellow single ‘Musimbure’, G-Bruce known as ‘The Teacher’ on the music scene, as well as Babla.

Babla is the voice behind most MTN jingles and she recently released a song titled ‘In love with a married man’. She is one of the most talented female artistes in the country.

Diana Teta, who represented Rwanda in TPF Five, is also looking to having a second shot on the televised music show. She has since recorded a few songs, including ‘Ejo n’undi munsi’ and her latest ‘Call Me’, a catchy reggae tune.

Teta introduced herself on the music scene with ‘Ndagukunda nzapfa ejo’ in which she featured Uncle Austin. She has since joined Gakondo Music Group, a grouping of local traditional singers.

Others who auditioned include Vava Rugamba, also a presenter at Radio 10. She is known to back up several artistes on shows and for performing on karaoke shows.

Also to audition in the gospel ranks was Justin Cubaka.

The show will kick off in September, 2013. EABL announced last week that this edition of East Africa’s biggest and most popular music competition will feature new innovations and surprises compared to the previous editions.
 
Judge Ian Mbugua joined Rwandan songstresses Shanel Nirere and Aline Gahongayire to filter out the best from the country. The seasoned TPF judge promised that the sixth season of the televised music contest will be bigger and better.

The tough talking Kenyan could not reveal much about the auditions as the judges remained tight-lipped on those who made it through.

However The New Times understands that out of the 80 people auditioned on Saturday only 20 were selected to proceed to the next stage, which was scheduled last evening – Sunday. And out of the 20, eight were due to be picked for the final pre-selection stage due in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. From the eight, three will be picked to represent Rwanda at the regional music competition, which also attracts emerging talent from Burundi, Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania.

Kenya’s Ruth Matete won the sixth edition while Davis Ntale of Uganda won the fourth one. Rwanda’s aspiring representatives will seek to emulate homeboy Alpha Rwirangira who won the third edition before going on to win in the all-star series.

Rwirangira, currently pursuing studies in a Kentucky university in the US, has since released a couple of hits.

Last year, Jackson Kalimba of Rwanda emerged third. He has gone on to launch his music career.

Past winners Valerie Kimani, Esther Nabasa and Davis Ntale are leading quiet lives, raising concerns that the EABL music reality show has yet to make a big impact.

Judge Ian spoke out on the past winners most of whom have since struggled to make it in the music industry.

“The problem is with our music industry itself. We don’t have good music producers who will take up these individuals and make use of their talent as soon as they are out of the academy,”

He added: “They start and finish their project on their own without anyone taking them up but it is also up to them to go out there and market their talent. This problem is not limited to East Africa, it’s a global issue.

“Even in X Factor or Britain Got Talent, sometimes the winners fail to make it but the runner-ups make it big. It all goes back to how you market yourself.”

The winner of TPF walks away with Rwf35 million, a recording contract, among other prizes.

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