Keri Hilson scouts for talent in Africa

Airtel TRACE Music Star (ATMS), the biggest pan-African talent search competition is back and this time, it will see multi-award winning American singer-songwriter, Keri Hilson on the hunt for Africa’s next music talent from February 1.

Now in its second season, the competition dubbed Airtel TRACE Music Star Season 2, will see Niger join Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Zambia as the newest African territory to enter the competition.

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.

At the end of the competition, the ultimate winner will receive a mentorship programme with Keri Hilson in Atlanta, USA.

The winner will not only star in their own music video alongside Keri Hilson; 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 and on Trace Channel 325 on DStv.

With 2.3 million calls made in its previous season, the ATMS 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.

It also won the Best Pan-African Initiative accolade at the prestigious AfricaCom Awards held in Cape Town, South Africa.

Last year’s winner Mayunga of Tanzania was crowned by megastar Akon.  Mayunga won a record deal as well as promotion for a total value exceeding $500, 000 and a mentorship programme with Akon.

His first track, Nice Couple, reached number one on all major radio and TV charts in his home country of Tanzania. 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.

To participate in the comeptition, 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. The grand finale will be held in Lagos, Nigeria.