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Y’ello Star Berths With Banky W, Omawumi, Malik Yusef As Judges 


Picks Tobi Bakare, Hilda Baci As Hosts
As music lovers gear up for the launch of MTN Y’ello Star music reality show this weekend, the organisers have announced six-time Grammy-award winner, Malik Yusef and award-winning Nigerian artistes, Banky W and Omawumi as judges of the premiere edition of show. The trio will help unleash the musical talent from the selected finalists.

Meanwhile, Tobi Bakare and Hilda Baci have been unveiled as hosts for show. The launch of the reality music project, MTN Y’ello Star, is poised to build capacity among Nigeria’s musical youth talent and position them for success on the international scene. 

Speaking on the selection of the judges for the Y’ello Star music reality TV show, General Manager, Brands and Communications, MTN Nigeria, Richard Iweanoge said, “Who is in the best position to recognise the diverse music talent than internationally acclaimed music stars? We are blessed as a country to have a youth population with the talent to take on the world and they need the right kind of mentorship to excel. This is what informed our choice of judges for this maiden edition of the Y’ello Star music project.

Bankole Wellington, popularly known as Banky W, looks forward to grooming the next big music stars from our country. In his words, “I am ready to share my knowledge with each participant because I believe they all have the potential to become sensational stars expanding Nigeria’s presence on the global map.”

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Also sharing her hopes about the show, popular singer and songwriter, Omawumi Megbele, simply known as Omawumi said, “I am a product of a music reality show and I would like to see all the finalists become successful in the Nigerian music industry and beyond. I am determined to tutor the participants to become the next music stars.”

Internationally renowned songwriter and rapper, Malik Yusef, expressed his thoughts as a judge on the show saying, “This is a huge opportunity for me to positively impact the life and career trajectory of the next music stars coming out of Nigeria. The contestants will be intensely drilled through the entire scope of music creation, which is critical for a break on to the global stage.”

On the choice of the hosts for the music reality project, Iweanoge said, “Tobi and Hilda embody the essence of the project – youthful, focused and passionate about entertainment and music. Our goal is to provide a platform to display the talent of the Nigerian youth and empower them to excel in the music industry.”

Tobi Bakare, who has established himself as an all-round media personality, expressed his delight to host the debut edition of MTN Y’ello star.  “It promises to be an exciting adventure and I cannot wait to engage the contestants as they thrill Nigerians.”

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Also commenting, witty TV star, Hilda Baci, who has enjoyed a rise to fame following her successful hosting of “Dine with Me,” a culinary show said, “I’m a huge fan of music reality TV shows and hosting one feels surreal. I am excited to meet the contestants and judges of MTN Y’ello Star. The audience is billed for a fascinating experience.”

This year, Berklee College of Music will take part in Y’ello Star, with Afrinolly as Technical Partner. Members of the Berklee community will serve in various capacities on the project, and the winner of the music reality project will record their debut single at the Power Station at BerkleeNYC. Partnerships with leading global institutions such as Henley Business School, UK will ensure adequate training in music, creative entrepreneurship and business incubation for contestants.

“We’re excited to work with MTN and Afrinolly Creative Hub on the Y’ello Star Project,” says Berklee President Roger H. Brown. “This is a great opportunity for artistes from the vibrant Nigerian music scene to get advice and mentorship from Berklee’s knowledgeable professors while broadening awareness of Berklee in the region through MTN’s large audience. We look forward to hearing all of the talents and welcoming the winner to the Power Station at BerkleeNYC.”

MTN Nigeria created Y’ello Star to search, discover, nurture and launch music talents in the young Nigerian community. Over 10,000 contestants submitted entries for the project, and just the top twenty contestants will make it to the hub for the competition.

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Commenting on the project, the Acting Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria, Anthony Obi emphasised the unique difference between MTN Y’ello Star and other music reality TV shows. “This project goes beyond discovering talent in the Nigerian entertainment industry. MTN Y’ello Star is a conduit for capacity building within the creative industry, empowering the contestants and industry with the relevant practical knowledge to compete on a global scale. We are thankful for partners such as the Berklee College of Music who share this vision.”

“It is time for Nigerian Music to take its rightful place in the global community,” says Chike Maduegbuna, CEO of Afrinolly. “With partners like MTN and Berklee, Afrinolly Creative Hub is excited to bring our technical expertise into the discovery of emerging music talents, cultivating and helping them grow. I am excited that Berklee College of Music is here to help us launch them on to a global stage.”

The live shows will start November and run till December 2020. Three judges will bring on board their years of experience to bear on the show.

Berklee’s Jason Camelio, assistant vice president for Global Initiatives also said, “The global pandemic is creating many challenges for artists to continue their studies, to engage with one another creatively and to move towards their artistic and career goals. Yet, it is presenting us with opportunities to innovate and connect in ways that are expanding our reach. The collaboration between Berklee and Afrinolly through the 2020 MTN Y’ello Star project allows us to build on our commitment to learning, cultural exchange, mentorship and entrepreneurship.”

MTN Nigeria’s commitment to the country’s development has been consistent over the years, as thousands of Nigerian youths have been empowered across diverse sectors by the firm’s innovative corporate social responsibility programmes.

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