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Airtel, Trace & Akon on the Hunt for Africa’s Music Talent

Nairobi, Kenya, September 26th, 2014: Bharti Airtel, a leading telecommunications service provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, has today partnered with TRACE Music Star and global recording icon Akon to roll out the largest mobile musical competition in Africa.


Dubbed Airtel TRACE Music Star, the competition will be rolled out across 13 Countries in francophone and anglophone Africa where Airtel has a presence (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda Zambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Gabon). The best singing talent in each territory will be identified, rewarded and put in competition with the best singing talents of other participating territories to run for the Title of best African Music Talent. The overall grand prize comprises of a recording deal with Kon Live, a distributed label through Universal Music Group, and an intense mentorship programme with Akon in the United States of America.

“I am pleased to join Trace to develop innovative ways in which to identify and nurture dynamic music talent throughout the continent. The intersection between technology and artist development is elevated by the presence of this ground-breaking music competition concept,” stated Akon.

The six months competition is expected to begin in early October 2014; to participate, 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 their country and possibly across Africa and the world. The platform also provides an option to rehearse on a phone karaoke that scores the performance.

“This initiative is in line with Airtel’s commitment to unleash the potential amongst our youth to enable them achieve their dreams. We partnered with TRACE because it is a globally recognized brand that gives the seal of recognition to many international artists. Airtel Trace Music Star is an opportunity to develop the African music industry by creating a platform for exposure for Africa’s music and musicians to the rest of the world,” Andre Beyers, Airtel Africa’s Chief Marketing Officer said.

“This competition demonstrates TRACE strong commitment towards Africa’s rising stars. We know for sure that the African continent has great-undiscovered music talents. With TRACE Music Star it has never been so easy to enter a music competition and possibly become the next big star,” said Olivier Laouchez, CEO of TRACE.

The grand finale will be held in March 2015. The partnership with TRACE Music Star will last three years.

Other prizes up for grabs in the competition include – cash prizes and mobile phones.

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