The return of Nigerian Idol for the sixth season this year has been celebrated as a boost to the TV entertainment scene in the country. The music reality TV show was, without a doubt, a huge and successful singing competition famed for producing a few of the biggest music acts in the country such as Timi Dakolo, Omawumi and break-out gospel singer, Mercy Chinwo.
The quality of contestants on the show is no doubt what makes the show. However what any music reality show enthusiast will tell you is that the quality of the judges and host is equally very important.
This week, the organisers of the show, MultiChoice Nigeria, unveiled a dynamic mix of judges and host for the sixth season of the local Idol franchise. On Monday, February 1, MultiChoice announced IK Osakioduwa as host of the music reality show for this season. IK is a popular radio and TV on-air personality with over a decade of experience hosting several high profile events across the continent including the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards and Big Brother Africa show. With his demonstrated savviness and ability to keep an audience engaged, IK is no doubt a host that will do justice to the show.
Legendary music entrepreneur, Obi Asika, superstar DJ Sose, and the extremely talented singer/songwriter, Seyi Shay have also been announced as judges for this return season. This selection of judges is very strategic as it’s the perfect balance of everything that the contestants on the show will need to have a successful run in the music industry. Unlike most music reality shows where every judge on the line-up is usually a singer, this one acknowledges a well-known fact that you need more than your ability to belt out a tune to make it in the music industry. Asika’s over 20 years’ experience and knowledge of the music business combined with Seyi Shay’s undeniable talent and Sose’s ear for hits and what audiences want to groove to, is a formula designed to succeed.
The tattooed face disc jockey was born Thomas Omonkhogie Amar-Aigbe to a musically gifted Nigerian father and a Hungarian mother. Sose is known for his striking facial tattoo but also well known for his ability to keep the crowd dancing while creating a musical experience mixing different genres and eras of music.
Sose spent 14 years in the UK where he got a degree in Business Information Systems from the University of Hertfordshire, and a diploma in Film and Video Production from Cavendish College, London, but never strayed from his Nigerian roots or passion for music. He has managed several music projects that allowed him to help others reach their path of self-realisation within the music industry.
Speaking on what being a part of Nigerian Idol means to him, DJ Sose said, “For me, it’s about talent discovery, and I want to see people excel. With this year’s edition, I am confident that we will discover world class talent and help them grow.”
Sose has performed across the world and was the official DJ for Africa’s first Saturday Late Night TV Show, ‘Highlites With IK’.
Born Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua, the classically trained violinist, singer, songwriter and actress began singing at six. She later joined her high school choir which went on to be part of the reputable London Community Gospel Choir (LCGC). LCGC is where a 15-year-old Seyi Shay would later embark on her first musical tour, accompanying them to Japan where they toured 13 major cities in the country.
Seyi Shay signed her first licensing deal with Sir George Martin, the producer of the legendary band, The Beatles. She later became the lead singer of the British Pop/R&B girl band, ‘From Above’ after attending an open audition. The group was signed to Sony/Columbia under the management of Matthew Knowles, Beyoncé’s father. They went on to open for Beyonce on the UK leg of the “I AM” tour in 2010/11 and shot a 7-episode reality show called BREAKING FROM ABOVE with MTV.
In 2011, Seyi Shay parted ways with the girl band and continued her musical career in Nigeria. She has since released hit singles like ‘Irawo’, ‘Killin Me Softly’ featuring Timaya, ‘Chairman’, ‘Murda’, Right Now, ‘Yolo Yolo’, ‘Gimme Love’ and ‘BIA,’ among others. Unafraid to experiment and evolve, her latest body of work ‘BIG GIRL’ speaks of her growth into womanhood, music, fashion and the media.
Seyi Shay will be bringing this wealth of talent and experience into Nigerian Idol season 6.
“It’s nice to have something fresh, especially after the challenges of the previous year. I am looking forward to it, and I can’t wait to get started with the contestants,” she said.
The Idol franchise has over the years produced some of the most prominent musicians in Nigeria who have gone on to make a name for themselves on the global music scene. With this powerful and diverse selection of judges, there’s no doubt that this season will exceed the very high records set by the previous seasons in not only the quality of contestants that it will turn out, but the general quality of the show.
Sponsored by leading soft drink brand, Bigi, Nigerian Idol Season 6 is set to unearth the next big thing on the African music scene.
Asika is unarguably one of the most influential figures in the Nigerian entertainment space. His is an influence that has spanned two decades and cuts across different sectors of the industry, including music, sports and the media.
Asika has been an Executive Producer for major global TV franchises and events, including, FIFA U20 World Cup 1999, CAF Nations Cup 2000, Big Brother Nigeria 2006, Dragons Den Nigeria, 2007, The Apprentice Africa 2008, Naija Sings 2009-2012, Calabar Festival 2008 and Calabar Rocks TV Series 2009, Soccerex West Africa 2012, and Africa’s largest tech and business event, SMWLagos which has been running since 2012.
The Eton College-educated executive founded Storm360 records; one of the most powerful record labels to have ever come out of this part of the world and was responsible for the stellar careers of acts like Naeto C and Sasha P, among many others. Asika is passionate about the possibilities that the creative and cultural industries offer for Nigeria, Africa and the global black diaspora.
Obi views Nigerian Idol as an opportunity for him to impact the next generation of music talent with the knowledge that will help them become better.
On what to expect from the show this year, Asika says, “This season is going to be a massive one, because of the things we have planned for this show. I will say that fans should expect the highest quality of talent and entertainment. It’s going to be interesting.” He goes on to say that, “I think we have done remarkably well in the past 20 years, but we are not where we ought to be. Nigerian Idol is one of those platforms that can help accelerate that growth.”
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