Not only did the Tanzanian artist walk away with a recording deal, but he also received promotional and mentorship support estimated at US$500 000, including invaluable time spent working with Senegalese born superstar Akon.
Now, with the hunt for this year's Airtel Trace Music Star well underway in various countries, Mayunga is releasing his second single, ‘Please Don’t Go Away’, this month. Featuring Akon himself, the track samples the famous melody of 'Mbube', composed by Solomon Linda from South Africa in 1939. The song is one of the most popular to ever come out of Africa, and has been adapted for global audiences as ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ and 'Wimoweh'.
Speaking about the artist, his mentor Akon said: "Mayunga has an interesting voice and sound that is uniquely his. He is poised for greater things in music. It has been an honour for me to hone and tone him in preparation for a long career!"
Mayunga, who comes from the town of Morogoro in eastern Tanzania, showed a great interest in music from as young as five years old, interrupting conversations by singing loudly. Over the years this developed into a passion that he has relentlessly pursued, always seeking an opportunity to take to the stage and captivate audiences with his singing talents. At 18 years of age, Mayunga recorded an inspirational track titled ‘Break the Rough’. The budding artist describes his singing as "attractive and full of entertainment," adding that he is competitive by nature.
Following his ATMS victory last year, Mayunga released his first single, ‘Nice Couple’, in August 2015. The video for the track was shot on the streets of Soweto in South Africa.
This year's Tanzanian winner, Melisa John, will do her best to follow in Mayunga's footsteps to clinch the top prize in 2016. Melisa will join nine other hopefuls (from Niger, DR Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Ghana and Zambia) at the competition's grand finale, slated for 11 June in Lagos, Nigeria. Already crowned is Ghanaian winner Moses Ugheighele, who will represent his country at the finals. This year's winner will be mentored by American star Keri Hilson.
For more information visit the ATMS website.