A Nigerian winner has emerged in the second season of the Airtel Trace Music Star talent search at an event held on Wednesday 25 May in Lagos.
Ezehike Ehiedu came out tops at “Africa's most innovative and biggest music competition” in an event that took place at the Hard Rock Café in Lagos. Before he was announced as winner, the artist had to fight off competition from four other finalists. In the end, a group of three emerged: Menegbo Aziga, Ginikanwa Onyinye and Ehiedu. With the win came a cheque for 5 million naira ($25 000) and a position at the competition's pan-African grand, taking place in Lagos on 11 June.
Entertaining guests on the night were comedians Chigurl and Akpororo, the former with a claim to being a music artist after a featured spot on a song with MI Abaga. Rapper Phyno, singer Lara George and radio personality Olisa Adibua made up the trio of judges. An extra guest judge spot was filled by the rapper Vector.
Prior to the Nigerian event, a winner emerged from the country’s Anglophone neighbour Ghana, where IT expert Moses Ugheighele was named winner and presented with a $13 000 cheque.
The overall winner of this year's edition will get a chance to record a single with US singer Keri Hilson. The ‘Pretty Girl Rock’ singer will be attending the finale in Lagos, where winners from Niger, DR Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia will go up against Ehiedu and Ugheighele.
This year's regional winners can look to Mayunga Andrew Nalimi, winner of the Airtel Trace Music Star’s maiden edition in 2015. The Tanzanian artist has recorded and released ‘Please Don’t Go Away,’ a duet with last year’s mentor, Akon.