Twelve finalists have been revealed for the Midem Artist Accelerator programme.
Following an initial call for entries in February this year, over 500 artists from 60 countries all over the world submitted applications. Of these, 62 ‘preselected’ were chosen in late March, out of which 12 were African.
Now the group of 62 has been narrowed down to 12 finalists, who will go under the spotlight at Midem’s 50th edition, taking place in Cannes, France from 3 to 6 June. Out of these 12 finalists, only two from Africa still remain: Ghanaian rapper Koo Ntakra and South African band Al Bairre.
The other finalists are: Synapson and Club Cheval (France), Malky (Germany), Adee (Sweden), American acts Nvdes and Flo Morrissey, Alysha Brilla (Canada), Brazilian band Far From Alaska, and from the UK, Bellevue Days as well as Kate Simko & London Electronic Orchestra.
Koo Ntakra (meaning ‘feathers’) raps in his mother tongue of Akuapem and is considered as one of Ghana’s most versatile and multifaceted young hip-hop artists. Watch this video for his song ‘Move Back’ below.
Cape Town-based band Al Bairre told Music In Africa about how it feels to be selected as finalists for the MAA: "We are over the moon! To be one of only 12 bands from around the whole wide world to be selected blows our minds. Every major player in the music industry attends this festival, so we're hoping we can get the chance to perform for them and maybe 'woo' them after the show with our silver tongues over some martinis by the pool. We also heard Cannes have the best macarons, so we want to definitely get a couple of those too!"
Watch the video for Al Bairre's hit single ‘Let's Fall In Love Some More’ below:
Cast your vote now
The 12 finalists will have the opportunity to play a live set at Midem and have their song featured on Midem’s communications, as well as on the MAA Official Compilation. They will also benefit from a tailored business programme as well as coaching and networking sessions with the elite Artistic Commitee and this year's Ambassador, the iconic American producer and performer Timbaland.
The three finalists with the most ‘likes’ on their picture in the Midem Online Community Vote will also have the privilege of playing live at the Midem Opening Party on Friday 3 June at the Carlton Palace. Cast your vote for the African finalists by visiting the Midem Online Community Vote page on Facebook and liking their picture before Wednesday 4 May.
This year’s MAA Ambassdador, Timbaland, will be presenting a keynote speech at Midem and will hold an exclusive conversation with the finalists, during which he will set out his vision of musical success and share his expertise. “I am really pleased to join Midem for its 50th anniversary to discuss the mechanisms of producing a hit record in today’s music business. I am also thrilled to join the Midem Artist Accelerator and help the selected artists take their careers to the next level,” he said.
Another recent announcement is that Pandora’s Artist Marketing Platform (AMP) will provide the 12 finalists with an exclusive hands-on session and access to AMP Artist Insights and Artist Audio Messaging, the leading music maker promotional and analytics tools. "There is nothing more powerful than the true one-to-one connection between an artist and their fans," said Pandora’s Sara Clemens. “By harnessing data that tells them where and how their fans are listening, artists have more opportunities than ever to create and maintain these connections. That’s why building and expanding AMP has been a singular focus at Pandora. And we’re thrilled to put these tools in the hands of the talented and bright stars of Midem’s Artist Accelerator, and artists globally."