The top five contestants of the first-ever Next Ma/Gaisa Star Search competition were recently announced by the Welwitschia Music Production (WMP) team.
They are Devine, Antiveronasi, Ireen, MarvTown and Ricky G. The five were selected from a crop of 180 applicants wishing to become the next Ma/Gaisa star.
It is the first entirely virtual nationwide singing talent search in Namibia and is aimed at finding the most outstanding unsigned Ma/Gaisa solo music talent.
Applicants had to record a landscape video of themselves singing any Ma/Gaisa song for approximately one to two minutes and send it to the organisers.
WMP owner Steven Naruseb told VIBEZ! they initiated The Next Ma/Gaisa Star search competition early this year on YouTube after being inundated with requests from music hopefuls seeking opportunities to get into the hard-knock music industry
It is the first entirely virtual nationwide singing talent search aimed at finding the most outstanding unsigned Ma/Gaisa solo music talent. Applicants had to record a landscape video of themselves singing any Ma/Gaisa song for approximately one to two minutes and send it to the organisers. Naruseb said the competition’s premise is to find one act who will win a full album recording contract with WMP. “This competition aims to let the Ma/Gaisa genre grow limitlessly in the music industry so that it can reach a higher state of recognition where the genre is not only respected more but also so that it can be recognized beyond the Namibian borders,” he said.
The qualities selectors look for include humility, versatility, entertainer, creative, cooperative.
“So now we are preparing them for live performances. In this round, we will see the top five showcasing their abilities with a live band, battling it out to be crowned The Next Ma/Gaisa Star of Season 1. In this final round, the judges will be present, and the public will also vote.”
Naruseb, who is responsible for producing many hits for the likes of the late Phura, Ou Stakes and SwartBaster among others, sees this venture as a new stepping stone.
“I don’t see this as a competition but see it as an eye-opener for creating a platform that will help in building a proud generation. It’s all about solving an identity problem.”
Naruseb feels Namibians have an identity crisis when it comes to supporting local artists or products.
“It’s like we are programmed to hate our own and love others (foreign) things. With this kind of competitions, we want to create something that originally belongs to Namibia, so our youth and people can feel proud to speak in public in their own language or express themselves with their own music and culture. We don’t have to imitate from abroad, but rather place our unique sound beyond the Namibian borders that we can proudly call our own. It’s all about influencing, creating and developing your own.” The finale will be held on 1 May 2021 in Windhoek. The winner will walk away with N$10 000 and a recording deal worth N$ 100 000 including marketing, distributing, promotion and publishing for a whole year.