The new season of the popular Next Ma/Gaisa Star Search competition promises to be bigger and better this year, following a memorandum of understanding, signed on Friday between organisers and the African Institutional Management Services.
Organised by Welwitchia Music Productions, the new season will see 13 episodes televised on one of the local TV stations in search of the next Ma/Gaisa star.
At the launch, three judges were unveiled, namely Andrew Ignathius !Aibeb, top female DJ Lischen Khachas and Ricardo Gaoreb.
The eloquent Che Ulenga returns as MC.
Namibian legend !Aibeb, also known as Bakos, told VIBEZ! they will be looking for raw talent and other different qualities from the competitors.
“We are looking at the full package – not just singing, i.e. if the artist can dance, work in a studio and has stage presence. They should not fear if they don’t have all the qualities, because with the progress of the competition, they will be prepared accordingly,” he said.
Bakos added the competition is very important in terms of development, particularly for the genre and music as a whole.
“We need to have an identity and brands in our country, which we can sell outside Namibia. Currently, we are only singing and dancing within the boundaries of our country, but if we have a genre that is well-developed and oiled, we will be able to sell it to the outside world.”
Season one winner Mervin ‘Marvtown’ Claassen, who walked away with N$10 000 and a recording deal worth N$100 000, said it has been an exciting journey before winning and after.
“In the beginning, there was a lot of challenges because there were a lot of talented people who brought different qualities. I happen to bring something different to the table. I feel proud because I started performing at different venues where I could further push the genre to other audiences. It’s quite delightful to see how people groove to our music; it’s an exciting journey.”
He advised the new contestants to be true to themselves and trust the process.
“Do you; you don’t know how far you will go – people have different qualities. Be an open book and take in the criticism. You will learn a lot from this and enjoy yourself; it’s a beautiful platform and I trust you will enjoy yourself,” said Claassen.
Also speaking at the event, Nascam CEO John Max implored the corporate community to back such initiatives, especially since the ongoing pandemic hit the arts sector hard.
“Thank you for this initiative, and I give thanks to AIMS as an institution for their contribution as part of your social responsibility. Our artists have been hard-hit for the past three years, so please open your doors out there once these people come knock on your door,” he appealed.
Applicants have to record a video of themselves in landscape, singing any acapella Ma/Gaisa song for approximately one to two minutes, and send it to the organisers.
Contestants will also have the opportunity to work with well-established artists as the competition progresses to sharpen their skills.
All details and information can be found on their social media pages.
The prizes for the new season will be announced in the coming weeks.