By Martin Kanyegirire and Pascal Kwesiga
Get ready everybody — it’s time to get fresh music as Coca Cola and Urban TV line up a four-month crosscountry search for the best singing talent in Uganda, dubbed Coca-Cola Rated Next.
With the tagline Sing it, Coca-Cola Rated Next is a sequel to Urban TV’s Rated Next, which searched for talent in television presenting.
“At the auditions, which kick off tomorrow in Arua, contestants will be allowed to sing local songs only or the contestant’s original composition,” Brandon Ssemanda, the Coca-Cola brand manager, told press at the launch of the show at the Namanve Coca-Cola plant last Friday.
After the Arua auditions, look out for eight more across the country, in places like Gulu, Lira, Masaka, Mbarara, Fort Portal, Jinja, Mbale and Kampala.
Although this sounds like a TV special about survival for those with a passion for music, the competition could be a golden ticket for real talent just like the defunct Blu3, who were birthed out of the 2004 Coca-Cola pop star competitions.
The winner of the competition will walk away with sh50m, a recording contract with Fennon Records and an iPad. The first and second runners up will go home with sh5m and an iPad, then sh2m and an iPad respectively. The public will choose the winner through sms and social media.
“This is going to be one of the most explosive scenes in the music industry. Vision Group has been doing so many music shows across the country and we have seen many youth dying to be the next Maurice Kirya or Jose Chameleone, and here is the chance. Please, support the young people that are dreaming to thrust in fame,” Vision Group’s CEO, Robert Kabushenga said at the launch of the contest.
Vision Group head of marketing Susan Nsibirwa and Coca Cola’s Brandon Ssemanda
X-FM’s Siima Sabiti comes back as a judge with Maurice Kirya and Sharp Sewali, a renowned music producer. “When I started singing, I would judge myself. Now I am humbled that I am going to be part of making a dream come true for a dreamer out there,” Maurice Kirya said.
The competitions will be showing on Vision Group TV stations — Urban TV, Bukedde TV, Bukedde 2, and TV West.
Norton Kingwill, Coca Cola’s country manager said they partnered with Vision Group to deliver the campaign to the public due to its footprint in the media industry.
“When we looked around for a partner who can help us make this campaign work, everyone said Vision Group because of its footprint in the media industry,” Kingwill said.
He noted that Coca Cola enjoys a good working relationship with Vision Group since they share the vision of advancing the interests of the people of Uganda.