Where are the winners at Artmostphere? (Part 1) … as Tilapia empowers next rated act with cash prize money!

It is a well known fact that Musical Competitions and Talent Hunts have been the foundation on which many made artistes have built their now flourishing careers, such platforms have helped musicians of all genres and several generations.

Sighting American Idol, America’s Got Talents and their franchises in other continents and countries as a veritable platform for talent showcase and discovery. Popular Nigerian artistes, Kcee, Iyanya, Timi Dakole, Chidinma, Praiz and Omawunmi are products of musical competitions.

It is on this premise that the organizers of the Artmostphere Talent Hunt in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Signata, a company owned by veteran disc jockey , His Royal Soulness, Dolly Popman decided to embark on the annual concert. Dolly Popman deserves accolades for the initiative called The Atmostphere, according to my understanding,a ‘sphere’ to showcase and reward creativity in ‘arts’, hence the name ‘ArtMostphere’; Open Mic Contest, disc jockeying competition, et al.

The role and impact of music and musicians to humanity cannot be overemphasized. To buttress this fact, the popular Oron musician, Mr Xto usually says, ‘Music is the only profession practiced in heaven, as the bible says, there shall be no labour there, only angels ‘singing’’.

As the World Music Day was observed around the world on the 21st of June 2018. Here in Nigeria, many cities enjoyed the beauty of the luxury of celebrating a day dedicated to felicitate with musicians worldwide.

The 2018 World Music Day in Akwa Ibom State may have come and gone, but the memories will linger forever, especially in the heart of the budding talents who thronged the Tillapia Island music competition at Abak, which had the winner of the World Music Day Next Rated Act walk home with; N100,000 Cash from Tilapia Island Resort, a recorded, mixed and mastered single by Final Mix Studios, a standard Music Video by Wemzi Films and promotions by Asteroid Bassey led Space Entertainment Company.

Such efforts by the private sector complements the drive of Governor Udom Emmanuel to ensure that the entertainment industry is positioned as an income earning sector, hence his appointment of a Special Assistant on Entertainment Industry, Utang Akwa Ibom and his investment in projects like AKBC Talent Hunt, with a Brand New Car as Star Prize.

The essence of reference to the Tilapia Corporate Social Responsibility effort is simple,the organizers promised the little they could afford and were sure to give, above all, they have also displayed a high level of passion for music and support for talents. A call through to Asteroid confirms that the management of Tilapia had released the cash prize money to Emy Paulinus- the winner of the musical competition.

Well, one will not be wrong to say that it was the event that motivated inquiry to the status of talents discovered during the two editions of the much publicised ‘Artmostphere Concert’ held on

the 1st of January every year. The stage has played host to big names in the entertainment industry, while also offering a springboard to homegrown talents who perform alongside them. It is rather unfortunate that none of the talents discovered has ‘seen the light of the day’. By that I mean, in form of a simple question ‘Where are the winners at Atmostphere?’.

The winner of the maiden edition of the Open Mic Contest,

Xaviour Knight, finally released his official body of work under the Signata Records imprint in December 2017, Hypestationng.com reported, but the feat was the best he could achieve, as he has returned to oblivion thereafter.

The Artmostphere event returned again very glamorous the second year being 2018, Abak-born Keini Albert a.k.a Keini, emerged the winner in the fierce ArtMostSphere 2.0 Open Mic Competition, with Emmanuel Itiat a.k.a R.Bills, coming second and Israel Ejike a.k.a Daddie coming 3rd.

Keini is said to have won ‘a multi-million Naira recording deal, all-expense-paid video for his best single, plus extensive media promotion on national/international media platforms’, but as you read this piece in June 2018,6 months after, industry heads and guests who were present at the well attended event can not remember the name of the current champions.

This is not to in anyway deter Dolly Popman, the Onna born entertainer cum governor’s aide, who had announced at a reception for entertainers in his abode that he still holds in high esteem, the industry that brought him to limelight, an industry dear to his heart, but this is to charge him to do a little more. Just a little.

This call, hopes to among other achievements, encourage more companies to organize contests to discover and promote talents in the state, to also crave the indulgence of such outfits to ensure that the star prize and other consolation prizes publicised for such contests are made available, (same applicable to the Beauty Pageants).

To be continued.

Nelson NseAbasi is a serial media and entertainment entrepreneur.