Nigeria: Keke Ogungbe, ID Cabasa, Iyanya Screen ‘Naija Star Search’ Hopefuls in Lagos

Naija Star Search is a reality show aimed at discovering the next generation of Afrobeats superstars.

The search for the next Afrobeats superstar began over the weekend as StarTimes, in partnership with Kennis Music, kicked off the physical audition for the Naija Star Search season 1.

Naija Star Search is a reality show aimed at discovering the next generation of Afrobeats superstars.

Music Label Executive Kenny Ogungbe led ID Cabasa and Iyanya to audition contestants in Lagos. Mr Ogungbe is the lead judge.

The judges say, unlike other music reality shows, the Naija Star Search show is unique because the focus is solely on Afrobeats, an umbrella term for all kinds of songs originating in Nigeria.

Mr Ogungbe told PREMIUM TIMES that as judges, he and his fellow judges would look out for authenticity, potential, originality and street credibility among the talents who will finally be selected for the show.

He added that about ten finalists from the show would be groomed by Kennis Music label and given a platform to turn their raw talents into superstars.

He said: “In 10 seconds, I can tell if a contestant has that fire in them. I can tell you because I am a radio DJ and know when the talent is there. I have been doing this for almost 30 years, and the idea with this is to take it to the masses, the grassroots, your next door neighbour,” Ogungbe said.


Weighing in on the show, ID Cabasa, a celebrated music producer responsible for several musical hits from 9ice to Olamide and Wizkid, said the Naija Star Search couldn’t come at a better time.

“This talent search is timely because Afrobeats has been able to gain its ground as a global genre. Platforms like this will offer aspiring talents the opportunity to hit it big and get paid in international currencies like Dollars.

“I will be looking forward to what the talent is bringing on, which includes the talent, the energy and the star power because the plan is to ensure our winners go on to do great things in the Nigerian, African and global music scenes. We don’t want a show, and the winner goes home; no, we would be working with winners and supporting them to get their footing and succeed under our mentorship and support.”

On his part, co-audition judge Asa Gangali, who stood in for Iyanya, noted that all contestants must know they are winners to qualify for the show.

“I am glad and happy that this talent hunt show is focusing on the Afrobeats genre to enable us to breed and groom the next big Afrobeats star,” Iyanya said.

Selection process

On the selection process, Mr Ogungbe explained, “We have streamlined the participants, so we don’t have those who don’t know what they want. Again, we have stressed that we want young, vibrant, energetic talents with vibes between 18 and 35.

“These talents will be singing or rapping Afrobeats basically and not other genres because, on a global scale, Afrobeats is the genre from Nigeria and is currently on the front burner, so much that it has displaced Jamaican Reggae dancehall. We will spot, nurture and groom these talents to stardom and use all our platforms, including Kennis TV, Kennis Music, Kennis FM, and our brands, as well as StarTimes channels, to push and promote these winners and talents from Naija Star Search.

“Don’t forget, it’s a continual process. It won’t end here, and this is not new to us because we have done it with Star Quest, which produced KC Presh, Da Crystals, and Diamonds, amongst others. We will do it again because Kennis Music or Kenny Keke Ogungbe is still a force to reckon with in the music industry. We have partnered with some of the best judges, including ID Cabasa and Iyanya.”

The Naija Star Search is set to hit television screens on StarTimes soon.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.