Fifteen MTN Liberia Y’ello Star contestants, nine women and six men, will enter the MTN Liberia Y’ello Star Academy instead of ten. The Y’ello Academy is the key component of the nationwide singing competition. It is where the upcoming artists will learn about the music industry and compete for the coveted title, “MTN Liberia Y’ello Star”.
The competition’s head judge, Chris Wolo of Capital FM said during the recent unveiling of the artists at Lonestar Cell MTN headquarters, “We expected about 150 to 200 entries but ended up receiving over 300. Due to time and the number of entries received, we couldn’t limit the numbers to 10. We increased the number of contestants to 15 so that we could unearth the very best talent in the country.”
Co-judge Cypha D’King of HOTT FM said that the increase in the number of contestants came after discussions with MTN Liberia Y'ello Star organizers about adding more contestants.
“It was overwhelming to have received the volume of videos from all over the country. “But," he said, "it felt good to see people participating with such energy."
Event organizer, Jonathan Baker said, “Our goal is to provide this unique opportunity to the maximum number of contestants given logistics and budgetary considerations. Thankfully we were able to add the additional five upcoming artists to enter the Y’ello Academy.”
The chosen fifteen Y’ello Academy contestants are: Sparkle, Othniel Mathews, Nise_Puddin, Moenue S. Harvey, Grateful Pap, Candace Cooper, Momodu Dominick Gray, Brenda Wankollie, Wonder McClain, Elijah Niceboi Boimah, E-Fine Boss JB, Cee-Kay, Davidetta L. Bainda, Jesslyn Lisa Nichols, Senamu Caldwel.
The contestants were selected for the Y’ello Academy based on the following criteria: each candidate must possess the growth potential and must not be a mainstream artist. Age, pronunciation of lyrics, voice texture, creativity, song interpretation, ingenuity, and self-awareness were key candidate selection factors.
MTN Liberia’s Y’ello Star Academy incorporates three weeks of intense training and competition. Contestants will receive master classes on vocals, dance, stage performance, music production, brand and marketing, entrepreneurship, Copyright and publishing. In addition, they will also attend interactive sessions with well-established musicians. Judges and audiences will evaluate contestant’s performances in the Y’ello Academy and evict ten who will not move on to the next stage of the competition. The remaining five will compete in the grand finale.
The MTN Liberia Y’ello Star winner is awarded a NEW Nissan Almera, has their songs uploaded on the CBRT platform, receives a L$1.5 million record deal along with 350,000 LRD. In addition, the winner is awarded a one-year performance deal with Lonestar Cell MTN and 100 GB of data monthly. They will also perform at the MTN Liberia Music Awards later this year.
All can follow MTN Liberia Y'ello Star on Lonestar Cell MTN’s Facebook page or by using the hashtag, #MTNYelloStar.