By Victor Okoye
Richmond Atu-Johnson, a popular Abuja-based vocal coach and CEO of City Hill Records, says everyone is blessed with innate talent to sing.
Atu-Johnson spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the first edition of a grassroots talent hunt show, tagged “You Can Sing” on Monday in Abuja .
He said that the project was borne out of the need to to raise new artists and explore untapped talents in the music industry.
He expressed regret that because many people didn’t have the platforms or opportunities to express their talents and were not given the chance of entertaining the world with their gifts, they wasted away.
“So, showcasing these talents through virtual medium is a simple avenue to bring them out for the world to see.”
NAN reports that the grand finale of the talent hunt show which began on March 24 ended on June 28
He noted that a lot of budding talents abounded in the country, saying that all that was needed was for these talents to be harnessed.
“There are a lot of young people out there who feel their voices are only meant to be heard in their bedroom, bathroom or personal closet and that was how the whole idea was borne.
“So, we thought about”You can sing”, it’s a positive statement that you can do it no matter who you are or where you are from.
“We reached out to a lot of young people in the country to participate in the programme by using their mobile phones or the internet to record and send a sample of their songs to us,” he said
According to him, the whole concept was done virtually. So, one didn’t have to bother coming to a particular location or worry about timing as we aware that people are busy trying to make ends meet especially in this pandemic period.
“All it takes is to spare a little time to record your voice and let the world know that you are gifted and we felt that this was an opportunity for a lot of our youths out there.
“Indeed, the array of Nigerian talents we have seen has been nothing short of exceptional and we are excited to have shown the world the quality of talent in the entertainment industry of this country,” he said.
The vocal coach also revealed that discovered talents would benefit from free training/music education and recordings, adding that the whole idea was to promote whatever talents they have through the platform.
“We had over 200 entries in the first edition and it was indeed a good start and showed Nigerians are wiling to express themselves.
“The entries were divided into a group of five in stage one with two people with the least amount of votes eliminated from each group.
“The contestants were pitched against themselves in the second stage with one person from each group proceeding to the third stage.
“While the third as well as the final stage were decided by online voting with the contestant with the highest amount of votes emerging as winner.
“A lot more people would have joined but we restricted the number in Season one, but we hope to open up the level of participation in Season two so as to reach out to every part of the country,” he said.
NAN also reports that 21-year old Mary Onyeji, from Enugu State emerged the winner of Season one, and got a cash prize of ₦1million.
Mrs Sonita Kwila-Orji from Gombe State finished as the first runner up, while Precious Omotosho from Kwara State settled for the second runner up position.
Onyeji, Kwila-Orji and Omotosho also won audio and video recording deals as well as a full scholarship to Cityhill Music Academy, an online Academy. (NAN)