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Berklee Music College partners Afrinolly on MTN Y’ello Star Project

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By Ayo Onikoyi

Berklee College of Music will take part in Y’ello Star, the latest music reality project by MTN Nigeria, with Afrinolly as Technical Partner. Members of the Berklee community will serve in various capacities on the project, and the winner of the music reality project will record their debut single at the Power Station at BerkleeNYC.

“We’re excited to work with MTN and Afrinolly Creative Hub on the Y’ello Star Project,” says Berklee President Roger H. Brown. “This is a great opportunity for artists from the vibrant Nigerian music scene to get advice and mentorship from Berklee’s knowledgeable professors while broadening awareness of Berklee in the region through MTN’s large audience. We look forward to hearing all of the talents and welcoming the winner to the Power Station at BerkleeNYC.”

MTN Nigeria created Y’ello Star to search, discover, nurture and launch music talents in the young Nigerian community. Over 10,000 contestants submitted entries for the project, and just the top twenty contestants will make it to the hub for the competition.

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Commenting on the project, the Acting Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria, Anthony Obi emphasized the unique difference between MTN Y’ello Star and other music reality TV shows. “This project goes beyond discovering talent in the Nigerian entertainment industry. MTN Y’ello Star is a conduit for capacity building within the creative industry, empowering the contestants and industry with the relevant practical knowledge to compete on a global scale. We are thankful for partners such as the Berklee College of Music who share this vision.”

“It is time for Nigerian Music to take its rightful place in the global community,” says Chike Maduegbuna, CEO of Afrinolly. “With partners like MTN and Berklee, Afrinolly Creative Hub is excited to bring our technical expertise into the discovery of emerging music talents, cultivating and helping them grow. I am excited that Berklee College of Music is here to help us launch them on to a global stage.”

The live shows will start November and run till December 2020. Three judges, including popular Nigerian musicians and six-time Grammy award winner, actor and producer will bring on board their years of experience to bear on the show.

Berklee’s Jason Camelio, assistant vice president for Global Initiatives also remarks, “The global pandemic is creating many challenges for artists to continue their studies, to engage with one another creatively and to move towards their artistic and career goals. Yet, it is presenting us with opportunities to innovate and connect in ways that are expanding our reach. The collaboration between Berklee and Afrinolly through the 2020 MTN Y’ello Star project allows us to build on our commitment to learning, cultural exchange, mentorship and entrepreneurship.”

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