Rising Nigerian music stars will take the centre stage at the 2008 edition of THISDAY Music and Fashion Festival in Abuja on July 11 and Lagos on July 13.In line with the theme of “Africa Rising: To Celebrate the Best and Brightest of Emerging New Africa”, THISDAY has confirmed the participation of rising stars such as Faze, MI (pronounced “em eye”), Shank and 9ice in the Abuja and Lagos legs of the festival.
Blackky, the reggae-ragga star of the “Rosie” fame, is also billed to perform. The show offers the emerging stars an opportunity to sell themselves to the world as the festival plans to launch their talents and expose them to the international stage.This year’s festival is designed to revolutionise global perspectives on African issues, shifting focus from the problems to the opportunities and from treating the “symptoms” to curing the “diseases” and projecting positive images of Africa by showcasing the renaissance of Africa's music, fashion and the arts.
Already confirmed for the Washington and London legs of the show on August 1 and October 14, respectively, are Asa, 2Face and DBanj who will be flying Nigeria’s flag abroad.Asa, whose real name is Bukola Elemide, has been making waves home and abroad since the release of her self-styled debut album. She is signed to the same label as Katie Melua. Her music has already seen her album climb the charts in France.
Abolore Akande, with the stage name 9ice, reputedly started writing and composing his own songs at 14. He started his solo career in 2000 with Certificate, and has been ruing the airwaves with “Gongo Aso”. He performed at the Nelson Mandela 90th Birthday Tribute concert in London last weekend.
Dapo Daniel Oyebanjo, “Dbanj”, is a singer-songwriter and harmonica player. He is billed to make his first ever performance in the United States on July 6 in Maryland, at Potter's Place. His awards include Best African Act (MTV Europe Music Awards 2007), Most Promising Male Artiste (KORA All African Awards 2005), Hip Hop World Revelation (Hip Hop World Awards 2006) and Artiste of the Year (Nigerian Music Awards 2006).
MI was born in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. His encounter with Hip-Hop started with sampling the works of DMX and Lauryn Hill in 1998. He later delved into writing poetry. He has produced and featured on the works of artistes such as Jeremiah Gyang, Djinee, Rhymzo, Don Jazzy, Shifi (Style Plus), Jesse Jags, Ice Prince,Ruby, Lindsy, Leone, among others.His performances include Opening for Grammy winners Black Ladysmith, Mambazo, and Keb Mo in Michigan, USA. His hit single “Crowd Mentality” is currently representing Nigeria at the www.creativeconomy.org.uk website music competition.
Innocent Ujah Idibia, best known as 2face Idibia, was a member of the defunct R&B/hip hop group Plantashun Boyz. He is one of the most celebrated Nigerian artistes, having launched out with his monster hit, “African Queen”, in 2005. He has won many awards locally and internationally, notably MTV Europe Awards 2005 for “Best African Act”, MOBO Awards 2007 “Best African Act”, Channel O Music Video Awards 2005 - Best Male Video and Best African Video, and KORA Awards 2005 - Revelation of the Year.He won Nigerian Music Awards 2008 for Album of the Year and R&B Song of the Year.
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