Want to be a Nigerian Music Star? Ngozi Omambala talk about GBT Auditions
If you have ever wanted to be a Nigerian Music Star, Nigerian Entertainment sits down with CEO of LoudnProud Ngozi Omambala to discuss GBT Auditions, The Loud and Proud Brand and how Singer Goldie (RIP) inspired the GBT brand.
Let me start by saying I absolutely love what LoudNProud stands for in the Nigerian Entertainment Industry. Live music to me is like the filet mignon of stage performances. Unfortunately, it is common place in Nigeria for music artists to perform with a CD playing in the background versus a live band. If only they knew how much better things sound with a band, more emphasis would be put into live music. One person I know that does just that is Ngozi Omambala. She is the CEO of LoudNProud and I have had the privilege of gracing their stage. From the daily rehearsals to watching the band work, I was impressed at the dedication she had to put live music forefront in the Nigerian Music Scene. Playing with a live band allows you to be versatile, creative and pretty much recreate your craft with its own unique sound. I am a big fan of live music so I had to have a sit down with her so she can share with our readers her vision, her motivation and the process. If you ever get the chance to attend one of her events, please do. Trust me when I say it is highly recommended even if it is just to watch and learn. I had a great time on stage and also had a great time off stage while attending other dates of her event. In this interview with Nigerian Entertainment she gives deets on the brand, how to audition, and what you can do to possibly be the next Nigerian Music Star – the right way.
Nigerian Entertainment: What inspired the Golden Breakthorugh (GBT) Auditions?
Ngozi Omambala: Golden Break Through (GBT) Auditions was set up in 2013 in memory of artist Goldie Harvey. H her last live performance was at LoudNProudLive held at Ember Creek. She did an amazing set. One of her best performances with a Live band. She was excited about it and future projects in the pipeline; videos, new music,and reality shows. Golden Break Through (GBT) Auditions was created 2013 in her memory. It is a platform created to support upcoming developing artists, help them fulfill their dreams and support their art by grooming them in readiness for the next stage in their music careers.
Nigerian Entertainment: How has it evolved since you first started?
Ngozi Omambala: It started as a talent pre-show entertainment segment in the LoudNProudLive edition program itinerary – i.e. A warm up to ‘ginger’ the main show. It has since developed into an independent platform and property of LoudNProudLive brand portfolio. It is used for the development and support of youth in the music business , an aspirational music platform supporting next generation of musicians. Hence the tagline- GBT Auditions – Giving tomorrow’s stars a LoudNProudLive voice today.
Nigerian Entertainment: How often is it held and what are the terms to audition?
Ngozi Omambala: GBT Auditions is held monthly – every 3rd Thursday of the month at X Factor Lounge Surulere. We selected the heart of the mainland to tap into talent located in creative heartbeat of Lagos. Surulere is on the Lagos mainland. Contestants register online & upload songs and details on the loudnproudlive website via upload link: http://loudnproudlive.com/gbt-upload-file Contestants are sent an acknowledgment confirmation in writing. Artists bring their audio/instrumental cd’s to the auditions where they audition with live vocals. Alternatively they can register at the venue at 6pm. Registration is FREE
Nigerian Entertainment: What inspired the use of a live band for GBT?
Ngozi Omambala: LoudNProudLive nurtures GBT winners and prepares them to be ‘all round’ musicians for their craft/passion. The digital sound production is as popular as ever. However, live music platform is authentic showcasing the true musician live and unplugged.
Nigerian Entertainment: What artists have you discovered via GBT?
Ngozi Omambala: Auditions have been an eye opener for developing talent. GBT winner ‘Verchi’ signed to Nollywood actress Omotola’s music label. He released “Jekawale’ ft Seyi Shay. Former GBT winner (June) ‘Young Star’ performed to awesome reviews and stole the night alongside Yemi Alade at recently concluded Miss Nigeria pageant. Former GBT winner ‘Sonia’ (formerly ’99’) who was the very first GBT winner performed a full live set at just concluded Lagos Jazz Series which had headline ‘Mos Def’. ‘Prince Jo’ alongside ‘Daborn’ and ‘Crossmatt’ opened for LoudNProudLive Series with award-winning South African artist AKA, Aina More (Nigeria) and DJ Abrantee. (Ghana) held at EKO Hotel in October.
Nigerian Entertainment: Please elaborate on the Loud and Proud Brand?
Ngozi Omambala: LoudNProudLive brand is a live music platform for upcoming and established artists. It has three independent music properties;
A) GBT Auditions: The LoudNProudLive affiliated platform for developing artists
B) LoudNProudLive Series: A multi-artist platform with headline act for developing and established artists.
C) One Nite: Live & Unplugged: Premium SOLO artist platform for established artists, full band platform. Artist would have achieved recognition in their own right, with a back catalogue to match (album(s)/hit singles)
Past artists – Mi, Timi Dakolo, Waje, Omawumi, Praiz, NAETO C, Nneka, Jess Jagz,
December Edition Saturday 26th December features veteran & reggae legend RAS KIMONO
Nigerian Entertainment: How do would you like GBT to impact the Nigerian entertainment industry?
Ngozi Omambala: I think it is already creating a positive stir in the industry with music platforms accommodating upcoming artists which is a step in the right direction. The GBT winners are developing into fully fledged artists in their own right. By supporting them, GBT Audition winners are better equipped as artists with the necessary tools for success and longevity to compete in a domestic and international market. From the onset we nurture GBT winners to perform live band sets. It challenges them to become better artists with high pedigree. This will impact positively on quality and raise standard of musicians we are developing in Nigeria and beyond within an increasingly competitive entertainment industry.
Nigerian Entertainment: When an artist wins , what happens next?
Ngozi Omambala: The GBT winner receives automatic entry to perform a full live band set at the following month LoudNProudLive Edition and open up for main established artists billed for that Edition.
Prince Jo opened up for AKA at Eko Hotel (October)
SQui opened up for X3M arts SIMI at ‘SOUL’ at Intercontinental hotel in November.
The GBT winner each month goes through rigorous grooming regime like studio rehearsals, image consultation, master class workshop for their performance in readiness for their performance set the following month. The difference is always remarkable.
Nigerian Entertainment: How do you select judges?
Ngozi Omambala: Judges are industry professionals with experience and ability to communicate knowledge and advice to GBT Audition contestants. Judges collectively select the winning contestant. Past judges include GirlsKillingIt artist Aina More, Audu Maikori, Rapper Ice Prince, Olu Maintain to name a few.
Nigerian Entertainment: What advise would you give someone who wishes to participate?
Ngozi Omambala: Come prepared and well rehearsed. Have confidence, never give up if music is your passion and chosen career path. Be prepared for criticism. Take it positively to improve on your skills. Never give up! One of our contestants entered 3 times before becoming a GBT Winner. He is now signed to Wizkid’s booking agent. Perseverance is Key! The next GBT Auditions holds today Thursday 17th December at X Factor Lounge 52 Adeniran Ogunsanya, Surulere. Time: 8PM
Guests are welcome to attend. Talent and entertainment at its best!
The GBT is a monthly event so if you wish to audition, you can visit their website at http://loudnproudlive.com or follow them on twitter at @loudnproudlive . Who knows, you may just be the Next Nigerian Music Star!