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African Artists on MTV Europe Music Awards


4 October 2005 No Comment

Nigeria’s 2-FACE Idibia, South Africa’s Zamajobe, DRC’s Kaysha, Kenya’s Kleptomaniax and Angola’s 02 are to add to their catalogue of triumphs by representing their countries at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2005 in Lisbon on 3 November 2005. The five acts are the first ever African artists to be nominated for the title of ‘Best African Act’ – the very first time MTV anywhere in the world has created an African ‘gong’ for one of its Awards ceremonies.

Commented Alex Okosi, Vice President & General Manager, MTV base: ‘This is a landmark year for Africa: first, MTV launched its first ever African channel, MTV base, and now it has created this milestone award to recognise the artistry, creativity and passion of African musicians. We have so much respect for the talent of these African artists, and for all they have achieved so far in Africa and further afield – we are delighted that this Award nomination will bring their names and music to a broader audience – the global stage of the MTV Europe Music Awards – with more than one billion viewers!’

Things are going well for the crowd-pleasing former boy band singer-songwriter 2-FACE Idibia. With superstar status in his home country, the young Nigerian R&B exponent has long outgrown his early days with Nigerian group Plantashun Boyz and cemented his solo popularity and cross-age appeal across Africa with his catchy, lyrically inspired, heartfelt songs, sung in a mixture of English, local dialect and pigin. Truly iconic status was conferred by the massive success of 2-FACE’s huge hit, ’African Queen’ – a soulful anthem to the beauties of African women, which won fans across the African continent, and was subsequently chosen as the first ever song ever played on pan-African music channel and MTV’s 100th channel, MTV base. After major critical and financial success for his debut album, Face 2 Face, which has sold in excess of 2 million copies, a mantelpiece full of awards, and collaborations with Wyclef Jean and Beenie Man, Idibia’s eagerly-awaited second album is due out in late 2005.

A former South Africa Pop Idol contestant, female vocalist Zamajobe has barely put down the microphone since being voted off the contest in 2003. Having come in the top 10 of Pop Idols, Sithole went on to confound the critics by being nominated as Best Newcomer in the 2005 South African Music Awards (SAMAs) and issuing her own 2004 album entitled, Ndawo yami – an extraordinarily confident blend of jazz, blues, soul and gospel. Most of the songs on the album are self-penned by the 20-year old Zamajobe, with tracks like "Magic, " "Hey Hey Hey" and title track "Ndawo Yami" dominating the South African radio airwaves in 2005.

A native of the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo) Kaysha now lives in Paris and started his career in Belgium touring with his sister, the rapper E-Komba. A self-styled African Bohemian, Kaysha indeed he named his latest album just that. A singer, songwriter and producer , Kaysha’s unique music style and electrifying stage act are a furious fusion of Afro-Caribbean, hip-hop, R&B, zouk and salsa (to name just a few) – all of which are evident on the November 2004 release of African Bohemian. No stranger to awards ceremonies, Kaysha’s ample talents have been recognised at The Tropical Music Awards 1999, the KORA All African Music Awards 2000 (Best African Artist), and Best Artist of the African Diaspora (KORA Awards 2004). Eclectic music projects are a trademark for Kaysha, and his most recent collaboration, "Dealer d’afro-zouk" pitches him alongside major talents such as Jacob Desvarieux and Koffi Olomide.

Nyashinki, Munkiri and D.E.P. are the names of the three young Kenyan guys who make up Kenyan trio, Kleptomaniax, the all-male rap group who have been setting the Kenyan hip-hop scene alight. The precocious trio made Kenyan music history by being the first ever Kenyan artists to release a song while still in school and two of the group are still in full time university education! Kleptomaniax’s debut single, ‘Freak It’, released in 2002 was a huge hit, and promised great things to come: their follow-up single, ‘Maniax Anthem’, released in 2003 further affirmed and cemented their position and potential in the market, receiving massive radio airplay. Their third single ‘Haree’, released in 2003, was a lyrical journey around the party scene, and was very highly received in all circles, and affirmed their reign as one of the finest musical groups in Kenya, while ‘Tuendelee’, their fourth single lays claim to being one of Kenya’s most influential and best received songs. The group’s first album, "M4E" (Maniax 4Ever) launched April 2005, and aptly showcased the trio’s contemporary urban style, which marries hip-hop, R&B, dance, salsa and a bit of everything in an entertaining, thought-provoking and stylish album debut, producing the smash hit single "Swing" – one of the most played tracks on radio in East Africa.

Angolan music veterans, 02, base their unique music style on the rhythmic fusion between Kizomba (Angolan Zouk) and Soul R&B, with Afro-Jazz influences. The band’s 1999 debut album was a hit in numerous African and European cities and earned the foursome the epithet – The African Golden Boys. Their most recent album, Hot Style, was recorded entirely in Portugal France and edited in South Africa and featured collaborations with a host of talented artists including Jean Michel Rotin, Lokua Kanza, Simmons Massini, Jimmy Sissoko, No Stress (Gutto and Boss AC) and Beatrice Poulot. A regular overseas touring schedule does not detract from critical success and popularity back home in Angola, where 02 recently won Best Album of the Year, Best Male Voice of the Year and Best Modern Group of the Year at the 2005 Luanda Fashion Awards. Presently the band is negotiating an international release and distribution deal that will mark a new stage for Bigú Ferreira (Vocalist), Walter Ananaz (Vocalist), João Paulo (Keyboard Player & Programmer) and Gunza José (Keyboard Player & Programmer).

The MTV Europe Music Awards will beam live to Africa on MTV base (DStv Channel 88) on Thursday 3 November 2005 at 22:00-00:00 CAT so tune in to learn who will be the winner of MTV’s Best African Act. African music fans can make sure their votes count too: voting goes live after the nominations have been revealed, so register your vote online by going to http://ema.mtvbaseafrica.com from 20:00 CAT on Tuesday 27 September.

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