Nigeria’s 121 Selah Battles hard in Old Mutual Amazing Voices Competition
Nigerian gospel group (121 Selah) have proven their abilities by dominating the Old Mutual Amazing Voices competition. The Nigerian gospel group represented by 121 Selah, were the first to bag a Golden Voice accolade (an award given to best performing group of each night) in the spectacular stage performances. Week after week, they have blended effectively and displayed true finesse in their song arrangements and delivery.
121 Selah and their fellow Nigerian group Eva Chorale have both delivered stirring performances not only to their Nigerian audiences but to Africa at large. They have not only raised the bar higher and become two of the groups that are strong competitors for the US $100 000 cash prize but, they are also building their roles as admired and inspirational ambassadors for Nigeria. Despite the fact both Nigerian groups are first-timers in the competition, they have impacted the competition by always managing to lift the spirits of the audience and fellow competitors whenever they perform.
This week’s theme for the pan-African show was “Kings and Queens” where Amazing Voices celebrated the royalty of every genre represented in the competition. A challenging song selection was made that resulted in the groups needing to dig deep within themselves to render their interpretation of iconic compositions. Eva Chorale added their flavour to Travis Greene’s ‘Intentional’ while 121 Selah spiced up ‘Let the Praise Begin’ by Fred Hammond.
With their marked gospel influences, both Eva Chorale and 121 Selah have remained within this genre but at this stage of the competition the judges were hoping to hear a different sound that would take the groups out of their comfort zone.
This week’s task proved to be an obstacle for Eva Chorale as their arrangement fell short. Despite showing gradual growth soaring towards the finishing line, Eva Chorale received the lowest score of the evening. Their road to fame as well-deserving contestants of Old Mutual Amazing Voices ended, leaving 121 Selah to hold the fort in representing Nigeria.
In the earlier episodes, Zwai Bala, the show’s music advisor, described 121 Selah’s polished musicality as spiritual. Their creativity and technical skills to produce arrangements suited to their vocals are the qualities that have seen the unsigned group collaborating with recording artists before coming across Amazing Voices and recognising the potential of the platform to boost their music careers.
The remaining Nigerian group with a heavy gospel influence found itself tested as they were thrown in the deep having to perform songs in other genres. According to P.D Wallson, 121 Selah’s group leader, every themed performance to this point had been a challenge and an awakening experience for the group. With few more rounds ahead, there is no telling who will be the ultimate winners of this season.
Through the Amazing Voices competition, Old Mutual has shown commitment by providing resources that will equip untapped talent in Nigeria and Africa at large, to bring to the fore their full potential. The Old Mutual Amazing Voices pan-African singing competition is designed to allow unsigned talent to showcase their talent and win a life-changing US$100,000 to kick-start their musical careers.
Catch the entertaining Old Mutual Amazing Voices every Sunday, at 4pm WAT on Africa Magic (DStv).
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