There’s no level, like the NXT LVL

There’s no level, like the NXT LVL

There are endless quotes, books and seminars that have the empowerment of youth at their forefront – we’re pretty sure you can think of one right now without being prompted. Vodacom is putting those words in to action with their NXT LVL initiatives, the latest addition is possibly their most exciting venture this year, The NXT LVL television show, which promotes young artists and aims to find South Africa’s next big superstar.

The competition is a homegrown music talent show, which is a breath of fresh air from the imported shows which have a cookie cutter version in almost every other country. As much as we may love those shows, we’re all for Proudly South African television.

Deidre Lowdig, Marketing Manager for The NXT LVL show, emphasizes that that this is unlike any other talent show. “It’s all about teaching the business of music, rather than just showcasing talent” she explains, “We really want to make young musicians in to valuable brands.”

The show, which premiered on 4 October 2017 on Mzansi Magic, is decorated with influential musicians who assume the role of mentor to the five finalist acts who compete for a prize worth R1 Million.

Our favourite thing about this entire competition, has to be the career sustainability that that the winner will walk away with, and a large part of this is the connection to the celebrity mentors in the show. “The choice of mentors was important,” says Lowdig, “Our partnership with ROCK helped, we wanted to find artists who are successful musicians, but who also have their own businesses as well.”

The NXT LVL really seeks to support the youth in their endeavors, as well as show that their dreams aren’t only valid, but real. “When we decided to go in to music, we didn’t have a strong support structure,” explains finalist, Khanyi Jacebi of the band Music 97, “After so many no’s, it was so good to finally get a yes. And from Vodacom!” Music 97 has been trying to make it in the music industry for two years, and have appreciated the opportunities that NXT LVL has brought their way.

Jesse Johnson, who has been rapping for seven years before becoming a finalist on the show, explains that it’s been difficult to make a name in the industry that isn’t interested in the sounds of new artists. “The local community don’t want to listen to unsigned artists,” he says, “I really hope the attitude towards developing new artists changes, in order to make the South African music industry stronger.”

It seems as if the new show is a step in the right direction. Johnson also goes on to praise the mentorship he’s received on the show, especially the business advice given by DJ Euphonik, and Riky Rick’s incessant support and belief in the artist. “Riky Rick always believes in more than what I give him, he really pushes me to be better and want better of myself.” Other mentors in the show include DJ Zinhle, Danny K and Big NUZ.

Do yourselves a favour and tune in to The NXT LVL every Wednesday on Mzansi Magic, DSTV channel 161.

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Khanyi Mlaba

Khanyi is a passionate photographer and writer, and is most recognisable by her trademark braids and forward fashion sense. She is a digital contributor online at Hello Joburg Magazine.

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