Leading Nigerian vocalists Innocent ‘2baba’ Idibia, Waje, Timi Dakolo and Patoranking have been announced as coaches for the maiden edition of the Airtel sponsored show, The Voice Nigeria.
The announcement of the coaches comes as preparations for the maiden edition of the show reach fever pitch following talent auditions in Calabar, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Lagos.
Speaking at the press conference, the Director, M-Net West Africa, Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu said: “It’s an exciting time for us at M-Net. The Voice is an internationally renowned franchise and has consistently provided exciting television content whilst giving great opportunities to talented individuals to showcase their talent to the world. The Nigerian adaptation will be no different and our viewers can expect the best television entertainment even as we wait to discover the next generation of talented singers!”
Since its original launch in 2010, The Voice has won audiences in countries like the US, Australia, South Africa and the UK, where other renowned artistes have occupied the show’s famous red chairs as coaches. The Voice Nigeria employs the same format including a panel of four coaches who critique the contestants’ performances. The coaches guide their teams of selected artistes through the remainder of the season whilst also competing to ensure that their act wins the competition.
Commenting on the unveiling of Coaches, Mr. Ahmad Mokhles, the Chief Commercial Officer of Airtel Nigeria, sponsors of The Voice Nigeria, noted that Airtel is passionate about creating platforms that will delight, excite, entertain and engage talented youth as well as telecoms consumers across the country.
According to him, “The Voice Nigeria demonstrates Airtel’s commitment to its vision of connecting Nigerians to their dreams. We are also pleased by the fact that the majority of the coaches are not just icons in their respective music genres but also members of the Airtel family, underscoring our intense interest and support for the entertainment and creative industry.”
Innocent Ujah Idibia better known by his stage name ‘2baba’, is a Nigerian singer-songwriter, record producer and entrepreneur. The Benue state indigene was born on the 18th of September, 1975 and is unarguably one of Nigeria and at large Africa’s renowned singing legends. 2baba began his musical career while studying at IMT in Enugu, but his professional career took off when he joined fellow artistes Black Face and Faze to form one of the most successful boy bands in Nigeria ‘The Plantashun Boyz’. A year after the band’s break up, he released his hit single African Queen.
Aituaje Iruobe popularly known as WAJE (an acronym for “Words Aren’t Just Enough”), is a Nigerian singer born on the first of September 1980. Waje attended the Word of Faith Group of Schools where she joined the choir. As a young singer she focused mainly on gospel tunes. She received a degree in social work at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. During her school years, Waje focused on her musical works such as school concerts and fellowships. She listened and learned from her mentors such as Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin to improve her music.
Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie popularly known by his stage name Patoranking, was born on the 27th of May 1990. The reggae dancehall singer and songwriter, who hails from Ebonyi state in Nigeria, started his musical career doing underground collaborations with artistes such as: Konga, Slam, X Project and Reggie Rockstone. Patoranking started his performing arts career as a street jam and carnival dancer. With musical influences such as Buju Banton, Bob Marley, Fela Kuti, Lucky Dube, Majek Fashek, 2Face and many more, the singer songwriter describes his music as a morally inclined variation of dancehall.
Timi Dakolo was born on the 20th of January 1981 in Accra, Ghana to a Nigerian father and a Ghanaian mother. Himself the product of a reality show, Timi started singing in church at the tender age of twelve. In 2003 he founded the musical group Purple Love. They dominated the Port Harcourt club demographic, but disbanded in 2005 as all the members gained admission into the University of Port Harcourt.