Oliver Gaolaolwe and David Golekwang have cracked the top 5 at the on-going Africa Music Challenge (AMC).
AMC, the first pan African music challenge is hosted by the Africa Sport Ventures Group (ASVG).
Gaolaolwe and Golekwang join three other African musicians, two from Nigeria and one from Sierra Leone as the last ones standing.
The other three are Michael George of Sierra Leone as well as Nigeria’s Daniel Anthony and Rachel Rea. The latter is the only female artist in the top 5.
For local musicians who took part in the inaugural music challenge, this was a very challenging and rewarding experience.
The competition, which had attracted more than 400 participants across the continent, comes to an end on May the 25th.
Gaolaolwe says making the song was very challenging due to circumstances like the ongoing curfews in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“Juggling studio times and curfew was one of our biggest challenges. We could not have studio sessions during midweek due to work commitments and we only met over weekends,” he explained.
Another problem was deciding the ‘content’ and ‘language’ of the song as they sought to do something inclusive of Africa in under 5mins of a song.
“There were so many lovely bits from the brainstorming sessions that didn’t make it on to the final song,” he explained.
He went on to add that along with his producer Berry Bone of KGB Music, they had fun making the song as it came as a natural process.
“We also involved other musician to come in and share the experience. The difficult part was trying to make all those ideas work together, and in under 5mins song length that was the hard part,” he pointed out.
Gaolaolwe said being among the finalists is an unbelievable experience, adding that waiting for results was nerve wrecking.
He is however happy he took the risk and took on the challenge, saying ‘having to represent his country is a great opportunity.’
Gaolaolwe says having Botswana music legends like Alfred Mosimanegape and Lucia Major in the competition shows the seriousness of the competition.
While Mosimanegape and Major only made it as far as the top 20 of the competition, both say they relished taking part in the contest.
“The fact that there were also many countries taking part made this challenge a great one,” Major says.
“Africa has incredible and diverse cultures and history. Taking on the challenge and putting everything in one song took so much creativity and thinking so it was exhausting,” she explains.
Major says her dream has always been to collaborate with international artists and the music challenge came at the time when she needed to achieve those dreams and goals.
She says the AMC platform gave her the opportunity to achieve such and she is ready to seize the moment.
“Batswana this is a great initiative, let us make hay while the sun shines. Let us take advantage of this opportunity and do not let the upcoming season pass you by,” Major advises.
Even though he did not progress to the top 5, Mosinamegape believes the challenge has had a positive outcome in his career.
Highlighting that he is already seeing the benefit of the competition as he was uploading his current album for distribution through online outlets.
“I put both the advert for the competition on the social media and newspapers, within a short space of time my streams went from 300 to 11K+. I am of the believe that this definitely played part. I trust and have confidence in BW artists,” he says.
Meanwhile, Mosimanegape says his focus now is to see himself in the global music arena for collaborations and digital distributions.
“I have been in this game and I want to encourage musicians to take every possible opportunity presented to them seriously in pursuit of their artistry careers,” he says.
The winner of the inaugural competition will be announced on the 25th of this month.