Tanzania's musician, Shaa   Photo: courtesy

“I am very excited; it’s my first reality show apart from the Coca-Cola Popstars, and this time I come as a mentor,” Tanzania’s Shaa shares.

She is among the six participating mentors that will grace the reality talent show, with the rest being Nameless and Rabbit from Kenya, Maurice Kirya and José Chameleone from Uganda and AY from Tanzania with Eric Wainaina as the music director.

“We have been shooting for about three months after carrying out auditions,” Rabbit comments.

The show which is still under wraps, waiting to be unveiled on February 9, seeks to give talented young musical artistes a chance to work with the best in the industry; from music directors, composers, producers and image consultants, all under the glaring eye of the lense.

“These are young acts who have been pursuing music so we are here to give them the nitty-gritty of the industry. Basically we are giving them the education and consultation,” Rabbit adds while passing his hand through his new hairdo that has the ladies attention.

His words are echoed by Shaa, who admits that this has to be one of the best talent shows bringing aspiring musicians together with professionals — a chance that comes to few.

“Maisha Superstars is about giving an artiste who’s not on a record label a chance to get pushed and signed by the best. We have a lot of competitions but this one has noticed that there are artistes who have real talent in need of a platform and mentors who will help them rise. It is the only show where a struggling artiste works with a working artiste, giving them all the knowledge and secrets they have,” she explains.

For Maurice Kirya this is a chance to star in his third reality show and the artiste, actor and restaurateur who has been in the industry for 15 years believes he has the winning artiste.

“I had six contestants and we had to bring them down to three but now we all have one each and I believe the one we have chosen has it. There is so much talent out there it was very difficult choosing one because I loved all my six contestants but it’s a competition and our choice was the best,” he says of the chosen star.

The show that has been shot in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania promises a thrilling ride to the end where one contestant will be crowned the ultimate winner, taking home undisclosed goodies, which sources reveal includes a record deal with a big company like Sony.

It is a nerve-wracking moment for some stars; being under constant surveillance isn’t a walk in the park after all.

“This is my first reality show and the hardest part was picking one from the three contestants but I know the one I have chosen will win,” AY says of his contestant.

“The best part is I am starting to mentor from scratch and it is all on TV. It’s interesting being surrounded by other big artistes trying to beat each other and win,” he adds.

The journey starts from auditions to being the solo contestant of the six artistes;,the rookies will undergo different challenges before a judging panel comprising the industry’s most influential stakeholders, digital publishers, independent labels and fans decides on the winner.

According to M-Net’s East Africa Regional Director Mr Michael Ndetei, the show is more than just a music contest.

“It is a talent search that explores and uncovers the real untapped talent in the youth within the East African region.”

Once out there, only time will tell how far the winner goes and what comes out of the competition and whether or not it will be déjà vu of previous talent shows.