Lonestar Cell MTN has officially kicked off the 2021 MTN Liberia Music Awards (MLMA) with a new theme, Music for the Culture.
The MLMA is Liberia’s largest annual musical event that recognizes the talents and efforts of local Liberian musicians, directors, bloggers, disc jockeys, and promoters, among others.
Event Coordinator, Jonathan Baker, said, “Over the years, we have seen a premium placed on other cultures. So, this year we are focusing every aspect of the MLMAs, including music content and performances on Liberian culture to remind us of our rich heritage while moving the MLMAs to a higher level. Our culture is what makes us who we are as Liberians”
The 2021 MLMAs will also feature the 2019 People’s Choice Award Winner Kobazzie, who will premier his international song and video, “Everyday”, featuring Ghana’s award-winning artist Stone Bwoy.
“Lonestar Cell MTN prides itself on keeping its commitment to Liberian Artists. We said we would fly Kobazzie to Ghana to work with an international artist and we did. The premiere of his song is a result of this commitment,” said Brand and Communications Manager Abigail Nufeatalai.
The winner of MTN Liberia Y’ello Star Talent Hunt Competition, Candace Cooper, will also make her debut at the MLMAs later this year.
Lonestar Cell MTN began supporting Liberian artists in 2013 with its Caller Ring Back Tune platform. Since then, hundreds of artists have used this initiative to generate income.
Then, the GSM company partnered with the Liberia Music Awards Foundation in 2018 to bring the Liberia Music Awards from overseas to Liberia. The effort sought to provide additional opportunities for artists to showcase their songs globally and help develop Liberia’s music industry.
This year, audiences will vote for 18 nominated artists using the Liberiamusicawards.org platform or smsing their artist’s shortcode to “2021”. Their vote counts for 40% of the artist’s total score against the Nomination Board’s 60%.
The six-member Nomination Board has the sole responsibility of selecting the Producer of the Year and Director of the Year because of the technical nature of those positions. The auditing firm, Nimely and Nimely, will tally the votes to ensure voting transparency and accuracy.
Chairman of the Nomination Board, Chris Wolo said, “While the Board ensures that each song is categorized appropriately, we call on producers, artists, on-air personalities, music label owners and others to emphasize our Liberian culture when choosing their nominees. We must identify the uniqueness of who we are and propel that to the world.”
The 2021 MLMA features 20 music categories including: Producer and Video Directors of the Year, Afro Pop Song, Hipco/Trapco, Reggae, Dance Hall Song, Gospel, Traditional, Gbema, Album of the Year, Male and Female Artists of the Year, Song of the Year, Collaboration of the Year, among others.
Abiodun Ajayi, Chief Marketing Officer for Lonestar Cell MTN said, “Our Liberian artists can unite Liberia through music. This year, we hope that our talented Liberian musicians, both local and international, will use their music and performances to shine the light on Liberian culture and embrace it with pride.”
The MTN Liberia Music Awards takes place November 20, 2021at the Ministerial Complex.