Nairobi — The past couple of Coke Studio seasons have produced amazing entertainment plus some amazing collaborations from the artistes.
To most this was an opportunity to strike deals that would have not been possible on another ordinary day.
The result was the production of great hits such as Perfect Combo by Joh Makini featuring Nigerian singer Chidinma plus many others and fans could only hope for more.
This week Coca-Cola and its music flagship show Coke Studio announced that it has merged Coke Studio Africa and Coke Studio South Africa to form Coke Studio Africa 2017.
This according to them promises to be a melting pot of music talents bringing together renowned music producers and top-notch artistes drawn from various parts of the continent.
The merger also increases the number of participating countries to 16, up from 11 in previous edition.
This season will broadcast in more than 30 countries across Africa and it will include artistes from South Africa, Rwanda, Angola, Zimbabwe, Togo, Madagascar, Mauritius, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Mozambique, DRC, Ethiopia and Cameroon.
The last edition featured Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Mozambique, DRC, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Cote d' Ivoire, and Togo whereas South Africa had its own production house.
"Coke Studio Africa showcases Africa's incredible music by combining different artistes and genres to inspire a new generation of African music fans. With the expanded show, we aim to bring the continent alive through a fusion of music and culture that celebrates our diversity," said Monali Shah, the Coke Studio Africa project director.
According to her the language of music is universal and therefore the heartbeat and the soul of many diverse African communities.
"From Bongo, to Kwaito, to Lingala and other genres across Africa, Coke Studio Africa is helping introduce these different musical styles to new communities for the first time, while maintaining a long tradition of Coca-Cola's use of music to build its brands," she said.
She says though there has been a merger, the objectives of the project remains the same as it brings interaction of both artistes and sounds.
"Like the previous editions, Coke Studio aims to inspire and introduce Africa's music talents to a new and wider audience through interaction, collaboration and cooperation amongst musical artists while also building a strong brand connection with Africa's young and growing population," says Shah.
She adds: Africa is full of great music talent in communities, cities and countries, and Coke Studio Africa can give these artists wider exposure, while enabling greater interaction, collaboration and cooperation to create inspirational new sounds
The line-up that is expected to feature during this year's production is rather interesting with some new faces coming up whereas some old faces too have been retained.
Having had a couple of great seasons Tanzania will be represented by new faces who are hot on the continent such as Rayvanny, Izzo Bizness and Nandy.
Ugandan artistes Bebe Cool, Eddy Kenzo, Ykee Benda and Sheebah will look forward to bring some beats from the source of the Nile that will mash-up with the rest of Africa.
Khaligraph Jones will have a case to prove after his recent bleaching scandal left him rather bruised as he teams up with Band Becca to represent Kenya.
Joining on the rich list are Sami Dan from Ethiopia, Nasty C, Busiswa, Mashayabhuqe from South Africa where as Youssoupha from Democratic Republic of Congo, Runtown and Yemi from Nigeria are also on the roster.
Adding to the list are Dji Tafinha from Angola, Laura Beg from Mauritius, Jah Prayzah and Slapdee from Central Africa Republic, Bisa Kdei and Worlasi from Ghana and Betty G from Ethiopia.
Others are Bruce Melodie, Shellsy Baronet and Mr. Bow from Mozambique, Denise from Madagascar, Ozane from Togo and Freeda from Namibia.
Reputable producers have been added to the rich list of artistes such as Yuvir Pillay Nivedan aka Sketchy Bongo and Maphorisa from South Africa, Kiff No beat from Ivory Coast, Nahreel from Tanzania amongst others.
Coke Studio Africa 2017 is expected to air from August in South and Central Africa markets and from September onwards in East and West Africa
Speaking at the launch of this year's edition Lucy Oduor said music has always been the heartbeat and soul of Africa, but the Internet, social media has taken it a notch higher.
"Creativity is taking artists from their communities and cities and allowing them to reach an audience across the continent which is being supported through initiatives such as Coke Studio Africa," says Lucy Oduor the marketing manager, Kenya- Coca-Cola.