Multiple award-winning entertainer D’banj and superstar singer-songwriter Simi, have been unveiled as brand-new Judges for the seventh season of Nigerian Idol. Leading entertainment company and organisers of the reality TV singing competition MultiChoice Nigeria, made the announcement today as the countdown to the show’s premiere in February 2022 begins.
Popular radio and TV personality, IK Osakioduwa, will be returning as the show’s host for this Season alongside Obi Asika, who makes a comeback as judge.
Speaking on the introduction of new judges for the new Season, Executive Head, Content and West Africa Channels at MultiChoice Nigeria Dr. Busola Tejumola said: “We could not think of a better trio to be the season’s judges than Obi Asika, D’banj and Simi. The three of them combined bring decades worth of experience in the music and entertainment business, as well as individual mastery of their crafts. We have no doubt that they will keep the viewers entertained in what will be a spectacular season!”
D’banj expressed his excitement at being one of the judges this Season saying, “I was out of the country when I found out that I was going to be a judge for this Season of Nigerian Idol and I couldn’t contain my excitement. I’m coming in with my own strategy so viewers should expect a bang.”
On her part, Simi said, “I’ve always loved the idea of being a Judge and I think it will be a fun thing to do. I plan to be very honest and have fun and hopefully gain inspiration from those that come on the show.”
Returning Judge Obi Asika added, “I will be looking for special talent and new faces this year. I’m also excited to work with the rest of the Judges this Season, and I will be very fair and real with every contestant just like I was last year.”
Meet the host IK Osakioduwa
After holding the fort in stellar fashion last season, IK Osakioduwa is making a big return to the Nigerian Idol stage for what he promises will be a “bigger and better season”.
IK is not only an endearing television personality. He is also a respected radio presenter too. Popularly known for his memorable presenting work on Big Brother Africa, The Voice Nigeria, the AMVCAs and Rhythm FM, IK is arguably one of the hardest working men in television today.
Ever the consummate professional, when IK is not memorising and perfecting scripts, he keeps himself busy with Highlites With IK and Comedy Nites, shows produced by his own company, Lite Communications Ltd.
Not only does IK have a long track record of setting the standard and scaling new heights in live broadcasting, but he is also renowned for his charisma, razor-sharp wit and versatility. We are left in no doubt that IK’s distinctive ability to bring humour, warmth and respect to any conversation will be just the right tonic to help our stars-in-waiting break out of their shells – and straight into the big time this season!
IK couldn’t be happier to once again forge forward and help Naija find her newest Idol.
Often referred to as one of the true superstars of Afrobeats, singer, rapper, businessman and co-founder of Mo’ Hits Records D’banj, is all set for his turn at the Nigerian Idol judges’ table this season.
D’banj is best known internationally for his 2012 summer smash “Oliver Twist” an up-tempo dance fusion of Afrobeats and electronic dance music that topped the charts in 2011 and was a Top 10 hit on the UK singles chart in 2012, reaching number 2 on the UK R&B charts.
Entertainment was not always the path for this star. He studied mechanical engineering at the Lagos State University then decided to withdraw, for several reasons. He then moved to the United Kingdom in 2001 with plans to continue his studies as a mechanical engineer in London.
Those plans quickly changed however when he met Don Jazzy who was putting in work as a songwriter and producer. D’banj started hanging around the studio while working as a security guard to supplement his income.
The rest, as they say, is history! D’banj’s debut album, ‘No Long Thing’ was released in 2005 and proved to be the breakthrough he needed. The lead single titled Tongolo became a hit and introduced his Koko Master persona.
He then went on to release many more critically-acclaimed albums including ‘King Don Come’, that featured collaborations with international stars such as Gucci Mane, Wande Coal, Harry Songs, Bucie, Busiswa, Big Sean and Snoop Lion.
D’banj has also been lauded for his humanitarian work. He is the founder of the Koko Foundation for Youth and Peace Development and was also Nigeria’s first United Nations Youth Ambassador for Peace.
In 2015, he was applauded by World Bank Chief, Jim Yong Kim for using his music power and high celebrity status to bring attention to serious and critical issues in Africa with a special focus on agriculture and poverty alleviation.
Brand-new Nigerian Idol judge Simi is arguably one of Africa’s most talented acts, with a large fan-base spanning the lengths of the African continent, Europe, America and beyond.
This chart-topping singer, songwriter and producer has constantly and passionately done the work of music and considers it her calling. “I’ve done it out of love, I’ve done it to survive, I’ve done it because I know it’s my purpose.”
After flirting with popular genres for years and releasing a gospel album titled ‘Ogaju’ in 2008, it was her decision to move to the United States for four months that helped her find her sound and carve her niche. Between 2014 and 2016, Simi hit the jackpot and experienced great success with singles including Tiff, Jamb Question, Love Don’t Care and Smile For Me, which proved to her that she was on the right path.
Simi also released an EP titled ‘Restless’ in early 2014. This was a five-track cover of popular songs by international acts like Rihanna and Adele, which she completely revamped and gave her a unique spin. One of these covers earned her a record deal with X3M Music.
Simi has since gone on to release two critically-acclaimed albums, one of which made it to number 5 on the Billboard World Chart. After releasing her very successful self-titled album ‘Simisola’ in 2017, Simi put out her third studio album ‘Omo Charlie Champagne’. In 2019, she went independent and launched her record label, Studio Brat.
Simi is not only a talented singer. She also dabbles in sound engineering, which she mostly learned off YouTube. She believes it is her duty to be self-reliant until she doesn’t have to be.
“I love to create. I love the art. This is the force that drives me today and the one that will guide me tomorrow,” she says.
Meet Obi Asika
The cool, calm and collected Obi Asika returns to his Nigerian Idol judging seat this season.
With a wealth of experience in the entertainment and corporate world, Obi Asika is a Nigerian treasure.
As founder of Dragon Africa and co-founder of Social Media Week: Lagos, Asika has mastered the art of excellence and continues to inspire and blaze a trail across many industries including music, television production, marketing and communication, as well as event production.
Asika joined the board of trustees of the Nigerian Olympic Committee in December 2020 and is the former vice-chairman of Kwara United, a Nigerian Premier League football club.
Having carved a niche for himself with his involvement in television shows and events like the Nigerian World Cup Village for FIFA 99, Big Brother and Channel O Eviction Parties, the Calabar Music Festival and many more, we’re super thrilled to have this accomplished mover and shaker back on the Nigerian Idol judging panel this season.
In the sixth Season of Nigerian Idol, Kingdom Kroseide emerged winner after an intense musical contest involving over 3000 hopefuls from across the country, and over 16 million Votes recorded at the Finale. Following the completion of the online and physical Auditions last November, the countdown is officially on for the seventh Season of the show, which premieres February 2022 on DStv and GOtv.
The headline sponsor of Nigerian Idol season 7 is Bigi Drinks and the co-headline sponsor is Binance.