Whether a casual TikTok user or an avid one, it is not difficult to come across the sensationalized song by Xiddig Dayax feat. Amanuel Musie. The song is about lovers that struggle to communicate and work things through. The song ‘Minew’ written by Xiddig has gone viral due to its relatability and the avalanche of memes that followed afterwards.
Social media platforms have become home to many popular music lovers. With a pool of people yet to be discovered, a TV show was curated to host songs written, produced and sang by young, up and coming talented artists that have taken the platforms by storm.
“The production of the show and the talent of participants have been immaculate, especially this past season. The participants were familiar in a way and it was nice to see them, putting everything they have into their art,” said Meron Seyoum a fan of the show and an artists that participated in it.
“I remember being unable to wait till the song finally came out. And when it did, it was on repeat because I knew how hard she was working to polish the lyrics,” Meron added.
The reality TV show, Studio 30, airs on Abol TV with producers and artists living under the same roof to create an album within 30 days. The show has aired for two seasons so far and has managed to produce multiple artists with hit songs that will not be leaving peoples’ lips for a while.
Filimon Mengesha, owner and founder of the show said “Studio 30 is mainly about developing and giving a chance for upcoming new artists by collecting them into one big villa.”
“They stay there for a month and we deliver all their basic needs, all the equipment’s and guidance from Ethiopia’s biggest celebrities such as Jano band, Johnny Ragga, Henok Mehari, Yamlu Molla,” Philimon added.
According to Filimon, the participants get to focus on music by letting them concentrate on one challenge, which is to accomplish a collaborative album within a month, without going out of the villa. The production crew will record their every move in the house and turn it into a reality TV show.
Fans are now exposed to artists that have come out of social media platforms and onto the show, with public reception towards most of the songs positive to say the least.
“I love the “minew” song. I know it was trending on TikTok but more than that the lyrics speaks to me. It is as if the writer was in my shoes and wrote it for me. Especially the woman’s part of the song, it just hits different,” said Helina Ayalew, mentioning how the song helped her get through a toxic relationship.
“I don’t have access to DSTV so I did not know they were on a TV show or that they worked on the song within a limited amount of time. All I know is hearing it on TikTok unbiased and instantly falling in love with the song,” added Helina.
Apart from the viral song “Minew,” studio 30 has produced other artists providing them with the creative freedom and support they need to put out music in such a short period of time.
The show, which is unscripted, draws in audiences with its relatability. Helina, who badly wants to see the show but is unable to, resorts to snippets on YouTube and TikTok. She says seeing the artists working and struggling to create their voices makes her feel like she knows them better.
“The stories behind artists make their music much more lovable in my opinion. I am a reality TV show lover and knowing Ethiopia has successfully started something along those lines excites me,” said Helina.
“The artists they bring on the show are underrated and very talented. Even from the snippets I’ve seen, the things they come up with in such a short period of time is beautiful and creative. More shows like this should give such platforms in my opinion,” Helina added.
The show accepts participants from all walks of life with something to say through music. Each week, the contestants are given challenges to complete, getting along with their housemates along the way.
Within the past two seasons, the show has managed to sign 15 singers and seven talented producers. The latest season saw TikTok sensations like Amanuel, Lina, Biniam, and Z amongst others, take a more raw and honest approach in their creative process.
Aiming to show the process of making music through the singers, writers and producers’ point of view, the show followed seven artists while they struggled, fought and celebrated together. The intimate one on one Q and A sessions also gave a deeper insight into the thought process of each participant’s, while the general show offers entertainment.
“I love that show. The participants were interesting enough for me to watch them each week but it was more than that. They made great music as if it was nothing, belting beautiful tunes in the middle of episodes and for some reason that excited me. I wish more people had access to it because it is an incredible show. I don’t think I have seen any other Ethiopian reality show that comes close,” Meron said.
The founder of the show told The Reporter that their team has wrapped up filming and editing the third season. They are also in talks with TV channels to air the new season, which they hope will bring in a wider audience group.