JUDGING

PANEL

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Andy Mikheev

Editor - ESCKAZ.com (Eurovision)

Andy Mikheev is the Leading Eurovision Song Contest expert and editor-in-chief of the ESCKAZ.com website. In 2003 Andy co-launched the largest Russian Eurovision fan platform Euroforum and in 2004, he founded the International Eurovision fan club for non-European countries. Andy worked as a consultant for various national delegations at the Eurovision Song Contest and also served as a judging member for the Eurovision preselection’s of Belarus in 2015 and Georgia in 2016. In the inaugural year of the 2018 AfriMusic Song Contest, Andy formed part of the official judging panel and has retained this role in 2019 and 2020 and has been key in the development of the AfriMusic Song Contest.

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Anthony Berardinelli

Music Entertainment Blogger &

Editor

Venezuelan-born Anthony Lopez Berardinelli, now residing in Canada, is an entertainment blogger, writer, musicophile and cinephile. As a Film and Video Production Student at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and previewer for the Calgary International Film Festival in the World Cinema Series, Anthony officially launched The Gramophone Reporter in 2013 and blogs for the Oscars, Golden Globes and other acclaimed Music Awards events. He also covers other music related topics such as the Eurovision Song Contest and is the creator of the annual #PanAmericanSong online contest. Anthony has served as a judging member for the AfriMusic Song Contest since 2018.

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Benewaah Boateng

Operations Consultant in Music Marketing

Benewaah Boateng is a music enthusiast with an ear for emerging new sounds from Africa. Since 2016, she has been curating music from around the continent through her agency, Harmattan Rain. She is currently working with Universal Music Nigeria as a marketing consultant and country coordinator, strategically connecting brands and musicians.

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Edward Owusu

Music Awards Project Development

Edward Owusu is a Business manager, with vast knowledge in project development, logistics and asset management within the entertainment and music industry. He is a curious and motivated professional with over five years experience in the field of entertainment, media, communications and marketing. Edward is an energetic and enthusiastic person who enjoys a challenge and achieving personal goals. His music awards production experience added significant value to the 2020 AfriMusic Song  Contest judging panel.

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Erik Paliani

Producer & Songwriter  (Malawi)

Erik Paliani is a Malawian guitarist, producer and songwriter best known for his work with South African artists Zamajobe Sithole and Hugh Masekela and American guitarist Lee Ritenour. Born in Blantyre, Malawi, Erik began his musical training as a child under the guidance of his father, a teacher by profession and an avid guitar player.

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Garrick van der Tuin

Music Engineer & Producer

Garrick Van Der Tuin is an audio engineer, music producer and freelance live sound technician, operating out of his studio Playsound, in Johannesburg. He toured with the late Hugh Msekela and Ray Phiri, and countless other artists as front of house sound engineer. He has recorded and mixed albums for the likes of Hugh Masekela, Zamajobe and many others. He has produced and engineered several pan African lounge albums for South African record label, African Cream Music. Garrick is currently finishing mixing the latest album offerings from up and coming jazz and pop guitarist Cameron Ward, as well as his own instrumental rock band, Albinobeach, and is continuing with studies in large scale sound system design and optimization for stadiums and arenas.

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James Numbere

Afrocentric Soul Artist (London Community Gospel Choir)

James Numbere is an Afrocentric Soul Artist with music that draws influences from RnB, reggae, world and African music. A human physiologist who quit his job to pursue a career in music, James has over the past 4 years released 4 singles with support from the U.K's BBC.  In 2019, inspired by the work of the charity Operation Smile, he re-released a single "Smile" with the London Community Gospel Choir to raise funds and awareness about the cause. This culminated in a breathtaking live performance of the single at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall which featured not only the London Community Gospel Choir but also the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. As a member of the London Community Gospel Choir, James has performed with the likes of Andrea Bocelli, Emeli Sande, Justin Timberlake, Pink, Gregory Porter, One Republic, Idina Menzel, The 1975, just to name a few.

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Kalin Pashaliev

Editor-in-Chief (Music In Africa)

Kalin Pashaliev is the editor-in-chief of Music In Africa. Before joining Music In Africa in early 2017, he worked for various publications in South Africa as a journalist and editor and was the correspondent for Bulgarian National Television in Johannesburg. He is a journalism graduate from the University of Johannesburg.

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Kyekyeku

Music Revolutionist (Ghana)

Kyekyeku has led a musical revolution from Ghana, charging the younger generation to re-embrace the vintage music styles of the country. Showcasing Highlife and its fusions across Africa and Europe, Kyekyeku has brought new excitement within contemporaries to explore and tour with music from Ghana. His band; ''Ghanalogue Highlife'' is an exciting high octane patchwork of the country's root palm wine blues, highlife, Afrobeat and Afrofunk heritage. Kyekyeku & Ghanalogue Highlife easily places anywhere between retro and vintage style of the '70s, 'confused' trends of the '90s as well as the present booming African scene. Well established on the live scene of Accra, the group has performed at such events as MASA Festival (Abidjan), Sauti Za Busara (Zanzibar), Visa For Music (Morocco) and shared the stages with Salif Keita and Richard Bona at the recent Stanbic Jazz Festival in Accra.

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Lenda Isaacs

Producer & Singer Songwriter (London)

Worship Leader, song writer, singer and Producer, Lenda Isaacs has become a house hold name in the circles of gospel music lately. Lenda was born and lives in London. Her pioneering spirit and great optimism soon became her trade mark. Her solid church background and love for diverse music genres was inspired by her late mum and other gospel legends which left her with respect for traditional sound as well as the desire for more contemporary interpretation. She studied Classical Music and Performing Arts, which has greatly enhanced her Talent and career in the Professional Music Industry.

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Lorenz Herrmann

Marketing Music Manager

Lorenz Herrmann is a music professional from Zanzibar, Tanzania.  a global change-maker. A multipotentialite who loves new tasks and challenges. Lorenz is  a marketer, project and artist manager while at the same time empowering young artists and digital entrepreneurs.  Lorenz ins involved in brand development, social media communication, graphic design & layouting. He volunteers in mentoring and coaching of several local projects. Lorenz channels connections and funds, and tries to create global symbiosis especially for arts and art related economic empowerment. 

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Luc Mayitoukou

Music Expert Consultant

Luc Mayitoukou is the director of Zhu Culture, a cultural agency based in Dakar and whose action extends throughout the continent. He is a specialist in cultural and creative industries and particularly in the music sector as a producer, manager and artist agent. Luc Mayitoukou also intervenes on several festivals on the continent (Festival sur le Niger, MASA, Somaohoro festival, Fespam...) and leads training sessions in the performing arts in more than fifteen countries in Africa. For several years, he managed the AMA Mobility Fund (Art Moves Africa) and is an expert on the 2005 UNESCO convention.

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Nisay Samreth

Editor - Eurovision-FR.net

French born Nisay Samreth is the editor-in-chief of Eurovision-FR.net, the most important French website about the Eurovision Song Contest. Nisay has attended every Eurovision Song Contest as an accredited journalist since 2013 and has also covered additional events, such as the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and the Eurovision Choir of the Year. Nisay has been part of the AfriMusic Song Contest judging panel since 2018 and forms part of the contest ethos, where the importance of African culture and music should be highlighted across the world, with the inclusion of promoting the African continent.  Francophonie is also an element of Africa that Nisay wishes to promote on a broader scale.

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Roy van der Merwe

CEO - ESCCovers (Eurovision South Africa)

Founder of ESCCovers and former President of OGAE Rest of the World for the Eurovision Song Contest, Roy van der Merwe is associated with South African artists and Eurovision songwriters.  Roy has assisted in creating several opportunities for artists to cover the best EuroVision songs in different languages. Roy formed part of the AfriMusic Song Contest judging panel in its inaugural year of 2018, in 2019 and again in 2020. With his expertise of the European contest, Roy has been key in the development of the AfriMusic Song Contest.

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Sebastian Mnich

Lead Editor (Destination Eurovision)

Sebastian Mnich was born and currently lives in Wałbrzych, Poland. His passion for journalism has resulted in him being part of many football, gaming, and music events. With a vested interest in the Eurovision Song Contest, he became one of the editors of the eurowizja.org website in 2013 - 2014, and three years later he founded the Destination Eurovision project. Over the past two years, Sebastian has been a member of the OGAE Poland and UK clubs, a member of the international jury of the AfriMusic Song Contest, and was among the accredited journalists at the 62nd and 63rd editions of the Eurovision Song Contest, one the largest musical events in the world. 

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Symphony

Songwriter & 2018 AfriMusic Song Contest Winner

Symphony is a soul singer and  songwriter from the Kingdom of eSwatini. 

Her sound of neo soul sound has gospel influences. She released her debut album 'Sengikhona' in 2018 and won the first edition of the AfriMusic Song Contest with the song Sengikhona in the same year, she was flown to Lisbon Portugal and performed at the Eurovillage during the Eurovision Song Contest to an audience of 20,000 spectators. Symphony has also won the 2017 MTN SWAMA awards and MTN Bushfire Firefly Storm, she also performed at 11th edition of the festival. In 2015 Symphony entered into the TT55 talent search competition and made it to the finals. She became 2016 KFC/SIBUKO Sesive brand ambassador for Swaziland's 48th independence promotions.

Victor Nunes

Singer Songwriter

Portuguese singer and songwriter. Victor Nunes successfully organised song festivals in South Africa over a period of 10 years and has been involved in the music industry for 40 years. Victors music knowledge and vast experience and expertise in songwriting, has been instrumental to the birth of the AfriMusic Song Contest.