The winner of Idols SA season 16 will be signed to independent record label Kalawa Jazmee.
The show’s contract with Gallo Records came to an end after signing season 15’s Eastern Cape winner, Luyolo Yiba.
This year, many Eastern Cape viewers are putting their weight behind Jooma Mize, the only contestant from the province in the show.
Mize made into the top eight on Sunday after serenading viewers with a performance of fellow Port Elizabeth singer Loyiso Gijana’s anti gender-based violence anthem, Sabelani, last week.
Dubbed one of the season’s strongest male vocalists by judges, Mize stands a chance of making history as the first Idols SA winner to sign with DJ Oskido’s prolific stable.
On last week’s episode, judge Somizi Mhlongo, commended Mize’s vocal prowess and versatility, saying he stood a good chance of going far in the competition.
On Sunday, Jooma earned more praise when he impressed all three judges with an upbeat performance of Masego’s Lady Lady.
Unathi Nkayi dubbed his performance flawless, praising his ability to return stronger every week.
“Every single week you come back you’re more confident, a better performer vocally [and] on stage, you connect with this audience, you connect with the people at home, the judges and your band.
“You command respect,” Nkayi said to Mize.
In the top eight, Mize is up against Zama, Mr Music, Ntokozo, Bongi, Zanothando, Brandon and Ndoni for the Kalawa Jazmee deal, among other prizes.
The record company will handle the winner’s marketing, management and access to a wide network of Kalawa artists and alumni.
Reflecting on the journey so far, Mize said each day was a learning experience.
“Working with the Idols music team has been such a ride.
“This is the most professional team I’ve ever worked with in my music career and they’re essentially shaping [me into] the artist I want to be,” Mize said.
Kalawa Jazmee has discovered, produced and managed some of the biggest names, such as Boom Shaka, Bongo Maffin, Mafikizolo, Thebe, Trompies, Busiswa, Zonke and Tamara Dey.
Record label co-founder DJ Oskido said: “We are excited to bring a Kalawa Jazmee blueprint that has produced new talent that went on to be super stars.
“We’re looking forward to a new intake of University of Kalawa Jazmee students in a form [of] Idols winners, and to create SA’s next star.”
M-Net local entertainment channels director Nomsa Philiso said: “The new deal with Kalawa Jazmee ushers in a new era of entertainment and growth for the Idols SA contestants and this is an exciting partnership.
“They have proven to be on the pulse of local youth culture and we have no doubt that the Idols SA winner will find a space that will allow them to thrive and conquer the tough music industry.
“We also wish to express our gratitude to Gallo Records, who nurtured our previous winners in the past three years with great success,” Philiso said.
The Idols SA winner and possibly some contestants in the top 10 will receive the gold standard Kalawa Jazmee star development process offered by the stable’s academy to train them in music production.
Voting lines close at 10pm on Tuesday.
To vote for Mize, SMS the number 7 or visit www.idolssa.tv.