Kaylo. Picture: Supplied
There was a glorious time in Mzansi, around when Philip was here and Liquideep was still together. That was when BBM - Blackberry Messenger for the babies - was popping!

Then BBM went away, Liquideep broke up and Bafana Bafana would go on to still be bad and bougee even if Philip returned. In recent times, the BBM service has made a comeback as an app that you can install on any smartphone. On it, a new South African platform has been launched: Stage360 Music.

Housed on BBM, Stage360 Music allows unknown artists to load video content as a way to gain more exposure and hopefully make it big. It is specifically aimed at “urban” - I can’t believe people are still using that word - music.

So how it works is: If you’re an artist, all you have to do is rap or sing into your smartphone. Then register as an artist on Stage360 Music in order to upload your video. That video will then be moderated by employees of Stage360 Music to check if it’s good enough to be placed on the platform.

Once it has passed the moderation stage, users of the app will be able to check the video out and like it or share it. But - insert Verimark voice here if you’re old enough to remember it - that’s not all. In addition to getting some fan love, hopefully from more people who don’t know you than those who do, you will also get to be seen by Stage360 Music’s “scouts.”

The scouts are representatives from online music business, Slikour On Life, as well as Trace TV. As in the TV channel that’s on DStv. Probably the same channel you have tried to send your video to before trying Stage360 Music. They will now be deciding who gets to win the quarterly competition on Stage360 Music.

The competition sees five artists who are “liked” more than all the others chosen each week. That makes up 20 artists a month. Then those 20 will be given challenges to complete - meaning they will be made to generate more content for Stage360 Music to keep it fresh.

The two who win these challenges each month - which means six artists will win each quarter - will get to perform at Stage360 Music events.

Post performance, only one of the six artists will win a chance to get distribution for their single, a video shoot and they will be featured on Stage360 Music’s winner channel. Rinse and repeat every three months.

To launch this platform, Stage360 Music showcased two artists: a girl called Kaylo and a guy called OJay Dash. At the launch, the latter was used as the guinea pig to show the media how the app works and he came off as a bootleg Emtee with subpar bars.

Kaylo’s voice is beautiful. Her sound is more folky - and it’s not just because she was accompanied by a girl on acoustic guitar - so she doesn’t necessarily fit the silly “urban” title. These artists were both chosen by Thabo Rametse who was the MC for the event and also said he directed the Stage360 Music promo which is airing on Trace.

The problem with getting an actor who admits that he’s not active in the music industry space to determine the two acts who get to be paraded as ambassadors of a music platform is that he is an actor who admits that he’s not active in the music industry space.

I’m not saying those kids don’t deserve a shot. I’m saying there are many practitioners in the music industry who can help to unearth and show an alternative to what’s on the charts at the moment. It will be interesting to see how much engagement on Stage360 Music is authentic.

It will also be interesting to see how far these winners go and if the losers will stay on the platform. I’ll be watching.

* Stage360 is available on the BBM app.

@uHelenH