The 30-minute show, SugaRushed, will be broadcast daily, Monday to Friday, at 17:30 and has already attracted much interest on its website and Facebook pages.

Co-produced by Nico Steyn and Anne Williams of IntelliLAB based at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), the programme started as an experiment to explore new online revenue models for talent in the music business. The project aims to combine social media platforms, music production and publishing, direct to market.

“What started as an experiment has fast become full-blown reality for the SugaRushed cast and crew. The daily TV soap launches on Top One on TopTV on Monday, and we are already being inundated with videos from would-be singers, songwriters and instrumentalists hoping to reach fame and stardom in the music world. We are excited about this new concept and are looking forward to it making big tracks,” says Nico Steyn, creator and co-executive producer of the programme.

“While the cast of music producers Bradley Africa and DuPreez Strauss, PA Penelope Moila and marketing manager Refilwe Modiselle appear as themselves in the daily soap, the real stars of the show are still to be cast. These are the aspiring musicians out there who have written or recorded some original music, and are just waiting for their big break in an industry that is tough and competitive. It is our aim to give them that break on SugaRushed – so long as they are not currently signed up to any record label.”

Aspiring musicians, who think they could make the cut, are required to video a clip of themselves performing – preferably an original composition, and post it on YouTube. They need to complete the entry form on the SugaRushed website and include the URL link to their video clip.

The programme’s two highly-qualified producers, Bradley Africa and DuPreez Strauss, will assess the video clip and, if they think the applicant has potential, will invite him or her into the SugaRushed studio for an interview and audition. They will work with and train the young musicians on an exciting musical path that will result in them recording their own song and possible music video, and making it available for sale to the public via the website.

Says Mmabatho Kau, channel manager of Top One at TopTV: “In a world of constant innovation in this industry of ours, and where reality television has taken the world by storm, one has to try and stay ahead of the game all the time. SugaRushed offered TopTV just such an opportunity.

“Its innovative and hybrid approach to reality television will once again set TopTV apart from the current competitor landscape. SugaRushed looks fantastic, it’s sexy and young, vibrant and exciting - all the values that reflect TopTV. We are very excited that IntelliLAB has brought this original concept to TopTV.”

IntelliLAB is a Resolution Circle subsidiary. It is one of ten new start-up companies spawned at The University of Johannesburg this year as part of a drive to innovate through technology. More than training young entrepreneurs’ presentation and promotion skills, the IntelliLAB also hosts talks and events with organisations such as The Institute of Inventors and Innovators, The Open Innovators Platform and WGSA, offering a full HD studio and streaming facility.

“Making use of various platforms, the public will be able to access the show across a variety of media from the pay-TV platform of TopTV to our website and Facebook pages, and YouTube, where all the videos of aspiring artists are uploaded.

“We encourage the viewers to interact and engage with the daily show and the characters who we profile – we want to get their views and feedback on the performers. And ultimately what we want, of course, is for the music-loving public to purchase our featured artists’ music off the SugaRushed label,” concludes Steyn.