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By: MSL staff, 06/29/2023, 10:00 PM, EST

NEWPORT NEWS – In commemoration of the historic joining of Africa to MSL, the Song vs Song (SvS) will launch its inaugural preseason game, “US OPEN MIC” featuring USA vs NIGERIA, November 2nd – 5th, 2023. SvS is a part of the MUSIC-PERFORMANCE SPORTS program administered by MSL, its governing body. The sport is the performance of music, and the independent artists are the players referred to as, “Music-Sports Athletes.”

In SvS, songs unbiased of the genre, go head-to-head in a series of single-elimination tournaments called, “games”. Structured like NFL/NBA, SvS is made up of 4 regular season games called, “SILVER MIC”, “GOLDEN MIC”, “PLATINUM MIC”, and “DIAMOND MIC”, a playoff game called, “MICOFFS”, and its league championship game called, “SUPER MIC”.

The US OPEN MIC featuring USA vs NIGERIA will be contested as a web-based round-robin game. The only difference is there will be no players eliminated, only them taking turns against each other. Each player will have 4 matches. The US National Team is already set via qualification in this season's Song vs Song (SvS), and now the Nigeria team players must qualify based on a draft. Initially, prospects will submit their song in a “Submissions Round”, in which songs are required to be listed either on Spotify, BoomPlay, AudioMack, or Apple Music. Songs also must be radio-edited and original. Submissions will allow up to 224 prospects to register, again, unbiased of the genre on a first-come, first-serve basis.

After the closing of the Submissions Round, the songs will be voted on by the public called, “Voting Rounds”. This is a 4 round process where, in each round, songs advance based on the percentage of the vote, ultimately, until the final 16 are remaining. The remaining 16 songs (4 –  NIGERIA) will then be decided by their Draft Committee. The committee will select the 1st pick through the 4th pick to their team’s roster. The 4-players that reach this year's SUPER MIC championship game will be the USA team to compete versus NIGERIA.

In the actual game, each team’s players will face each other over 4 days, meaning, each player will have 4 matches. Matches, consisting of each player’s Spotify or Apple Music song, will be displayed on MSL’s website where the public can listen and vote. While the public votes, songs will also be scored by judges. Each match’s winner is determined by a combination of the judges’ points (“Technical Points”), and the percentage of the votes (“Poll Points”). Overall points in each match will be added to that team’s overall score, (“TEAM SCORE”). Of course, the team that has the most overall points on the 4th day wins the US OPEN MIC.

MSL is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Newport News, VA., and was founded by Juan A. Thompson, who currently serves as its chairman and commissioner. They are responsible for the promotion, development, and administration of Music-Performance Sports. Their mission is to revolutionize how independent recording artists and music producers are developed, promoted, and discovered. The African division of the league is overseen by Dr. Eileen C. Zuberi, CEO of AYDO (African Youth Diaspora Organization). These are the initial steps to seeing Music-Performance Sports as a part of the Olympic games by 2040.

In conclusion, MSL plans to roll out Music-Performance Sports as an international multi-faceted program that will, primarily, serve as an educational, promotional, and career-advancing vehicle for independent artists and music producers. As there is no real standard to who is the world’s elite in independent music, MSL plans to bridge that gap by facilitating music competition as a professional sport.

“We look at the potential impact Music-Sports will bring to the world. We look at the jobs and careers that’ll be developed, the economies, and communities it’s going to strengthen. We all see a massive positive domino effect this will bring over the years to come to the music industry in discovering new talent, to the sports industry, in inspiring a new and revolutionary form of sport, a new form of entertainment that people that love music and sports can enjoy worldwide, and as a business by inspiring the future entrepreneurs, millionaires, and more. The skies are the limit.” Commissioner, Juan A. Thompson 

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