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Independent Music Revue

Hour-long TV show returns in early May

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If you haven't seen "Independent Music Revue," an hour-long TV show that focuses on local musicians of all genres, then you already missed it. Hosted by R&B singer Nikkiya Brooks, it played Sundays at 10 a.m. on UPN from Jan. 8-Feb. 26, and then went off the air for a brief hiatus.

Will Power, director, producer and co-owner of the show's company, IMR, promises the "Independent Music Revue" will return by early May, though probably on a monthly basis. "We were trying to go once a week, but it's a little expensive for us," he says.

In the meantime, however, IMR has moved on to the Starving Artist Showcase and Talent Competition. Scheduled to take place at the Loft until May 9, the showcase's first five nights will generate two winners, who then compete on the seventh night at the May finals for a $20,000 grand prize.

During the first contest March 28, Power worried that the nearby Atlantic Station premiere party for T.I.'s highly touted film, ATL, would steal the crowd. "We thought we wouldn't do as well," Power says, "but we got about 200 people." At the inaugural event, reggae/R&B singer Vemazio and hip-hop trio I-10 Connection took top honors. Meanwhile, singers Shamora Crawford, Chaz and Nikkiya herself serenaded the crowd in between competing acts.

"Independent Music Revue" drew around 300,000 total viewers during its UPN run. But IMR thinks more people will tune in the next time around. The goal, says Power, is to demonstrate that musicians -- particularly urban artists -- can be financially and artistically successful without being on a major label. "We want to show what it's really like to be independent," he says.

The Starving Artist Showcase and Talent Competition takes place every Tuesday until May 9. $10. 8 p.m. The Loft, 1374 W. Peachtree St. 404-885-1365. www.theloftatl.com.

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