Buju Banton, Toots, Freddie McGregor @ Jamaica Festival Song Competition 2020
06/21/2020 by Press Release
“This year, we can say that the competition boasts some of the big names in the entertainment industry,” said the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange as she announced the ten finalists for the Jamaica Festival Song Competition.
According to Minister Grange, “among the top ten finalists we have established names such as Buju Banton, Freddie McGregor, Nazzleman (who has won the competition several times), Toots and the Maytals (who’ve won the competition several times) and many others.”
The other established artistes in the top ten are Papa Michigan of Michigan & Smiley fame; the Reggae quartet, L.U.S.T., featuring Lukie D, Thriller U, Singing Melody & Tony Curtis; and the Rising Stars winner, Shuga (formerly Brown Shuga).
Upcoming dancehall artistes Xtra Bigg, Radix OD, as well as the actress and television presenter, Sakina, complete the top ten.
“It’s a professional competition and I’m happy that it is now generating interest once again by people in the industry,” said Minister Grange who was emphatic that it is now to be called the Jamaica Festival Song Competition.
Minister Grange has been, over the last three years, leading the initiative to revitalise the Jamaica Festival Song Competition. She is happy that the effort is paying off. Judges listened to more than 150 entries at auditions in Montego Bay, Mandeville and Kingston before selecting the ten finalists.
The Minister said that as part of the revival, she is working to re-introduce the Pop and Variety Competition to find, polish and promote talent in the communities.
Minister Grange said the public will decide the Jamaica Festival Song winner.
“The fact that we are in a period of covid-19 when we are restricted in terms of having mass audiences and so on, we have decided to do the competition virtually — so the world is our stage on this occasion. And the winning song will be selected by the public and so I just want to say that everybody can participate.”
The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, which runs the competition, is finalising arrangements with telecommunications service providers on the mechanism to enable the public to select the winning song.
“When that song is selected about mid-July, there is enough time leading up to the Independence celebration for the song to be known — we want to hear that song on the lips of every man, woman and child,” said Minister Grange.
There’s a prize of three million dollars for the winning song, to be shared among the producer, the writer and the singer. Other prizes will be announced. The Jamaica Festival Song Competition Top Ten for 2020 follows:
BUJU BANTON - I AM A JAMAICAN [LISTEN HERE]
Song writer: Mark Myrie
Producer: Donovan Germain / Mark Myrie
NAZZLEMAN - JAMAICA NICE [LISTEN HERE]
Song writer & producer: Oneil Scott
PAPA MICHIGAN - JAMAICA DANCE [LISTEN HERE]
Song writer: Anthony Fairclough
Producer: Courtney Panton
XTRA BIGG - JAMAICA A PARADISE [LISTEN HERE]
Song writer: William Nembhard / Alex Taffe / Ainsworth Taffe
Producer: Rockers Elements Prod / Garrison Dream Team
SHUGA - ONE PEOPLE [LISTEN HERE]
Song writer: Mystic Campbell
Producer: Donovan Germaine / Penthouse Prod
TOOTS & THE MAYTALS - RISE UP JAMAICA [LISTEN HERE]
Song writer & producer: Frederick Hibbert
RADIX OD - THE PLACE TO BE [LISTEN HERE]
Song writer: O’Donald Haughton
Producer: Matthew Clarke / Stephen Chambers
FREDDIE MCGREGOR - TUN UP DI SOUND [LISTEN HERE]
Song writer & producer: Freddie McGregor / Dalton Brownie
SAKINA - WE ARE JAMAICA [LISTEN HERE]
Song writer & producer: Jon Williams
L.U.S.T. - WAVE THE FLAG [LISTEN HERE]
Song writer: Cardiff Butt
Producer: Cardiff Butt / Size 8 Records
ABOUT THE COMPETITION
Since 1966, the Jamaica Festival Song Competition has been cemented in the landscape of Jamaican Music Culture and today is the longest running original song contest in the island. The Competition has become a showground for aspiring artistes, songwriters and producers to showcase their talents and aims to identify a new and original song that is reflective of the spirit of the Jamaican people.
The Song provides a musical back drop for the annual celebration of Jamaica’s Emancipation and Independence and should stir a feeling of elebration and should be about Jamaica or Jamaican Culture. The rhythm must be Jamaican and the sound should generate mass appeal.
Toots and the Maytals, Eric Donaldson, Desmond Decker, Roy Rayon and Stanley Beckford are some of the past winners, who have gone on to make their mark globally.