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16th of July 2018


Big bucks for 'Festival'

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Contestants in this year's Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Festival Song Competition, will compete for $10 million in cash prizes and awards. This was disclosed to the Jamaica Observer by Olivia “Babsy” Grange, minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sport, after the final Festival Songs Road Show at Munamar Square in Spanish Town last Friday night.

The announcement came after guest artiste Queen Ifrica closed the show with some of her popular songs, such as Below The Waist, Lioness On The Rise and Heroes.

“I've been working closely with the JCDC to lift the standard [of the Festival Song contest]. I gave them a mandate that I want to restore the Festival Song to its former glory, as many of our international artistes came through the Festival Song Competition. We have 10 good songs on the road and it's not only about secular music, because we have a church choir and we are really happy to make the programme more attractive this year,” Grange said.

She was not prepared to disclose how much the winner will receive.

“We going to make that announcement closer to the final night, which will be July 15 at the Ranny Williams garden theatre,” she said, adding that with the road shows completed, next on the agenda will be a bandwagon across the Corporate Area.

The large crowd at last Friday's free event was introduced by Markland Edwards and The Burger Man (the Two Live Crew of RJR afternoon show) to the contestants who performed in two segments, doing their entries in the second.

There are two former Festival Song winners this year. They are Everton Pessoa who scored with Oh If We in 2011; his song this year is Jamaica Formula.

The other is Nazzle Man, who won in 2016 with Nuh Weh Like Jamaica. He returns with Jamaica A Wi Home.

First-timer Tanice Morrison hopes to be the fourth female to win the annual event. If her song Jamaica You Nice Enuh comes out on top, she would follow in the footsteps of Heather “Brown Sugar” Grant, Cheryl “Chetenge” Clarke and Abbygaye Dallas, the 1992, 1999 and 2012 winners, respectively.

The NTCOG- Escarpment Road New Testament Church of God Choir is the first of its kind to enter the contest. They do so with Strong Jamaica.

The remaining contestants are Dennis “Mackie Conscious” McKay ( We Big All Around), Radcliff John Palmer (T he Type of Jamaica), Jah Wiz ( Hands On Your Heart), Rojjah ( I Love Jamaica), Victor “Juke Box” Richards ( Jamaica, Wi Rich) and Couric “Kouriq” Clarke with Lets Do It In Jamaica.

— Basil Walters

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