The top ten finalists in the Jamaica Festival Song Competition have been selected from the 35 semi-finalists that performed at the recently held semi-final concert. The concert which was organized by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, was held at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre and saw semi-finalists from across the island pulling out all the stops to impress the judges.
The finalists are: Everton Pessoa from Kingston with “Only Love”, Wayne Watkins, also from Kingston with “One Love Jamboree”, Reneive Fletcher of St. Catherine with “Tun up the Music”, Phillip Hyatt of Clarendon with “World Crisis”, Denzil McCollin of St. Catherine with “Bring Back the Peace and Love”, Nekorah Phillips from Kingston with “Play Me Jamaica”, Querido Howell of St. Catherine with “Put Your Hand Up”, Kahlil Irshad from Kingston with “My Little Rock”, O’Neil Scott from Kingston with “No Weh Like Jamaica” and Eustace Lewis from Clarendon with “Come Up with a Plan”.
As this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Jamaica Festival Song Competition, the finalists are competing to have their song be the golden jubilee anthem of Jamaica’s longest running song competition. Not only will they be competing for a chance to have their song be the signature song for the 2016 Emancipation and Independence Celebrations but also for over a million dollars in cash and prizes that come along with this prestigious title.
According to Director of Marketing and Public Relations at the JCDC, Stephen Davidson: “The finalists have only just began their journey. From here there will be workshops, studio sessions, and road shows – all to get them ready for the National final later this year.”
“The song that will be selected will be the one that most capture the spirit and the essence of the festivities associated with the Emancipation and Independence celebrations and also one that is popular among the people.” He continued.
The Jamaica Festival Song Competition is one of the longest song competitions in Jamaica that continues to unearth and showcase several talented individuals each year. This competition which started in 1966 has been the driving force behind some of Jamaica’s acclaimed singers and song writers.