Big money for Festival Song Competition
Culture Minister Olivia Grange has announced a prize package of $10 million for finalists in this year's Festival Song Competition.
"We are making this investment in our people because we believe that it is important to provide those who have a passion for the arts with the space and opportunity to pursue their goals. Cultural development plays an integral part in national development and it is our duty to see that development," Grange said.
Participants in this year's competition are: Percival Lord (Dharma); Jason Wright (Iya Concord); Edwin Myers; Escarpment Road New Testament Church of God Choir; Alero Perrier (Alley Bless); Nickoy Green (Shawn- D); Nester Chung (Humility); Vernon Smith (Ramize); Raldene Dyer (Loaded Eagle); Meckedah Henry (McKada); and Jerome Smith (Jay Smith).
The winning entry will be announced at the grand final in July, where the singer and writer of the winning song will receive $1 million each.
"If you are (both) the singer and songwriter, you will take home $2 million," Grange said.
Social media will also be incorporated into this year's competition and Jamaicans are being encouraged to participate.
"We are going to be using social media to give the public a say in how some of the various prizes are decided. The contestant who gets the most streams, 'shares' and 'likes' will receive $250,000," she said.
The finalists will also participate in a series of road shows and special performances across the island, which will give them necessary exposure, while giving persons across the island the opportunity to get to know the songs and the artistes.
This will lead up to the grand final in July, when the ultimate song, the one that will form the soundtrack for Jamaica's 57th anniversary of Independence, will be selected.
The Jamaica Festival Song Competition is one of the longest-running original song competitions in Jamaica and continues to unearth and showcase several talented individuals each year.