Koffee ‘locks down’ JaRIA Song of the Year
Grammy-winning reggae sensation Koffee yesterday walked away with the Song of the Year award at this year's staging of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) honour awards for her mega-hit single, Lockdown.
The single beat out songs such as Loco (Remix) by Agent Sasco, featuring Bounty Killer and Kabaka Pyramid; Lighter by Shenseea and Tarrus Riley; Like Royalty by Protoje, featuring Popcaan; and Chronixx's Cool As a Breeze to cop the top prize.
JaRIA's chairman Ewan Simpson told THE STAR that song of the year is awarded by the public and said based on the outpouring of love since the track's release, the win came as no surprise.
"That song's success was the combination of both the song and the artiste. Koffee has been getting the attention. She has the kind of magic that has people captivated and then for her to be telling the story of the pandemic in such a fun-loving way, people were hungry for it," he said. "People gobbled up that song as it came out because it just made people feel good even though they were experiencing stressful lockdown conditions. It had a modern Jamaican feel that was very catchy. It was very lyrical and very rhythmic at the same time and so it was a no brainer for persons to latch on to it. It was the positive spin on the lockdown that was needed."
In her acceptance speech, Koffee expressed joy at creating something that brought people joy in a time of great difficulty.
"Thanks to everybody for listening to Lockdown and fi allow this song to achieve big things. I appreciate everybody still keeping good energy for the music even during COVID and everything. I know time hard, (but) that's the purpose of the music really, fi just uplift. I am happy to see people enjoying the efforts of upliftment," she said.
53 million views
The nearly year-old track has amassed more than 53 million views on YouTube.
The JaRIA awards ceremony was held via live stream, months after its usual staging in February, celebrated as Reggae Month.
"We felt that given the fact that of everybody that has been hit hard, we (entertainment industry) were hit hardest and we wanted to show that despite being hit hard, we understand that the rest of the country still depend on us for liberation, and so we wanted to do a show that would represent what reggae music is to the people of Jamaica and to the world," Simpson shared. "That's why we did the show to include everyone from law enforcement to the ordinary citizens like the newspaper vendor. We wanted to show that this is 'us' and celebrate the music and who we are together."
The JaRIA Awards honoured more than 20 persons from the local reggae industry who have made a tremendous impact on the sector. Artistes such as U-Roy, Phyllis Dillon and Dalton Browne were awarded posthumous awards for their contribution to the industry.