Festival Song Contest gets 'wild'

Saturday, May 18, 2019

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In 1989, Edwin Myers first tried his luck in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's (JCDC) Festival Song Competition as a songwriter. He wrote Little But We Tallawah for The Conquerors, but failed to make the top three.

Three years later, he entered and won the Jamaica Gospel Song Competition with Jesus is The Man With The Plan. This year, Myers is a competitor in the JCDC Festival Song Competition with Piece A Jamaica.

“I think I have the winning song, and that's my reason for entering this year. No matter what is going on in Jamaica, we have to appreciate it. Everybody all over the world wants to identify with a piece of Jamaica in some shape or form,” he told the Jamaica Observer on Thursday during the event's launch at Emancipation Park in Kingston.

Myers is among 11 competitors vying for a winner's prize of $1 million. The finals are scheduled for July 13 at Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston.

The other contestants are Alley Bless ( Queen Jamaica), Humility ( Battlefield), Jay Smith ( Embassy Appointment), Shawn-D ( Sweet Jamaica), Escarpment Road New Testament Church of God Choir ( Jamaica Bless), Iya Concord ( Hero Fight), Ramize ( Jamaica Fi Life), Loaded Eagle ( Big Up Jamaica), and McKada ( Love For Jamaica).

Percival Lloyd, who performs as Dharma, is a wild card.

At Thursday's event, Beenie Man and 2018 winner Nazzle Man performed.

The Festival Song Competition was first held in 1966 and was won by Toots and The Maytals' Bam Bam.

Chairman of the JCDC committee, Orville Hill, says the competition is still relevant as it gets Jamaicans in the mood for Independence celebrations.

“It is really the medium through which the Jamaican people are galvanised and come together to really celebrate our Independence. The Festival song is really the cornerstone of the celebrations to bring people together,” Hill explained.

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