Magnum crowns new 'King' & 'Queen'

Observer writer

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

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GC Foster College student Annette Elliston, better known as Safiyah, is on cloud nine. She was named “Magnum Queen of The Dancehall” on Saturday night in a grand finale at Melbourne Cricket Club in St Andrew.

“I was shocked when my name was announced as the winner, because I had a problem with my microphone and I was also worried about my votes. It was an emotional moment for me and I tried my best not to cry while on stage,” Safiyah told the Jamaica Observer on Sunday.

Having experienced financial difficulties, the Ensom City, Spanish Town-based deejay plans to use part of her prize money ($1.5 million) to pay the remainder of her tuition fee and invest in her music career.

“I have been watching 'Magnum' since I was a child, and I always wanted to become a deejay. I was singing before, so I decided to enter the competition to become my alter ego,” Safiyah explained.

This was the 21-year old's second attempt at the Magnum crown.

“I entered in 2016 and they told me that the content of my song needed editing. I took their advice and put in a lot of work in writing better content and I think that's what helped me at the audition in Savanna-la-Mar,” she added.

Even though music is her passion, Safiyah is determined to complete her education.

“Studying is really important to me and I have to complete that. Music is also my passion and I plan to juggle both,” she said.

Bluugo, who was crowned 'Magnum King of The Dancehall', was just as ecstatic about his win.

“I've always said to myself that consistency is the key to everything. I was lost for words while on stage when they called my name as the winner. Is just today (Sunday) that everything has been kicking in. All the work put in has definitely paid off,” he said.

It was his 18th attempt at qualification for the televised competition.

“I have been auditioning since 2010. Last year I auditioned in Portmore and that was the good luck charm. I think that this time I was humble and I was being myself. I felt it was my time,” he said.

A former student at Bog Walk High School, Bluugo (given name Marlon Powell) grew up between Trelawny and Linstead, St Catherine.

He recalled the sacrifices he made to get into 'Magnum'.

“One year I travelled from Ocho Rios to the Montego Bay audition and I slept under a shed. When I look back at those days, I knew there was a light ahead of the dark tunnel,” he said.

Telecia Lindo-Johnson, marketing manager at J Wray & Nephew Limited, which distributes title sponsors Magnum Tonic Wine, had high praise for this year's entrants.

“This year we saw very strong talents with many producing singles in rotation on radio even before the competition ended. Magnum Tonic Wine is proud to see so many young talents 'Tek Charge' on its sponsored national platform, Magnum Kings & Queens of Dancehall,” she said. “As the drink of the dancehall, Magnum encourages everyone to 'Tek Charge' of their talents and showcase to the world,” she said.

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