Five vie for Juno reggae category
Kirk Diamond

FIVE acts were nominated for the 50th annual Juno Awards, which were announced virtually in Toronto yesterday.

The nominees in the Reggae Recording of the Year category are: Give it All by Ammoye (Donsome Records); Black Man by Blessed (Jumpshot); Roots Rock by Dubmatix featuring Micah Shemiah, Lasai and Big Sugar (Renegade Studios/Fontana North *The Orchard), Let it Be Done by Kirk Diamond (The Movement of Ahryel); and I Pray by Tome and Sean Kingston (Kiza Music).

Juno Awards are Canada's equivalent to the Grammy.

“I'm over the moon, excited, grateful and thankful about my nomination for another Juno award. I'm totally elated,” an excited Ammoye said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer shortly after the nominations were announced.

This is Ammoye's fifth nomination. She is from Halse Hall in Clarendon, but moved to Canada during her teenage years.

Give it All was produced by Adrian “Donsome” Hanson. It was released in June of last year.

Singer Kirk Diamond won the award in 2018 for the song Greater. Diamond, who is originally from Spanish Town, said he was appreciative of the nomination (his third) because of the message behind Let it Be Done.

“I'm grateful and honoured to be nominated, especially because of what this song means to so many people during this global pandemic,” he shared.

Let it be Done was produced by Diamond and his band, The Movement of Ahryel. Jamaican engineer Courick Clarke mixed it.

Said Diamond, “The message in the song is to trust God and we will be alright. We've been through so much for so long, and we're still here thriving no matter what our situation may look like.”

This is the 10th nomination for reggae artiste Blessed. Originally from St Thomas, he won the Juno Award in 2002 and again in 2006.

“This nomination feels just as good as when I was first nominated almost 20 years ago. I am truly humbled and happy,” said Blessed.

Michael Brown and John Subero produced Black Man. It was released last August.

“The inspiration to write the song Black Man came from the current state of black people around the world. It seems as if the justification for killing us is us killing ourselves,” Blessed explained.

Dubmatix (Jesse King) is a Canadian reggae and electronic music artiste and producer based in Ontario. Roots rock has earned him his eighth nomination. He won in 2010 and again in 2019.

“For me, its always an honour to be nominated and to share it with the people that are part of the song. For this track, we have a singer Micah who is from Jamaica, Lasai another singer from Spain, and guitar and background vocals from the legendary Canadian, Big Sugar alongside the musicians who appear on the track,” said King.

Roots Rock, produced by King, was released last October.

“I'd also like to say congratulations to all the wonderful artistes that are nominated this year. I know most of them and they've all been working hard for years,” said King.

Montreal-born singer Tome — who is of Nigerian and French-Canadian heritage — released I Pray last October. The song features Billboard-charting and platinum selling artiste Sean Kingston.

On her social media pages, Tome posted, “Thank you so much #TheJunoAwards. I am truly at a loss for words.”

This is her first nomination.

The Junos, organised by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, will be held virtually and are set to air on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) network on May 16.

Jesse King of Dubmatix
BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer writer

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