Mozein’s the man
Mozein is a Rising Star
Mozein Sutherland, winner of this year's Digicel Rising Stars talent competition, in performance on Sunday evening. (Photos: Digicel)

SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD Mozein Sutherland was named winner of the televised Digicel Rising Stars talent contest on Sunday evening.

The fifth-form student at Camperdown High in Kingston beat Robert Ewart (second place) and Oshene Watson (third place) for the title and a cash prize of $1.5 million, courtesy of Digicel.

Sutherland was still in an upbeat mood on Monday.

"The experience has been one that was very constructive, fun, tiring, but successful," Sutherland told the Jamaica Observer.

He said the competition not only showcased his singing but it also assisted in his growth.

"The competition taught me better voice control and when and where to place my notes," said Sutherland.

The grand finals of Digicel Rising Stars was aired live on Television Jamaica. The occasion saw several past winners and competitors in performance as well as entertainer Laa Lee.

According to Sutherland, strong support from his family and schoolmates gave him the much-needed boost he needed.

"My mother had my back all the way and my family. My mother, I mean, she has been supporting me from the very beginning. The fact that I still attend school helped to give me the edge because of the support from my schoolmates," he said.

Sutherland, who hails from Angels Grove in St Catherine and is being raised by his mom, has eight siblings. He plans to invest his winnings to further his education at Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts in St Andrew.

Tamara Ward, chief marketing officer at Digicel, had high marks for this year's staging.

"This was another year of breathtaking performances and amazing audiences. The competition ended on a high note with fans voting more than ever before using the MyDigicel app. This is part of how, as a digital operator, we are able to deliver amazing digital experiences to our customers, while we continue to support Jamaica's powerful musical culture and heritage," she said. "Congratulations to Mozein on his awesome win, and the other participants for their spirited performances, and we wish them all the best on your musical journeys. We also say a big thank you to the voters for their participation and support."

Sharon Schroeter is the series producer for Digicel Rising Stars.

"Season 18 was quick but filled with entertainment. The contestants are all talented and had personalities that made the show exciting. Coming out of a pandemic, and having no live auditions, we did our best to ensure that Jamaica enjoyed the show week after week by creating moments," said Schroeter.

Some new elements were added to the programme's format.

"We had 10 live shows instead of 13. We had to cut it this year. We also had a collective judges' wild card. All three judges came together and said Robert Ewart had to be brought back because he's too talented. We also went to the grand finals with three finalists instead of two. It added to the drama and intensity of the season. It was anyone's game," Schroeter explained.

Digicel Rising Stars began in 2004. Among the popular entertainers who have participated in the competition are Romain Virgo, Christopher Martin, One Third, Shuga, and Nickeisha Barnes.

Digicel Rising Stars winner for 2022 Mozein Sutherland receives the symbolic cheque of $1.5 million from Tamara Ward, chief marketing officer at Digicel, on Sunday.
Elon Parkinson (left), head of Corporate Communications at Digicel, with (rom second left) Mozein Sutherland, Oshene Watson, and Robert Ewart.
Mozein Sutherland (right) does push ups upon being declared winner of this year's Digicel Rising Stars contest, while host Terri-Karelle Reid and second-place winner Robert Ewart look on.
Kevin Jackson

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