Ready, set, go IRAWMASunday, May 16, 2021
BY RICHARD JOHNSON
ALL is set for today's virtual staging of the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA).
Founder of IRAWMA Ephraim Martin told the Jamaica Observer that all is in place for the event, which is being held virtually for the second-straight year due to the current global health crisis.
“We are looking forward to presenting what is a great show...perhaps our best show ever, despite being virtual. We have some great performances to showcase in addition to the announcement of the winners. For persons tuning in, some of the not-to-be-missed segments of the show include the performance by Ziggy Marley; Beenie Man will be doing something special as well. Shatta Wale and the African artistes, including Master KG, will be special,” Martin shared.
Another special moment in today's show is expected to be the musical tribute to some of the veteran artistes who have passed away over the past year including Bob Andy, U-Roy, Toots Hibbert, and Bunny Wailer. This will be performed by Daddy Michigan.
Martin further noted that the votes have been tabulated and he is pleased with the support from reggae fans worldwide.
“My God...the voting was simply amazing. The music fans went all out, especially in Africa. South Africa went crazy with the voting, other African countries like Ghana and Zimbabwe were also up there. Europe was a strong territory, but Italy, in particular, really did some voting. I guess because of COVID so many people had more time to listen to music and so they really supported their favourite artiste by voting,” he said.
Martin also said there was a noticeable trend in the voting from Jamaica.
“The Caribbean has always been strong and this year was no different. However, in terms of numbers, because it is a smaller population, it could not compare to the large number we had out of Africa, Europe and North America. However, as it relates to Jamaica, we noticed strong numbers from outside Kingston. A lot of the votes were coming from St Thomas, Manchester, Clarendon and Montego Bay...so it was all very good. It's really great that people are getting involved and doing what it takes to support their favourite artistes,” he noted.
The 90-minute event will be streamed from Jamaica starting at 8:00 pm on the IRAWMA website and its YouTube channel. The event will see awards being presented in 36 categories. Buju Banton has topped the list of nominees this year with a total of 10 nods. These include the Marcus Garvey Humanitarian Award; Best Caribbean Entertainer; Best Music Video for Blessed; Best Collaborated Song for Trust featuring Tory Lanez; Best Dancehall Stagecraft Entertainer; U-Roy Award for Best Male Dancehall Artiste; Toots Hibbert Award for Best Album ( Upside Down 2020); Gregory Isaacs Award for Best Song ( Blessed); Peter Tosh Award for Recording Artiste of the Year; and the Emperor of Reggae And World Music Bob Marley Award for Entertainer of the Year.
Other multiple nominees from the reggae and dancehall genres include: Koffee and Popcaan, who both have six nominations; Protoje and Bounty Killer with five nods; Tarrus Riley, Gramps Morgan and Beenie Man with four nominations; and Sevana, Shenseea and Skip Marley who are up for awards in three categories. Sizzla, Lila Ike, Rvssian, The Wailers, Spice, Agent Sasco, and Capleton all have two nominations. Among the artistes with a single nod for an IRAWMA trophy this year are: Chronixx, Romain Virgo, Etana, Naomi Cowan, Shaggy, Govana, D'Angel, Jada Kingdom, Dexta Daps, Sean Paul, Anthony B, and Skillibeng.
Thus, all is set for the awards ceremony and the votes are currently being tabulated to arrive at this year's winners.
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