JCDC accepting entries for Jamaica Festival Song competition

The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) is now accepting entries for the Festival Song Competition.

The deadline for entries is Friday, March 31. The entry fee for this competition is $1,000.

Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ on March 10, at the agency’s head office in Kingston, acting executive director of the JCDC, Marjorie Leyden-Kirton, appealed to Jamaicans to submit their entries early.

“We are in the preparation mode. We want Jamaica to know that we are open for this competition, and we are conveying through this medium that they can enter the competition,” she said.

Leyden-Kirton explained that the song submitted must be a new and original one that is reflective of the spirit of the Jamaican people.

“We want a song that is going to move the nation. A song that people can rally around when we come to our Independence,” she said.

The song provides a musical backdrop for the annual celebration of Jamaica’s Emancipation and Independence and should stir a feeling of celebration and be about Jamaica or Jamaican culture.

Leyden-Kirton pointed out that the competition requires several elements – “a well-written song, a good singer and you get a producer”.

“You may be able to write very well, go find somebody who can sing it,” she encouraged.

Leyden-Kirton said that the objective is for the JCDC to come up with 10 quality songs that can compete “to find that number-one song”.

Meanwhile, director of Events and Production Management at the JCDC, Gregory Simms, said that the competition, unlike others, targets the professional and semi-professional markets.

“What professional song looks for from the entry-level is quality, a particular standard in production, a particular standard in performance and especially in the quality of the recording that is submitted to the JCDC,” he said.

“So, Maas Joe on his farm, who has a song that he thinks can buss, he has to ensure that it is produced at a particular standard,” Simms added.

He said that persons can visit the JCDC offices for advice and to point them to how they can get support, emphasising that the submission of quality entries requires an investment.

“We want to appeal to the entertainment community, entertainers, and producers. This is an opportunity for you to get into the soundtrack for Independence celebrations, to get into the psyche of the Jamaican people, to get into that voice of the Independence celebrations and send out a song,” he said.

The competition, which began in 1966, is a showground for aspiring artistes, songwriters, and producers to showcase their talents, and aims to identify a new and original song that is reflective of the spirit of the Jamaican people.

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