Festival Songs to the world

Festival Songs to the world

Saturday, July 04, 2020

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ALL 10 songs in this year's Jamaica Festival Song Competition are now available for download or streaming on Spotify and Deezer. The development became effective yesterday.

Spotify is a Swedish music streaming and media services provider, while Deezer is a French music streaming service which allows users to listen to music content from record labels, including Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group on various devices online or offline.

Minister of of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia “Babsy” Grange said she was pleased with the development and hopes to revitalise the competition.

“I'm really happy to announce that we're on Amazon, Spotify, and all these other platforms, for the first time,” said Minister Grange.

“This will make the songs available worldwide and what it will do is expand the stage; the world is now our stage for the Jamaica Festival Song competition. It is historic,” she continued.

The songs are being distributed by VPal Music.

The finalists in the 2020 Jamaica Festival Song Competition are: reggae singer Freddie McGregor ( Tun Up Di Sound), three-time Festival Song winner Toots & The Maytals ( Rise Up Jamaica), reggae singjay Buju Banton ( I Am Jamaican), Papa Michigan (formerly of Michigan and Smiley) ( Festival Dance), two-time Jamaica Festival Song winner Nazzleman ( Jamaica Nice), dancehall quartet LUST (featuring Lukie D, Thriller U, Singing Melody & Tony Curtis) ( Wave The Flag); 2009 Digicel Rising Stars winner Shuga ( One People), up-and-coming dancehall artistes Xtra Bigg ( Jamaica A Paradise), Radix OD ( Place To Be), and actress Sakina Deer ( We Are Jamaica).

“Jamaica Festival used to ignite the country and bring the nation together in such a beautiful way. We want to bring back that feeling of national unity and hope. We have made tremendous strides, but we have more to do,” she said.

In keeping with restrictions on public gatherings in an effort to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the usual islandwide road shows and public performances by the Festival Song finalists will not be held this year. Instead, the ministry has engaged national radio and television stations and has been using social media to bring the finalists and their entries to the public.

The winning Jamaica Festival Song for 2020 will be decided on July 26 by popular vote.

For more than a half-century, the Jamaica Festival Song Competition — organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) — has unearthed talent islandwide and has provided a platform for aspiring artistes and seasoned veterans to propel their talents on national and international stages.

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