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Grub Cooper and Levy’s Heritage: A winning combination at the Jamaica Gospel Finals

As promised, the finalists in the Jamaica Gospel Song Competition gave the capacity filled National Arena some foot stomping, praise and worship styled performances. So good it was the Minister with responsibilities for Culture, the Hon. Lisa Hanna was on her feet dancing the Mento.

It was this rhythm that made Levy’s Heritage the top pick for the 2012 competition. Producer Grub Cooper revealed that “the song fell into my hands after a swap between me and another producer but I had a gut feeling when I heard it the first time.” This proved to be quite an interesting match for Levy’s Heritage and the affable producer who continued to share that the choice of rhythm was easy as he knew what people would react to.  Therefore the mixture of Mento and Dancehall on this gospel track was no mistake. For Grub, the reaction of the audience on Sunday was not a surprise because people were reacting positively from the beginning. “Working with the Levy’s Heritage was a pleasure as they take instructions well and they all can sing and all I had to do was to add music to enhance their voices.” Speaking about winning the competition, he shares that he did not consider the competition when making the music but rather his gut feeling that this arrangement was the best one for the song.

His sentiments were echoed by the elated trio – Levy’s Heritage who explained that when they first got the inspiration of what they wanted the song to sound like – it was Grub Cooper they prayed for. Ovando, the eldest of the three explains that working with Grub was an amazing experience as he pushed them to the highest limit. When asked about the crowd’s response he said they all thought that people were just out to have a good time and all the contestants delivered. He shared, however, that in a brief conversation with Grub during the sectional prizes, Grub whispered “thank you for allowing me to work with you guys” and it was then that they thought “we must have won.”

The trio laughs when asked about the prize of a 2012 Nissan Versa given by main sponsor Grace Tropical Rhythms, they laughingly explain that they know how to share and most importantly for them was winning the competition in Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary as they will now be a part of this history being created.

The Jamaica Gospel is a Jamaica 50 National Event Finals and the finals were held at the National Arena on Sunday July 8 to a live audience of over 6,000 persons and a television audience of over one million courtesy of CVM TV. Other sponsors Excelsior, LOVE 101, NEWSTALK, Power 106, RJR 94 FM, shared the excitement with the rest of Jamaica and the world. Praise Awards went to Miriam Hibbert who was also 1st runner up just ahead of Ancient Priest, Third place winner and best performer for the evening. The Gospel Song CD is available for sale at the JCDC Head Office 3-5 Phoenix Avenue and the JCDC Parish Offices.

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