Kingston, Jamaica: The 2018 edition of the Jamaica Festival Song Competition continues to be one for the history books, from the record number of entries received to a church mass choir being named among the finalists. The choir along with the other nine finalists were selected at the competition’s semi-final concert, supported by a full house at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre and with over 20,000 online viewers on Saturday, April 14.
Organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the concert saw the 30 semi-finalists go head to head for one of the coveted top ten spots as they tried to outperform each other in front of a global audience that included viewers from Mexico, USA, Canada and Australia. The choir makes history as the largest group to enter and make it into the final round of the competition.
The top ten entries are:
- Strong Jamaican written by Patrick Kitson and performed by Escarpment Road New Testament Church of God
- Jamaica A Wi Home written and performed by Oneil Scott with;
- Hands on your Heart written by Karel Wisdom, M. Bennett and G. Wright and performed by Karel Wisdom
- The Type of Jamaica written and performed by Radcliffe Palmer
- Jamaica Wi Rich written and performed by Victor Richards
- I Love Jamaica written by Sheea-Ann Hewan and performed by Roger Mendez
- Jamaica You Nice Enuh written and performed by Tanice Morrison
- Jamaica’s Formula written and performed by Everton Pessoa
- Wi Big All Around written and performed by Dennis McKay
- Let’s Do It Jamaica written and performed by Courick Clarke
“For over 50 years, this Competition has enriched our community of local talent with meaningful exposure, on a local and even international stage. We have made every effort to make this year’s competition bigger and better than before. This year we have seen a record number of more than 200 entries. That tells me that Festival Song is alive and well. And we have pulled out all the stops to ensure that we have a record prize package of ten million dollars so I am sure that success in this competition will be a life changing experience for the winners.” Said Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Hon. Olivia Grange.
Grange further stated that following on their selection, the top ten finalists will now participate in a series of performances across the country. This Road Tour will lead up to the Competition’s Grand Final in July, at which time the ultimate song, the one that will form the soundtrack for Jamaica’s 56th anniversary of Independence, will be selected.