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Kingston, Jamaica: Participants at the recently held Jamaica Festival Song 2019 Eastern Regional Workshop expressed their excitement at being able to take part in the informative and ‘eye opening’ free session, which severed as an introduction to the local music industry.


Orgainsed by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the free workshop was held at the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) in Kingston on Tuesday, March 5.


“I think these workshops are very necessary as they discuss very important areas that you should be familiar with if you’re trying to be in the music industry.” said Andrane Malcolm, who goes by his stage name “Malboru” and who was one of many prospective contestants of the Jamaica Festival Song Competition who participated in the workshop.


Malcolm further commented on the ‘eye-opening’ information shared during the workshop, namely ways in which artistes might improve upon their craft, whilst learning to view themselves and their work as a product meant to be consumed by the public.


“Overall I think it was a fantastic workshop. I admire what the JCDC is doing with programs like these; they are preserving Jamaican culture,” he continued.


Malcolm’s sentiments were shared by fellow prospective contestant, Carlton “Sky Morgon” Rainford, who said, “I tried entering Festival Song a few times before but wasn’t really successful. I heard the advertisement for the workshop on the radio the other day and said let me give it another shot.”


Rainford expressed appreciation for the knowledge imparted by presenters including tips on production and artistes retaining a business sense throughout their musical endeavors.  


“I’m glad I came, because I learned things at this workshop that I didn’t know before, about music, marketing and the whole structure of the music business. I believe that this is a very important thing. I wish there were more opportunities like this.” Rainford said.


Workshop participants took part in sessions lead by leading industry figures which included:  Songwriting, taught by renowned Reggae producer and song writer Mikey Bennett, Music Production taught by music producer Nigel Staff, Vocal Training taught by songbird Pat Gooden, and Image and Branding and Public Relations, taught by Andrew Clunis, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at the JCDC.