JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Winner of the 2014 Jamaica Festival Song Competition, Rushane Sanderson, is still basking in the attention that he has been receiving since copping the coveted title last weekend.
  • Performing under the stage name ‘Deep Jahi’ Sanderson gave a thrilling performance of his original song, ‘I Love JA’ to win the contest held last Sunday night (July 27) .
  • Sanderson told JIS News that he is overwhelmed at the victory, which he said, was unexpected “mostly because my song was contemporary and different”.

Winner of the 2014 Jamaica Festival Song Competition, Rushane Sanderson, is still basking in the attention that he has been receiving since copping the coveted title last weekend.

Performing under the stage name ‘Deep Jahi’ Sanderson gave a thrilling performance of his original song, ‘I Love JA’ to win the contest held last Sunday night (July 27) at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston, for which he earned $500,000, a trophy, and gift baskets.

“The publicity is a boost for my career,” the 23-year-old St. Mary resident told JIS News. “So many media houses have never called me to interview me before – radio, TV, newspaper. I couldn’t pay for the publicity that I’m getting now,” he stated.

The song competition is organised each year by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an agency of the Ministry of Youth and Culture. It provides a platform for aspiring artistes, songwriters and producers to showcase their talent.

Sanderson was among the 10 finalists, who vied for the top prize. Other performers were Sanjay ‘Sanj’ Thompson, who placed second for his entry, “Jamaica Boom” in addition to sectional prizes of Best Performance and the Voters’ Choice award; while Sujae “Kahani” Johnson placed third with his song ‘My Jamaica’.  Bono G, Bastic, Pehtrol, Clearance, Oliver Smoothe, King Solomon and Rojjah, also gave great performances to the delight of the audience.

Sanderson told JIS News that he is overwhelmed at the victory, which he said, was unexpected “mostly because my song was contemporary and different”.

He said he had entered the contest for the opportunity to make a video of his song.  “Over the years the JCDC has been giving the top 10 finalists the opportunity to do a video so I was expecting to get a video,” he said.

“It’s a really jubilant feeling to win. I’m very happy and elated that I won but I was in disbelief when I was announced the winner,” he added.

Sanderson, who is no stranger to the music industry, was the winner of the Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall in 2012. He has teamed with the label ‘Rockstone Media’ and has produced several hit songs, including a hit single, ‘Life Goes On’, as well as ‘Nuh Punching Bag’, ‘Another Try’, and ‘So Firm’. He has also recently released ‘Conversation’, ‘Last Reality’, and ‘Feeling High’, which are receiving much airplay throughout the island.

He said he was inspired by the love that people all over the world have for Jamaica to write the festival song ‘I Love JA’. “It is also receiving heavy rotation because everybody loves it,” he added.

Sanderson has now made a mark in Jamaica’s history as one of the country distinguished festival song winners. He will be performing at several Emancipation and Independence events, including the Independence Grand Gala at the National Stadium on Wednesday, August 6.

“This is like a prize in itself for me because it’s gonna be my first time performing at the National Stadium. It’s a stimulus and a catalyst for Deep Jahi’s career,” he expressed.