JIS News

The 10 finalists in the 2007 Jamaica Popular Song Competition were presented to the public at the launch of the competition and album, at the Asylum Night Club in New Kingston on May 17.
Chairman of the Jamaica Popular Song Steering Committee, Junior Lincoln noted that the competition “has afforded Jamaican singers, songwriters and producers the opportunity to develop and showcase their talents.”
Among the competition’s objectives, driven primarily by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), is to “create opportunities that unearth, develop, preserve and promote creative talents and expressions of the Jamaican people,” the Chairman said.
He pointed out that this year’s album ‘Evolution’, reflected the thoughts and concerns of the society at large in a form that was quite relevant to today’s music industry.
“When you hear these songs, you will wholeheartedly agree that they are definitely in keeping with, and resemble, the sound of today,” Mr. Lincoln said.
He noted that to further “drive home this resemblance,” the Committee has embarked on a ‘Guess the Song’ promotion, which would feature all 10 songs in a radio competition, mixed with other regular songs.
Listeners will participate by calling in to guess which are the popular song entries.
The Chairman said that the feedback from dics jockey (DJs) regarding the promotion has been positive, as they (the DJs) see all 10 songs easily integrating into the local music mix.
He noted that emphasis would be placed on the packaging and promotion of the popular songs to further assist with the artistes’ development and preparation for the local and international markets.
“Jamaica’s reggae music has broken with full force into the international music scene and enjoys high demand all over the world. This market, however, is a very competitive and fast-paced one and therefore only the artistes who are best able to position and package themselves will be able to take advantage of the benefits of this local market,” the Chairman stressed.
Mr. Lincoln disclosed that a reality show entitled, ‘Hitmaker.the Making of a Reggae Star’, will accompany this year’s competition. The show, he added, would follow the development of the 10 artistes over the competition period.
“The main aim of this (show) will be to educate aspiring artistes and the Jamaican public about the many aspects of the music business and what it takes to make it in this business,” the Chairman said.
Guest Speaker at the launch, Patrick Barrett, popularly known as ‘Tony Rebel’, charged the finalists to use the opportunity to develop their skills.
“Always remember that entertainment business is not an overnight or a one-shot thing.it is a long journey,” he emphasized. I am hoping that you are preparing yourself for bigger things and for the journey,” he said, citing several of the ‘greats’ in the music industry who started the journey at a similar level but excelled and “took music far and wide.”
The finalists in this year’s competition are:
Second-comer, Ricardo Gayle, aka ‘Chicago’, who will be performing ‘Been There’, produced by Delon Reid and himself
Antonio West with ‘Needing You More’, produced by Simbah Studio
David Slew performing ‘Jamaica Woman’, put together by Music Factory Recording Studio
Neville ‘Gundy’ Winters will be singing ‘Woman A De Beauty’, which was produced by Gold Stream Records
Junior Johnson, better known as ‘Kavajah’, will perform ‘Stand Strong’, produced by Gumption Productions
Majah Bless will perform ‘Hey Jamaica’, put together by Backawall
Rohan Brown, aka ‘Akewa’, will perform ‘Be My Lover’, produced by Big Chune Productions
Torch will be singing ‘Learn to Survive’, which was produced by Kirk Riley
X-Ale will perform, ‘Taxi Man’, put together by Shocking Vibes Productions and
Ray Darwin will sing ‘Got A Rock’, produced by Mad Antz Records
The Popular Song finals will be held on July 21 at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre on Hope Road in Kingston.

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