Kingston, 26 July 2021 – “The Festival Song is back!” declared the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, after the successful staging of the 2021 competition.
The Minister was beaming with satisfaction after the final show and the announcement of the winner live on national television and online.
“A woman has won and what’s interesting… a Dancehall song, a really hardcore Dancehall song has won,” said the Minister as she reflected on this year’s competition.
As was the case last year, the 2021 competition had to be a virtual affair because of restrictions on gatherings to prevent the spread of covid-19.
Despite the absence of road shows across the country to introduce the Jamaica Festival Song finalists, Minister Grange said there was still a very good response to the competition which relied on public vote to determine the winner.
The thousands of people who voted via mobile networks and on the Reggae Jamaica app over a two week period chose the Dancehall artiste, Stacious, with her song titled, ‘Jamaican Spirit’ to be the winner.
“Yes, one for the books, and I’m really happy about that,” said Stacious after being presented with the winner’s trophy and cash prize of three million dollars to be shared among singer, song writer and producer.
Stacious’ song doesn’t sound like the typical Festival Song and the lyrics are different as well. The singer says that’s the point:
“I definitely wanted to come outside of the box. I never wanted to talk about the usual food, the beaches — we know how Jamaica is beautiful. I wanted to pay homage to the real truth behind Jamaica — what makes Jamaica, Jamaica is the people. We are the most creative, the most resilient… we’re just a whole vibe, we’re a mood, we walk into a room [and] everything changes. And I just wanted to celebrate that and pat all of my fellow Jamaicans on the back and say ‘hey, we survived a very hard year [and] we have further to go’”
Minister Grange, who has been working to revitalise and refresh the Jamaica Festival Song competition, said Spacious’ victory will enhance those efforts.
Minister Grange said:
“Stacious’ win will bring in the young people. It will bring in the grassroots people. It will bring in the hardcore dancehall communities. It will make a difference. And with the involvement of I-Octane and Tamo J, we have finally been able to make the Festival Song competition appeal to everybody.
[The Jamaica Festival Song competition] truly reflects the culture because even the genres tonight reflected the different types of Jamaican music…We were able to reach out to Jamaicans and the diversity of the Jamaican society and music.
I would say Festival Song is back and all set for the Diamond Jubilee next year when we celebrate our 60th anniversary [of Independence].”
For the first time, this year there was a ‘Best Performer Award’ which went to dancer turned singer ‘DB’ who also finished second in the popular vote with ‘Love Jamaica My Land’.
Tamo J placed third with his Dancehall song ‘Real Talk (Jamrock)’.