Grange pleased with Jamaica 60 Festival Song contest

  • 29 Jul 2022
Grange pleased with Jamaica 60 Festival Song contest MCGES/Oliver Watt

Kingston, 29 July 2021 – “It’s the year of the women” said the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, with a broad smile and a grin after she presented the Jamaica Festival Song winning trophy to Sacaj — a 21 year old singer from St Mary.

By describing it as the year of the women, Minister Grange was referring to the outstanding performances by Jamaican women in track and field, football and now in the Jamaica Festival Song competition.

Sacaj, the only woman in this year’s top ten, won ahead of a field that included a two-time champion and a veteran DJ.

Minister Grange said:
“I thought the winning song was different from other years. Last year, we had a hardcore dancehall woman winning the competition and this year again we have a young dynamic female artiste who wrote her song and performed it well. It think she has a nice vibe, a nice style, and I think she has a good future.”

The young singer has described her style as a mix of Reggae and Neo Soul.

She won a total of two million dollars in prize money for performing and writing the winning song titled “Nuh Weh Nice Like Yard” while the producer, Newell Morgan, received a one million dollar prize.

Sacaj said she was always confident of victory and enjoyed the brief Jamaica Festival experience.

“I actually would do it again. I’m not gonna lie, I would do it again. It was very short but it was full with great experiences and a lot of new experiences for me because I’m quite new to this whole music scene so it was great.”

The Minister beamed on the final night of a competition that almost never happened.

Minister Grange said:

“Here is a contest that went very well that almost did not happen because the adjudicators said to me that we could not find 10 good songs. And with the public controversy the competition was reopened and we got more entries, and good entries, in that one week than we had for the months that we were promoting the competition. I would say that the efforts that were made to put the competition back on track was well worth it.”

The Minister said she was pleased with the “tremendous” response by members of the public, many of whom attended the Finals in the National Indoor Sport Centre on Thursday night.

The Jamaica Festival Song winner was decided by a combination of public vote and judges scores.

Magic Flute placed second with “I’m a Proud Jamaican”.

Nitty Kutchie took third place with “Defend Jamaica” and was awarded “Best Performer”.

“All the contestants are winners in my eyes. They all performed well. They all had very good songs and I’m just sorry I could not award them all substantial prizes,” said the Minister.

END

Minister's charge

I remain hopeful because of the giftedness of the Jamaican people; their warmth and creativity; their dynamism and indomitable spirit that have resulted in excellence in all sectors.

It is by tapping into the gifts and awakening the spirit of the Jamaican people that we will, by God’s grace, re-group, re-engineer and re-open to a brighter future with Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

Olivia Grange

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