With or without a Jamaica Festival Song Competition, three songs from the entries will be part of the country’s 60th Independence celebration, and there’ll be a Jamaica 60 commemorative album to rally the nation.
Speaking at a Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) press conference on Saturday, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange revealed that the three songs had been identified by the panel from the 123 entries. However, 10 songs are required for the competition’s shortlist.
She also revealed that some of Jamaica’s most recognisable names in the music industry will have tracks on the Jamaica 60 commemorative album.
Many Jamaicans were left disappointed after the minister announced on Wednesday that, due to the panel’s inability to select 10 “suitable” songs from the 123 entries for the Jamaica Festival Song Competition, a staple of the annual independence celebration, there would be no competition for the country’s 60th-anniversary milestone.
On Saturday, a firm Minister Grange drove home the point that whether there is a festival song competition or not, there will be a Jamaica 60 celebration with excellent songs to rally the nation from the compilation album.
Acombo image of recording artistes (from left) Koffee, Shaggy and Freddie McGregor, three of the artistes who will have tracks on the Jamaica 60 commemorative album.
“I have approached a number of persons, and I have had responses from some of them. So it (the album) will have a Koffee track, it will have a Shaggy track, it will have a Freddie McGregor track, it will have an Omi track, it will have a track from Inner Circle.
“I mean there are a number of persons who have expressed an interest to make a contribution. There are a number of producers who are speaking to a number of Jamaican artistes who they would want to produce tracks with them. The process has started,” said Minister Grange.
With three songs identified by the panel as worthy of recognition from the 123 entries, the minister said the question is whether there should be a competition for those three songs or whether to release them as part of the compilation album. This question, she said, will be put to Cabinet on Monday.
Concerning the release date for the Jamaica 60 commemorative album, Minister Grange said an announcement will be made soon.