The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) is now accepting entries for its Festival Song Competition.
Speaking at the agency’s head office in Kingston, Marjorie Leyden-Kirton, acting executive director of the JCDC, appealed to Jamaicans to submit their entries early and to submit entries that are new, original and reflective of the spirit of the Jamaican people.
The deadline for entries is the end of the month and the entry fee for this competition is J$1,000.
“We are in the preparation mode; we want Jamaica to know that we are open for this competition, and we are conveying through this medium that they can enter the competition,” said Leyden-Kirton.
“We want a song that is going to move the nation- a song that people can rally around when we come to our Independence,” she continued.
The song provides a musical backdrop for the annual celebration of Jamaica’s Emancipation and Independence and should stir a feeling of celebration and be about Jamaica or Jamaican Culture.
Leyden-Kirton pointed out that the competition requires several elements, she said, “a well-written song, a good singer and you get a producer- you may be able to write very well, go find somebody who can sing it.”
Gregory Simms, director of events and production management at the JCDC, said that the competition, unlike others, targets the professional and semi-professional markets.
“What professional song looks for from the entry-level is quality, a particular standard in production, a particular standard in performance and especially in the quality of the recording that is submitted to the JCDC,” said Simms.
“So, Maas Joe on his farm, who has a song that he thinks can buss, he has to ensure that it is produced at a particular standard,” he continued.
He said that persons can visit the JCDC offices for advice and support, emphasising that the submission of quality entries requires an investment.
“We want to appeal to the entertainment community, entertainers, and producers. This is an opportunity for you to get into the soundtrack for Independence celebrations, to get into the psyche of the Jamaican people, to get into that voice of the Independence celebrations and send out a song,” he added.