The USA-based Jamaica International Independence Festival Song Competition (JIIFSC) was met with overwhelming support and entries up to the May 2021 deadline. Now, the field has been narrowed down to the top finalists.
“We are grateful to all the participants who entered, there were many worthy contestants but only twelve were selected from the batch,” expressed President and Founder of the JIIFSC, Garfield McCook.
With ten finalists from the United States, one from Canada and one from Germany, they are:
Ragga Lox – “Reggae Island”
Andrew Clarke – “I Believe”
Lavie Lujah – “Certified Yardie”
Tarick – “Feel Dah Riddim”
Lemi – “Jamerican”
Ras Fraser – “Nuh Weh Like Yard”
King I Noah – “Sweet Sweet Jamaica”
Desmond – “Jamaicans Be Like”
Dutch Rocka – “Zoom Festival 59”
Anthony Mattal – “Paradise”
Phil Watkis – “Hustlers Anthem”
Keisha Dickenson – “Promise Land”
McCook was inspired to create the competition by a desire to provide overseas Jamaicans, who may not be eligible for local events in Jamaica, with more opportunities to participate in cultural events.
“The aim of this competition is to provide Jamaican artistes residing overseas, who still have a love for the culture and the music, with a platform that allows them to showcase their talents. Part proceeds from any profits received will go towards the enhancement of the cultural activities in Jamaica,” he stated.
Top participants can expect grand incentives, with the first, second and third prizes being US $8,000, US $4,000 and US $1,000 respectively. The top 5 will be announced on July 2, while the top 3 will be revealed at the finals on July 31, which will be broadcasted virtually from 7pm to 10pm EST. There will be a limited live audience, including guest appearances, judges and promoters, at the venue, which is Caribbean Life TV Studios (CLTV Studios) in Stone Mountain, Georgia.