Festival Song 2008 competition will be a Bam Bam


By: Dave Lindo

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The exciting 2008 Festival Song Competition was launched at The Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, Jamaica on Tuesday, June 3, 2008.

Dubbed, "What A Bam Bam Festival", this years judging for the songs promises to be an exciting and competitive one. All ten songs in the finals were unveiled at the launch and were really sounding good, bringing back memories of the 'good old days' of festival. Songs like, Toots and the Maytal's "Bam Bam", the infectious "Cherry O Baby" by Eric Donaldson, 'yes man dem vibes deh!'

As disclosed by guest of honour, Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, The Hon. Olivia Grange; the objective of this years competition was to bring back the high standard of the old days. She said, "I am happy that the festival songs are back on track, the original concept by Hon. Edward Seaga was to find a song that even little babies would rock to. With these songs I feel confident that we are right there."

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Among the ten finalist are former winners, the Astronauts (1979, 1982 & 1994) with the towering Zack, who has a song called "Mento Man" and Roy Rayon, (1985, 1987, 1991). Rayon once again is coming strong in the competition this time around with a song titled "Rise and Shine".

The other entrants are Lynford McIntosh – "Country Life" , Michael Rutherford- "Old Time Festival", DJ Speng- "Sweet Jamaica", Versatile- "We Need Love", Clevon Edwards- "We Need Love", Danny Brasko & Lya Simba- "Festival Time Again", Zetto- "Naw Lef Jamaica" and Monty Montgomery with a song called "My Jamaica".

The ten finalists performed their songs live at the launch and the respective music videos for each song was shown.

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Of note, the songs were produced by stalwarts of local music such as Trevor Bonick and Grub Cooper, Dennis Mckay and Bobby Digital. The well rated Clifton 'Specialist' Dillon was the coordinator for the production of the songs. Dillion made his mark on the local and international music scene in the 1980s to 90s as a member of Shabba Ranks, Cobra and Patra's management team with the company Spec Shang

The music videos were also done by top 'videographers' across the Island including Rass Kassa of Guru Films.

Speaking to YardFlex, Dillon was very upbeat about the project, "It was a wonderful experience, it was the first time for me and it was a good vibes throughout." Dillon disclosed that he was impressed with one particular entrant with whom, all being well, he is thinking of signing to his label. Specialist is presently working with Alborosie and Spirit.

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The Festival Road Shows gets on the way on Saturday, June 14, 2008 at Junction Square, St.Elizabeth, then the Trelawny Multi Purpose Stadium on Thursday, June 19, 2008, Friday, June 20, 2008 at the Leiba Esso Tiger Mart, Clarendon, Sunday, June 29, 2008 at Fantasy Beach, Priory, St.Ann. Saturday, July 5, 2008 at Port Antonio Sqaure, Portland and the final show will take place on Saturday, July 12, 2008 at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston. All shows starts at 8pm.

The Festival Song 2008 competition is sponsored by Digicel, Cooyah Jamaica Ltd, Hot 102, Irie FM, RJR, Hitz 92 FM, Power 106, Links FM, Roots FM, Kool 97 FM, NationWide Network, CVM TV and Xnews.

Photographs Contributed by: JCDC.