Reggae Song Competition down to the top 11 performers

Written by, Laura Ebanks
A beautiful afternoon, its summertime and music filled the atmosphere. On Saturday, July 16, Samuel Delevoe Park was filled with reggae music, and plenty of food, and pastries.

The first annual Reggae Song Competition’s semi-finals is the 2nd benchmark on the road to success for the twenty contestants seeking to further their music career. The day’s event blended food, music and culture for all to have a good time.

Intermission was the time to grab a bite to eat from Cliff’s Restaurant, and the clothing was beautiful. R.A.C.E. (Real Afrikan Cultural Expressions) was also in the park with beautiful African print clothing and jewelry on sale.

The Reggae song Competition began as an idea of Luther McKenzie, of Mack Enterprises, about twenty years ago and is fashioned after the New York Song Competition. McKenzie always wanted to do something like it, but he wanted to do it his way. “It is not a talent show,” McKenzie adds. It is a competition for talents ages 15-35 who write, compose and perform a piece that has never been publicly released.

After these requirements are fulfilled a select amount of qualified entrants must perform at the preliminaries. The preliminaries this year was held at BCC’s south Campus on June 28, 2005. Twenty out of fifty qualified entrants made it to the semi-finals.

Throughout the whole competition all contestants are judged by reggae music’s professionals and are judged on originality, performance, lyrical content, melody and competition, stage presence, and audience response. The competition was broadcasted live on “The heartbeat of the Caribbean,” WAVS 1170 a.m. and produced a nice turn out. Once the semi-finals were over, ten contestants were chosen to go on to the finals, which will be held at Samuel Delevoe Park on August 20, 2005.

This year’s top eleven- there was a tie- sang about various subjects ranging from culture and the way of life today to the love of “Jah!” The 1st contestant, Chaun Vernon performed Realize on the “Drop Beef” rhythm. Vernon sings R&B, however he wrote and performed the reggae melody for this competition. Currently Vernon has his own record company-ACC records and says he’s “the next big thing from Ft. Lauderdale.”

Sister Love I-Lovina Benjamin’s voice was amazing as she sang Behold a song inspired by “the sufferation” poor people face today. Masquerade was performed and Everton ‘Kev’ Smith’s beautiful voice was accompanied by an acoustic guitar. Reggae Music coupled with a guitar and piano skills are the elements that will allow Smith to make “a lasting impression in music history.” Marsha McCleary a.k.a. Sha Hypnotized the audience with her womanly confidence and her violin. McCleary thanks God for her talent and the opportunity and dedicates her performance to her family and her daughter. Revelation Sound -Dean Fishback sang Day by Day a song of struggling and change in the time of Armageddeon.

Dwight McIntosh-Journalist is a member of the Peter Tosh clang. Although the pressure is on for him to do just as good, or even better he was smooth and relaxed while performing It’s not the same. Luggie Logrando Clarke has done numerous performances for Quest Star Production and continues to do an amazing job. With his performance and skill he will be a star. Troublesome Man placed Kareen Priestly in the selected top twenty and she is looking forward to performing this song at the Reggae Socca Music Awards. She is more than half way there. R&R- Roy Robinson walked through the audience displaying his passionate distaste for the “violence in the city and the crimes on the earth” as he sang.

A powerful female vocalist Nneka Hanchard sang about Jah and his return. Hanchard believes in divine order and her calling is clear. “To establish righteousness in the people we must be proud of who we are- We ah GOD pickiney.” Azizah Ysrael sang a powerful and beautiful song of color-literally. Blackness tells us that “its not just the color of my skin or the richness in me melanin.” This song instills pride for the black race.

Congratulations and good luck to all.

Related Articles

Back to top button