Buju Banton, Freddie McGregor, Toots & The Maytals, Papa Michigan and LUST are among the finalists in this year’s Jamaica Festival Song Competition. The big reveal was made on Wednesday morning at a launch on Television Jamaica, and viewers were shocked when Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange announced the names of the 10 finalists.
“I am finding it so funny. I watched the minister on television this morning and I was laughing,” a still-amused Freddie McGregor told The Gleaner on Wednesday. “People have been calling me all morning asking me if I couldn’t tell them that I was entering the competition. There is excitement in the air, just as we had hoped,” the legendary, award-winning reggae singer added.
McGregor and his peers are simply responding to a call from Minister Grange, who is leading the initiative to rebrand and revitalise the Jamaica Festival Song Competition.
“We are doing this in the spirit of trying to assist with lifting the competition and helping to move it forward. Minister Grange called and asked me to compose and perform a song to enter the competition and I thought that it was very important to do it, so I sat down with Dalton Browne and we wrote the song. I didn’t even know that Buju was entering,” McGregor disclosed.
He is so happy with his entry, titled Tun Up Di Sound, that he sang almost the entire song during the interview and is already predicting the outcome. “I think I am going to win,” McGregor said, again laughing as if he was being tickled. “It’s all in the spirit of camaraderie, and somebody has to win. Plus, I have some interesting plans for my prize if I win.”