The top ten finalists for the 2018 staging of the Jamaica Gospel Song Competition were chosen from the semi-final round of the competition, held on Ash Wednesday, February 14. The finalists, who will compete to be named winner of the competition at the finals in July, were chosen from the top 25 semi-finalists from across the island. Organized by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Jamaica Gospel Song Competition has unearthed hundreds of Gospel singers and song writers over the past three decades, most of whom have gone on to advance brand Jamaica.
The finalists are: Daynea Deacon-Jones of Portland with Wayward Worship, Shaundre Cowan of Hanover with Worship, Victory Edition and Travis Allen and Kenrick Lynch, both of St. Ann with There is No Greater Love and The End of All Things Is at Hand respectively. Hailing from St. Catherine are AdeoluwaAdeoye with You Oh Lord and Dwight Ferrari with God’s Coverage; while Kingston and St. Andrew are being represented by Joelle Notice with Keep the Faith,Lawayne Thomas with 24/7 Contact, Crystal Chambers with The Christ In Me and Lloyd “Father” Reece with Bright Morning Star.
“The Jamaica Gospel Song Competition facilitates growth in the music industry, and continues to provide opportunities both locally and internationally for persons who have entered, even those who were not the winner on the final night,” said Stephen Davidson, Director of Marketing & Public Relations at the JCDC. He continued, “This year’s impressive crop of semi-finalists each brought something extra to the competition in their own unique way; it was hard for the judges to select the best ten.”
“The finalists will now begin preparation for their journey to the finals which will include voice, music and industry-based developmental workshops, recording the album and performances and outreach across the island. All this will be captured in a reality television series leading up to the Grand Finals,” Davidson added.
Davidson also noted that entries were received from across the island from persons looking to become the next face of Jamaican Gospel music, but after four highly competitive regional auditions and eliminations, only the most impressive contestants made it to the semi-finals.
The Jamaica Gospel Song Competition since its inception in 1987 has since become an iconic presentation of indigenous gospel music in Jamaica and attracts over 200 artistes, producers and writers of original gospel music each year. This competition is also seen as another avenue for the unearthing and growth of writers, and vocalists through training with the best within the industry.