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Tough competition for Bahamian musicians
Publication None
Date January 06, 2004
Section(s) National News

Competition for the First Annual People's Choice Bahamian Song Competition is fierce, says Fred Ferguson, entertainment consultant to the Ministry of Tourism.

The Ministry recently announced the addition of a Best Song category to its prestigious Cacique Awards in efforts to honour the contribution made by Bahamian artists to the tourism product.

There are 35 songs nominated -- 25 secular and 10 gospel -- each performed in the Bahamian style, which has been defined by the Cacique Awards committee as Junkanoo or Rake-and-Scrape/Junkanoo. However, the competition has been dubbed "People's Choice," with the final decision made by the public.

The voting is going extremely well, says Ferguson, who recently met

with radio station programming directors to encourage support from the stations for native music. The number of individuals who are actually voting is giving us an idea of exactly how appreciative Bahamians are of their own music, and how loyal they are to it.

Leading the list of nominees with three nominations is K.B. for Das Bahamian Culture, Deep Space and Sausage and Bread Medley. Five artists have two nominations, including Geno D for Drunk Again and You Get Swing; Stevie S for You Gat What It Takes and Delia Gone; Phil Stubbs for Da Flu and Where Can They Be; The Falcons for Next Chance and Thought It Was You; and Sparkles for Sweetheart Dem and You Gat Issues.

Completing the secular song category with one nomination each were The Brilanders - Regatta Time Again; Lisa Bullard - Dis Is How We Flow; Ronnie Butler - Nobody Wan Dead; Audley Eden - Maypole; Funky D - Take Over the Party; Nehemiah Hield - Bad Woman; Eddie Minnis - Poor Tommy; Eric Minns - Sunday Christian; Roachy - Boom Pineapple Wine; Soulful Groovers - Dancing in the Streets; Ira Storr - Let the Rhythm Take Control; and T rez - The Stage Is Mine.

Gospel nominees included Vision - All I Need; The Cooling Waters - Give Him All Da Praise; The Converters - Heaven; Charles Wallace - I'll Fly Away; Kevon McKenzie - Jump Jump; Tamika Smith - Junka Praise; The Dynamic Gospel Flames - Lord Remember Me; Heston Brown - Since I'm Living Holy; Sons & Daughters of Praise- Sit Down Servant; and Shekinah Bahamas - Under the Rock.

Songs eligible for consideration must have a Junkanoo or Rake-and-Scrape influence and should have been released between November 2002 and November 2003. However, some songs on the gospel list predated the time period in order to include a fair number of Junkanoo/Rake-and-Scrape songs in this category, Ferguson says: "This is just to get things started. We want to stimulate the artists to advise them on the type of music that will be considered for a national award."

Voters have several methods by which to choose their favourite song. An automated voting hotline has been established at 328-4304; fans are also voting online at . The Ministry of Tourism is also accepting newspaper ballots at all of its offices in New Providence and the Family Islands. Ballots may also be sent or delivered in sealed envelopes to The Counsellors Limited on First Terrace, Centreville. Voting for the People's Choice Bahamian Song Competition ends on Jan. 19. The five finalists will perform and awards will be presented during the Cacique Awards ceremony on Jan. 30.

MUSIC -- Fred Ferguson (second from left) reported that voting for the First Annual People's Choice Bahamian Song Competition is going very well online and by telephone during a recent meeting with radio station programming directors to encourage support for the nominated songs. Pictured left to right are Tony Williams, programming director, Love 97 FM; Ferguson; Gordon Lowe, programming director, ZNS; and Ed Carter, programming director, Island FM.

TCL Photo by Melanie Hutcheson

Posted Tuesday, January 6, 2003

2003 The Nassau Guardian