One1 calls for increase in Festival Song Competition cash prize
Recording artiste One1 believes that the cash prize for the winner of the 2022 Jamaica Festival Song Competition should have been higher.
Three million dollars is up for grabs for the winning song’s producer, writer and singer, in which case One1 is all three for his entry titled Sixty (Anniversary Time). Yet, he revealed that the money was not a motivating factor for entering.
“They needed to have stepped up the prize money for the 60th anniversary,” One1 told The Gleaner. “It’s a shame that they’re giving $3 million to be shared for three people; it’s very paltry. There was a time when the festival song used to have cash awards for the second and third place winners as well. They’ve stopped doing that and then they wonder why it’s so hard to attract competitors. The first thing they need to do is to increase the prize money significantly.”
He decided to enter the competition after hearing about the organisers’ plight in finding at least 10 well-produced and written songs when deadlines for entries closed in March. He posited that the quality issue with the original entries could have been because of an economic problem and not a talent one, as high-quality productions require a considerable budget.
The competition was reopened between June 14 and 21, during which time One1 used his “creativity and capability” to compose Sixty (Anniversary Time), which places the spotlight on Jamaica’s diamond jubilee.
“It is sad that a lot of young people don’t even know wah name festival song or that something name Festival Song Competition and so I think it’s incumbent upon all of us to keep this competition relevant. One of the ways to do that is to keep the sounds contemporary so they can appeal to the younger generation, and so that is what I went for … I think that gives me an edge. I don’t think that we have to go back to the 1960s and ‘70s every time we hear about festival.”
One1, whose given name is Milton Wray, said the controversy has given new life to the competition, providing the perfect opportunity for himself and fellow contestants to shine.
The winning festival song will be selected following two televised shows on July 14 and 28, and by a combination of judges’ scores and telephone voting by the public.
The other finalists are: I’ m A Proud Jamaican by Magic Flute; Nuh Weh Nice Like Yard by Sacaj; Diamond Jubilee by Orkid; Jamaica Sweet Again by Dez I Boyd; Jamaica Nice Again by Inspiyah; Defend Jamaica by Nitty Kutchie; Out Of Many by Nazzleman; Rock To Da Beat by Intrestt; and Bring Back The Love by Stamp.