Jamaica’s 2020 Festival Song Album Receives Royalties

festival song
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange (left) presents the Jamaica Festival Song trophy to Buju Banton. The Reggae singer was named winner of the competition on Sunday, July 26, 2020 following a public vote. JIS Photo

The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Festival Song Competition has long been a staple in the Jamaican music culture, but never before has any of the competition’s entries made it to any digital streaming site or debuted on major platforms such as iTunes and Deezer.

This historic feat was accomplished last July, resulting to date in the unprecedented collection of royalties for the cultural-development organisation in the sum of US$1,471. 

This groundbreaking move is the result of a strategic effort made by Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange in preserving and monetising songs in the competition and protecting the creatives behind each project.

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She said, “This is the first time in history that any festival song has brought in money to the JCDC. If we promoted ahead of time, especially in the diaspora, the songs would have gained much more traction.” 

This has signaled an evolved approach to music-making and smart business practices within the industry. 

VPal music, a subsidiary of major music distribution company VP Records, made the distribution of the album titled ‘Jamaica Festival 2020 Song Competition’ available on 30 globally recognised platforms. The cultural song entries from Buju Banton, Toots and Maytals, Freddie McGregor and the likes can be streamed on Deezer and Spotify, while the songs are available on iTunes and Amazon Music. 

Data has shown that the festival songs were played in places including Czech Republic, France, Germany, the US, Canada, the UK, and Trinidad and Tobago. In addition, the album has landed a spot on the iTunes Top 100 Reggae Albums Chart.

The JCDC is now accepting entries for the 2021 staging of its Festival Song Competition, and a platform has been developed to process entries via their website at www.jcdc.gov.jm. For the song competition, the ministry is seeking a song “that will be on the lips of every man, woman and child”.




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