As the time draws near, everyone is counting down to the premiere of the first Reggae Academy Awards next month.
The show will be held at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Sunday February 24, starting at 8 p.m. The Reggae Academy will be ushered in with a weekend of activities from Thursday the 21st with the opening night reception and showcase, to panels and conferences on the 22nd and 23rd at the Hilton, leading up to the big night.
Entertainment lawyer and member of the organising team for the reggae awards, Lloyd Stanbury, told The STAR: “On the night of the show, patrons can expect a first-class international stage presentation incorporating state-of-the-art stage lighting, choreographed dance presentations, comedy, and rehearsed presentations by the artistes contracted to perform.”
Scheduled to perform are reggae and dancehall’s finest, including artisites Shaggy, Elephant Man, Assassin, Bounty Killer, Wayne Marshall, Tarrus Riley, Queen Ifrica, Morgan Heritage, Etana, Ce’Cile, Voice Mail, Cherine Anderson, Katalys Crew, Diana King, Toots Hibbert, Marcia Griffiths and Junior Reid. According to Stanbury, there will also be a Marley performing.
The nominations are in with four major categories of reggae, dancehall, gospel and general, with 30 sub-divisions for awards to be presented. Nominees for best reggae album include: Stephen Marley’s Mind Control, Book Of Life by I-Wayne, True Reflection by Jah Cure and On My Mind by Da’Ville.
Best dancehall song
Vying for Best Dancehall song is Nah Go A Jail, by Busy Signal, Conscience by Baby Cham, Back It Up by Beenie Man and Tease Har by Anthony B. The Best Music Producer nominees include Don Corleone, Stephen McGregor, Stephen Marley and Christopher Birch.
There will also be two public votes sections, for Most Popular Artiste and Most Popular Song. Nominations for the most popular artiste are Tarrus Riley, Queen Ifrica, Jah Cure, Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Munga Honourable and Busy Signal. Most Popular Song nominations include She’s Royal by Tarrus Riley, Nah Go A Jail by Busy Signal, Sticky from Jah Cure, Roots by Etana, Daddy by Queen Ifrica and Busy Signal’s These Are The Days.
According to Stanbury, while some nominees were ecstatic, those who did not get a nod were disgruntled. “This is all good. It is a signal that the awards are considered important,” he said.
The winners were chosen by the votes of members of the Reggae Academy. Membership in the academy remains open and applications are still being accepted from individuals, in Jamaica and around the world, who are involved in making and promoting reggae and dancehall music. According to Stanbury, these awards are far different than other local awards that have been popping up around Jamaica.
He said: “The Reggae Academy Awards is based on creative excellence, not record sales, chart positions or hype. The proceeds of the awards show will go to support local music industry development initiatives. The Reggae Academy Awards are peer-judged awards, as the winners are voted to be the best for the year in question by their peers.”