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» BREAKING NEWS, Featured » PAST WINNER KHARUSO, IS DISAPPOINTED WITH THE CANCELLATION OF THE FESTIVAL SONG COMPETITION!

PAST WINNER KHARUSO, IS DISAPPOINTED WITH THE CANCELLATION OF THE FESTIVAL SONG COMPETITION!

By Simone Morgan-Lindo—

 Kharuso —

KHARUSO, 2010 winner of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s (JCDC) Festival Song Competition, said he is disappointed that the competition has been cancelled this year and will not be part of the island’s Independence celebration.

“It is really unfortunate that there will not be a Popular Song Competition this year, as it is competition that means a lot and is very significant to our culture. It is a national event that Jamaica loves and looks forward to each year,” he told Splash.

In the absence of the competition, the Ministry of Culture and Entertainment is working on a commemorative album which will feature some of the iconic festival songs of the past, as well as four new commissioned tracks.

Kharuso said he is hoping that this will be the last time that the Festival Song Competition will be cancelled.

“It is a national show and not a regular one that you can just easily postpone. Caribbean people want to jump, dance, and sing along to the songs. I really hope it doesn’t happen again,” he said.

This year is second time in its 50-year history there will be no Festival Song Competition as part of Jamaica’s Independence celebrations. The competition, started in 1966, was first cancelled in 2013.

“I am not sure if it a lack of sponsorship, but if that’s the case the Government needs to put the necessary things in place to ensure it is held every year, with or without sponsorship,” he added.

 JCDC:logo

Despite the absence of the JCDC Popular Song Competition, Kharuso said he and his team will be keeping the Festival season alive with a soon to be released song called Jamaica Land We Love.

“It is a song that speaks on the beauty of Jamaica and what it has to offer. I think it is one that will attract tourists to the island,” he said.

Jamaica Land We Love is produced by Global Force Reggae and will be released on July 21.

Kharuso, given name Delisser McFarlane, hails from the parish of St Ann. He started singing in the church. His early influences were not limited to gospel, as he tuned into singers like Alton Ellis and Dennis Brown. In 2010 he copped the competition with his entry My Jamaica.

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