Queen of the Dancehall Spice is upbeat about her latest move, after earning six nominations at the Reggae Month Music Awards hosted by Irie FM, which holds the distinction of being the first-ever radio station to play a song for the Grammy- named artist.
This year, Spice has the most award nominations, including album of the year, for his debut album. ten. She was also nominated for Reggae Ambassador Award, Female Deejay of the Year, Best Dressed Female as well as Best Collaboration of the Year Award and Song of the Year for her. Get off Deh collaboration with Shaggy and Sean Paul.
This is a new iteration of the awards, which was on hiatus for over a decade, before being relaunched on February 9 during Irie FM’s Wake Up Call and E-Buzz programs.
In a promo aired on Irie FM, Spice paid tribute to veteran radio disc jockey and producer Ainsworth ‘Big A’ Higgins, noting that the first time she heard his song on the radio was on his show.
“I want to clarify that the first time I heard my song on the radio was from Big A on Irie FM. So to be on this musical journey with Irie FM, and to have six nominations this year at Irie FM Music Awards, I’m super grateful; I’m humbled; I’m grateful,” the Cool It artist pointed out.
“It’s not a betta dan dis. It’s something to talk about, yeh! 6 nominations. Thanks a lot guys. I really appreciate it,” she added.
SeanPaul. which earned five nominations, follows Spice who tops the list of nominees.
The two are among seven other artists in the running for album of the year: Spice with their debut album ten and that of Sean Paul Live N Livin. The other contenders for album of the year are Masicka with 438; Alkaline with First pricebugle Toxicityand Etana Pamoja.
The presentation ceremony, which will be broadcast live, is set for March 1, where, according to Irie FM, 21 Jamaican artists will be honored for their work covering the period from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021.
Some of the other major categories include Deejay of the Year, Song of the Year and the Karl Young Listeners Choice Award named in honor of the late founder of Irie FM, in which listeners were given the opportunity to vote for their favorite artist. for 2021 via Whatsapp.
The nominees for Young New Artist of the Years are: Skeng, Jahshii, Nation Boss, Yaksta, and 10TIK.
The nominees for singer of the year/singjay are Shaneil Muir, Etana, Lila Iké, Shenseea and Koffee.
The other Reggae Ambassador Award nominees besides Spice are Koffee, Sean Paul, Shaggy, Sister Nancy and Beres Hammond.
Male Deejay of the Year nominees are Intence, Masicka, Popcaan, Vybz Kartel, Alkaline and Skillibeng, while on the female side, in addition to Spice, there are Shenseea, Koffee, Shaneil Muir and Moyann.
Final voting for the Reggae Month IRIE FM Music Awards took place on Thursday, February 10 in Kingston.
According to Irie FM, the nominations committee was made up of industry professionals and the polls were conducted “under the watchful eyes of audit firm HLB Mair Russell”, who witnessed the more than two-hour session where the voting took place in 19 categories.
After the count was made by listeners, the results were placed under “lock and key”, and “no one else knows who the winners are”, the Reggae radio station said.
The awards, which are held in association with the Ministry of Entertainment, were first held on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2006.
It was the brainchild of Big A, who was a long-time champion of the awards and led the organizing team for three years – 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Irie FM has the distinction of changing the musical landscape in favor of Jamaican reggae and dancehall musicians, challenging the established Radio Jamaica (RJR) and the government-owned Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC), whose formats were dominated by the American Rhythm and Blues and went number one. radio station in Jamaica.
The station began test transmissions in July 1990 and officially went on the air on August 1, 1990, playing traditional reggae with some Dancehall music and a theme of “Reggae in the Morning; Reggae in the evening; Reggae at Night”, amid criticism predicting that maintaining a 24-hour Reggae music station would be impossible.
In an interview with South Florida Caribbean News in 2020 during the 30and anniversary celebrations, Dr Dennis Howard, one of Irie’s original broadcasters and the station’s first program manager, had said that few in the music fraternity had any faith in a Reggae radio station. who was successful in Jamaica.
He said that when he was told there would be “a reggae station and we need your records and you give us your catalogs, some said it wouldn’t work”.
However, by the end of the year, the Ocho Rios-based radio station was fully embraced by artists, producers and music administrators who enjoyed a steady rotation of their songs that had previously been largely ignored by RJR and JBC. , in favor of North American content. .
Irie FM has been the launch pad for some of the biggest names in reggae and dancehall including Sean Paul, Buju Banton and Sizzla.
Irie FM incorporated more Dancehall after Howard insisted that with the genre’s growing popularity among Jamaican youth, it made sense to start giving airtime to artists such as Shabba Ranks, Papa San , Tony Rebel, Tiger and Cutty Ranks and others.
Penthouse Record’s Donovan Germain, who later admitted he was among those who doubted an all-reggae station had a fighting chance in Jamaica, was among many music producers whose productions benefited from widespread airplay on Irie FM, his label given a weekly 15-minute slot on Irie hosted by Big A.
“Irie FM really changed the radio landscape in Jamaica because you heard more local content,” Germaine told SFLCN.