Spice, Masicka and Yaksta, big names in reggae/dancehall, scored musically at the Reggae Month Irie FM Music Awards on Tuesday.
Spice, who was nominated in six categories, won three accolades including the Female Deejay of the Year, and was a favorite of ardent Irie FM fans, as she cut the Listeners’ Choice Award. His Get off Deh collaboration with Shaggy and Sean Paul, was also voted the Best collaboration of the year.
Besides being the Male Deejay of the Yearby Masicka 438 album cut on album of the year award.
The reggae pundits, who voted, echoed the sentiments of Jamaicans that the hype would triumph over the floss every time by showing Yaksta that they were confident that the future of reggae/dancehall was secure between his hands. The ‘Bushlawd’ was not only passed on Best New Artist of the Year but also tied with Dexta Daps for Singjay of the Year.
Shenseea was elected on Female Singer/Singjay of the Year, and the Best Dressed Woman while Beenie Man won the Best Dressed Man award. Christopher Martin styled the Singer of the Year Award.
New artist 10Tik also triumphed, as his Ride deep track won song of the yearwhile Kevin Downswell was voted gospel artist of the year.
Also on the virtual winners podium was Shaggy, who won the Reggae Ambassador Awardand Marcia Griffiths, who won the Living Legend Awardas well as Bounty Killer, who won the Humanitarian Award.
On the production side, Jordan McClure’s Chimney Records won the Producer of the Year Awardwhile Chemist Records and Raheef Music’s 1 matikwhich featured Skeng Gvnman shiftcut the Rhythm of the Year Award.
The term “Dolly”, popularized by Shenseea was also voted on Slang of the year.
Dirt bouncea dance move devised by teen Tyreek, and endorsed and immortalized in Laa Lee’s song, unsurprisingly won the Dance of the Year Award.
A grateful Laa Lee took to Instagram to revel in the accomplishment, he shared with the teenager and the creators of the song’s beat Streetblock Records.
“Not a man of many words but I mean Tyreke Dirt, Street Block, Bravo “Dirt Bounce” Dance and Dancing song of the year 🙏🏾 thank you Irie FM @iriefm_ja for the recognition 🙏🏾,” LaaLee, who arrived at no one to collect the prize, noted.
ZJ Sparks, known for her large following of Dancehall stars and producers, and for keeping fans up to date with the latest Dancehall and Reggae developments on Instagram, was also voted the Social Media Influencer of the Year.
“Oh wow. Thank you guys for voting for me in the IRIE FM MUSIC AWARDS OF REGGAE MONTH – THE RETURN… …Honouring the music, representing you… Gosh mi short a words. Again, thank you to everyone who voted…,” she noted in response, on her IG page where she shared Irie FM’s announcement.
A delighted Yaksta, who also performed at the awards show live on Irie FM, took to Instagram hours later to count his blessings in a long note.
“So last night I was blessed and blessed to walk away with two awards in the categories I was nominated in: ‘New Artist of the Year 2021’ and ‘Singjay of the Year 2021’ during the IrieFm Music Industry Awards Ceremony. I am extremely grateful and at the same time overwhelmed with joy knowing the hard work and dedication it took to get me here,” said the Ambition the artist noted.
“During the presentation, when I was presented with my plaque by the Right Honorable Minister Babsy Grange, I had to pinch myself and wonder, ‘What have I done to deserve this? But then I thought, How do I not deserve this when I’ve done nothing but hard work and dedication over the years? Those are the two vehicles I’ve used as a means transportation to get here,” he added.
The St. Mary native also thanked his boredom/manager Negus and his entire crew, ardent fans and supporters who he said ranged from “street radio and DJs, CD men and corner shops.”
“Keep going with the boombox playing YAKSTA, and thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years and thank you to everyone who continues to support me on this journey. Your support is so important in turning this dream into a reality!” he noted.
To his team, he added, “Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for your amazing friendships and partnerships over the years. You are my true brothers in real life and we have many more rewards to claim. Together, We’ll keep winning. It’s a big win for us. Let’s keep working on more masterpieces. EP title: #2022 marks the month.”
This year’s staging was a new iteration of the awards that was on hiatus for over a decade, before being relaunched on February 9 during Irie FM’s Wake Up Call and E-Buzz programs. The first awards ceremony was held on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2006, and was the brainchild of veteran broadcaster/producer Big A, who had been a longtime advocate for the awards and led the organizing team for three years – 2006, 2007 and 2008.
This year, the awards were presented in association with the Department of Entertainment in the presence of Minister of Entertainment Olivia “Babsy” Grange.
Irie FM has been the career launch pad for some of the biggest names in reggae and dancehall, including Sean Paul, Buju Banton and Sizzla.