Dancehall singjay Stacious walked away with $3 million and a new accomplishment under her belt as she becomes one of a few women to win the prestigious Jamaica Festival Song Competition held annually by the Ministry of Culture and Entertainment in commemoration of Jamaica’s independence.
Stacious, whose real name is Stacey Scarlett Bryan, was crowned the winner for her entry “Jamaican Spirit” on Thursday night as she beat out formidable competitors for the title. The cheque was handed over by the Youth, Culture, and Entertainment Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange and a JCDC official.
She shared a video of herself celebrating with dancehall artiste I-Octane and other fans who posed with her as she holds up the massive trophy and also thanked her fans for their support.
“Guys, we did it, we did it. I just want to say thanks to everyone who voted, I appreciate the support, mi just happy, I don’t get speechless often and this is one of those moments,” Stacious said to her fans.
She previously spoke to the Jamaica Observer about her motivations in joining the competition, which was won by Buju Banton last year after the Ministry of Culture allowed entries from established artists as well in a bid to attract talent and quality back into the competition.
“I saw where a disconnect has developed where festival is concerned and I also saw where the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) is trying to garner the original love and participation from the public by going back to the format of having popular acts included but with a modern twist,” she said to the Observer.
Stacious added that she was a fan of the competition and even participated in one of its sub-competitions for Portmore and made it to the semi-finals. However, for Stacious, who has been in music for more than 15 years, joining the competition this year had a deeper meaning for her since she wanted to make history.
“In the 55 years of the Jamaica Festival Song Competition, a woman has only won once. So I would definitely love a chance to step things up there,” she said prior to winning.
Stacious also brought a new flavor to the competition as she mixed the old and new elements to bring fresh patriotism to Jamaicans.
“I decided to join the Jamaica Festival Song Competition because I realized there is a disconnect between the younger generation and the competition. I also want to show others who are looking to compete that their songs don’t have to sound like the last winning song,” she said in reference to Buju’s winning entry “I am Jamaican”.
“You can bring you to the table; a sound of inspiration; a sound that is simply celebrating who you are.”
Meanwhile, Stacious, who was backed by strong voters that helped her to win, noted that her song is a tribute to the strength and resilience of the Jamaican people.
“I want to highlight what makes Jamaica, Jamaica. The people and our resilience or creativity in making ends meet and our fighting spirit,” she explained.
Stacious became known after her hit single “Come Into My Room” with Mavado was released. Her other hits include “Falling Down” and “Touch Me Right.”
The finalists of this year’s competition were Candy, Pessoa, Althea Hewitt, Father Reece, Lutan Fyah, I Octane, DB, Tamo J, Dez-I Boyd, Reggae Maxx, and Fab 5.