The Belize Garifuna Song Competition Awards
The second annual Belize Garifuna Song Competition culminated on Friday, October 26, 2018, with an Awards Concert held at Bird’s Isle in Belize City, where the winners of the Competition were announced as follows: Song of the Year Award went to Elroy George Martinez for his song, Lobougu Balisi. Single Genre Song of the Year Award, as well as Budding Artist of the Year, went to Kenima Martinez for her song, Uremu Garifuna Multi-Genre Song of the Year Award went Felix “Reckless” Flores for his song, Maria Nuguchu People’s Choice Award went to Roberto Beltran for his song, Nuguchuru.
The song entries were being judged on originality, melody, composition, and lyrics; except for the People’s Choice Award that was determined through Digicel text voting. Each song entry had to be no longer than 3 minutes and the lyrics had to be in the Garifuna Language. The judges were Lucio Enriquez, Aurelio Martinez, and Ivan Duran.
The Song of the year award won a total of $5,000 in cash and non-cash prizes; while the Single Genre and Multi-Genre awards received cash and non-cash prizes of $3,500.00 each. The Budding Artist and the People’s Choice awards won $2,000.00 in cash and non-cash prizes each. The Judges also recognized the following artists for their songs: Haddi Arzu, Dayaan “Nuru” Ellis, Terrick “Mackas” Magdaleno, Tariq Avilez, Henry Miguel, and Densfield Augustine.
The Belize Garifuna Song Competition is a Garifuna cultural retrieval and preservation initiative of the Battle of the Drums Secretariat of Punta Gorda Town.
The objectives of the Competition are:
- To motivate musicians to produced quality Garifuna music that will be of world music standards;
- To provide a forum that allows musicians to showcase their Garifuna music and possibly jump-start their career;
- To encourage Garifuna musicians to continue to produce songs in all genres of Garifuna music, thereby contributing to the library of Garifuna music across many genres;
- To assist musicians in acquiring the skills and equipment and connecting with professionals in the music industry who will assist in propelling them to the pinnacle of world-class music production;
- To contribute to cultural tourism by attracting international musical enthusiasts to a competition and related events where the music of the world-class category is being promoted.