The Belize Garifuna Song Competition culminated on Friday, October 27, 2017 with an Awards Concert held at Bird’s Isle in Belize City, where the winners of the Competition were announced as follows:
- People’s Choice Award went to Bridget Pearl Miranda for her song Pasión
- Densfield Augustine won the Multi-Genre Song Award for his song Sungubei Lidan Aban
- Desiree Diego won the Single Genre Award for her song Niyawana
- Kenrick “Luvlace” Lewis won Song of the Year Award and the Budding Artist of Year Award for his song Waweiyasu (pronounced, wa-way-ya-sue).
The song entries were being judged on originality, melody, composition and lyrics; except for the People’s Choice Award that was determine 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 received $8,500 in cash and non-cash prizes while the People’s Choice, the Multi-genre song and the single genre song awards received $2,500 each in cash and non-cash awards and the Budding Artist of the year received $2,000 in cash and non-cash awards.
The Belize Garifuna Song Competition is a Garifuna cultural retrieval and preservation initiative of the Battle of the Drums Secretariat of Punta Gorda Town, Belize. The Competition will be held each, as of this year.
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 will allow musicians to showcase their Garifuna music and possibly jump-start their career
- To encourage Garifuna musicians to continue 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 music of world-class category is being promoted.