Mon | May 27, 2024

‘It’s a great feeling’ – PM National Youth music awardee Evad Campbell

Event delivers ‘fire’, chills and thrills

Published:Monday | April 22, 2024 | 12:08 AMPaul H. Williams/Gleaner Writer
Evad Campbell (left), receives the 2023 Prime Minister National Youth Award for Excellence in music from Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
Evad Campbell (left), receives the 2023 Prime Minister National Youth Award for Excellence in music from Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
Prime Andrew Holness joined Kaka Highflames on stage to show off his dance moves.
Prime Andrew Holness joined Kaka Highflames on stage to show off his dance moves.
Fashion merchandiser, content creator and entrepreneur, Kristia Franklin, winner of the the 2023 Prime Minister National Youth Award for Excellence in new media.
Fashion merchandiser, content creator and entrepreneur, Kristia Franklin, winner of the the 2023 Prime Minister National Youth Award for Excellence in new media.
Reggae artiste Runkus feels the music as he performs with collaborator Royal Blu.
Reggae artiste Runkus feels the music as he performs with collaborator Royal Blu.
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Evad Campbell was the lone nominee in the music category of the 2023 Prime Minister National Youth Awards for Excellence (PMNYAE), held on the lawns of Jamaica House on Saturday. And, thus, he was the default winner. But that does not take anything away from this renowned music genius. The cheers that accompanied his walk to receive his award from Prime Minister Andrew Holness said it all.

The programme book spoke glowingly about the Ardenne High School and Berklee College of Music (Boston, Massachusetts) alumnus. “Evad Campbell epitomises excellence and innovation in the realm of music, earning a diverse array of accomplishments from Ardenne High to Berkeley College of Music and as the musical director and lead keyboardist for Tessanne Chin’s band.

“Evad has played a pivotal role in shaping the sound and successes of numerous productions, including the Voice Box programme where he arranges choir and solar performances. His impact extends beyond this stage as a full-time lecturer at the Alpha School of Music, where he imparts the knowledge and expertise to aspiring musicians, teaching music theory, applied piano, reggae band, ska band, voice and keyboard proficiency.”

Speaking with The Gleaner after, Campbell shared that he was grateful for the honour.

“It’s an absolute honour to receive such a recognition. To know that I am recognised by the government for contributing to the development of Jamaican music and culture, that’s a big deal and it’s a great feeling!” he said.

Also alone in the category of new media was Kristia Franklin, known in the digital media space as @myrepeatoffender. The fashion merchandiser, content creator and entrepreneur was hailed for her varying ventures. “Her passion for fashion and the opening of one of the first e-commerce businesses in Jamaica to venturing into tourism … has solidified her brand within the new space that amplifies Brand Jamaica in all her endeavours,” the programme book said.

An excited Franklin, dressed in Tony Krash Apparel, posted a reel about the event with a caption thanking followers, supporters and the PMNYAE.

“For everyone who has been on this virtual journey with me! From @tiatheclothesgirl to @myrepeatoffender to @gimmilove_revolution to @citycabin_876 to @oldspanish_fort, thank you thank you thank you!” she said. “Thank you all so much for always watching my content, no matter how much it changes and I reveal more of myself while figuring out my path, you all still stay and love and appreciate all sides of me, you join me with ever journey and cheer me on, for that, I am BLESSED!!! I am GRATEFUL!!!!”

Acquille Dunkley took home the art and culture award. He is a master in 3D software programmes “which allows him to seamlessly blend fine art with photography, which brings an interesting perspective to Jamaican culture”. His work has been recognised by the National Gallery of Jamaica and is featured in their newest exhibition titled ‘The Face of Us’.

Entertainment for the evening, compèred by Dadrian Gordon, was provided partially by Dinthill Technical High School, runners-up in this year Television Jamaica’s ‘All-Together Sing’ competition, and dub poet Kiana Jackson of Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, who ended her piece with, “I am the fire in the rain”.

The New Worship Praise Team took the audience to church with some Holy Ghost Fire, singing, dancing, trumping and stomping on the lawns of Jamaica House. Onstage, there were more movements as The Company Dance Theatre mesmerised the audience with Creole Blooming, choreographed by Michael Holgate, a member of the PMNYAE selection committee.

The ‘fire’ shot up to the skies when Kaka Highflames hit the stage with some energetic popular dance moves. They invited Prime Andrew Holness onstage, and he did not disappoint. Ashir The Guitarist was in a class by himself, evoking chills and thrills with his strings. The Runkus x Royal Blu and The Gs reggae set brought the formalities to a close with their well-received performance.

entertainment@gleanerjm.com