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Aug 5, 2014

Meet The Finalists for 2014 National Song Competition

The date for the national song competition is quickly approaching. The event takes place this Saturday at Memorial Park in Belize City. Aside from the defending champions, the competition will see some new vocalists…all vying to take the top spots in the various categories. Today organizers held a meet and greet with the contenders who will have to perform their original songs. Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The National Song Competition is one of the most anticipated musical events to begin the annual September Celebrations.  It is a platform for established, as well as up and coming Belizean artists to showcase both patriotic and festive songs.  Each year, as the event grows in popularity, the performances also grow in intensity.  Defending Carnival Song Winner TR Shine, who wowed the crowd last year with his runaway hit Kick Off says he’s bigger and better.


TR Shine, Carnival Song Winner 2013

TR Shine

“I’ve been very consistent over the years knowing that the music has grown for me and I am growing in the music as well.  I’ve been doing a lot of projects if you notice and the Belizean listeners know that I’ve been mashing up most of these stage shows and bringing good music to the people of Belize.  I just continue doing the work and talking about consistency, again, I never decided that I’m going to back out on the competition and the carnival right, so this year I came once more again doing my song called ‘Borderline’ and lately, at the moment I’ve been Facebooking and you know that internet world, getting hard into that and, you know, promoting the song for people to vote.”


Returning to the stage on Saturday is Nello Player, winner of the 2013 Belize Song.  With a hectic schedule of performance dates, recording and promoting the music he has also been working on preparing himself to defend his title.


Nello Player

Nello Player, Belize Song Winner 2013

“The song this year is just to really show us working together as Belizeans, you know, touching on the theme ‘Industrious hands, Intelligent minds’, you know.”


Isani Cayetano

“In terms of looking around and seeing the others who are either returning champions or others who are just now making it to the final list of those who will be participating, how do you size up your competition?”


Nello Player

“Well this year I will say we have a lot of good songs in the competition and a few experienced artists such as Chico Ramos and Ernestine is in the patriotic section this year, you know, in the National Song section this year.  And we have a lot of good songs this year but I do intend to bring it as always and I mentioned that it’s kinda harder being in this competition.  I think this is what, the fourth time?  To come up with something new and innovative the pressure is even more so I always have to think outside the box in bringing different and to, you know, and to exceed expectations to the viewers and the listeners.  So I think I have it a little harder.”


Not to be left out of the competition is perennial favorite Ernestine Carballo.  She too has been busy but has taken time away from touring and performing to be on the national stage come Saturday.


Ernestine Carballo

Ernestine Carballo, National Song Competition Finalist

“This weekend I have the competition in two categories and that’s the Belize Song and the Carnival Song, so I encourage everybody fu please come out and vote fi me.  Just go to the link  The Belize Song ‘Celebration Again’ speaks about people from all over the world coming in to celebrate our anniversary, the two hundred and sixteenth year anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye and the thirty-three years, well we’re going to be thirty-three this year right.  So it speaks about that, as well as the amount of violence happening in the country.”


Also on the big ticket is Bastic.  He’s no stranger to the competition.  Despite sitting out last year, he’s back again to compete against other recording artists who are also friends of his.



Bastic, National Song Competition Finalist

“Just look out fi di hype because I dah di only one from PG right, right now weh actually di do di music to that extent and I di support my people, my people di support me and just look out fi di hype, look out fi positivity and I di bring di A game to the stage.”


Isani Cayetano

“Is this your first time competing at this level, in terms of this particular type of competition?”



“No.  Not actually.  In 2011, I entered the competition with TR Shine and we collaborated on the song ‘Our Anniversary’  and we came in third place with it and it was good, a good experience and since then I’ve traveled to Europe and back.  Last year I was suppose to enter the carnival competition but I didn’t because I just wanted to sit back, relax and just watch my other opponents them, you know.  But this year I decided that, yo TR di bring di hype!  So I gotta step in and make sure that we bring the performance to the stage and bring the hype to the stage.”


The National Song Competition takes place at the Memorial Park on Saturday.

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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