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Local Deejays vie for GSOG Champion Title

Guinness is embarking on a unique sound challenge contest, set to capture the ingenuity of budding deejays to interact with an audience.

The contest presents local deejays with an opportunity to harness their craft and take it to the bigger stage –with prospects also towards forging a professional career in the entertainment arena.

Guinness Brand Manager, Rohan Lovence says it’s always exciting to introduce a new promotional venture to get local artists into the spotlight. He noted that the ‘harp’ symbol embedded in the Guinness product is reflective of the influence that music played in the fulfillment of Sir Arthur Guinness’ joys and delight.

He recalled that over the years, WLBL had undertaken several promotional displays, including Guinness Amplified, Guinness Street Football, and other events.

“Over the years, Heineken St Lucia –formerly known as Windward and Leewards Brewery has done several things …and it’s a testament to Guinness being distinctive and other notable attributes of the brand,” Lovence told reporters at the recent media launch.

Guinness Sounds of Greatness [GSOG] Champion contest is designed not merely as a sounds clash, declared Lovence, “but we really want these deejays to be internationally recognized, like DJ Top Class … an internationally renowned St Lucian Deejay who does not reside here, Hollywood HP, Levy Chin, Dj Colayshan and other deejays traveling the world.

“That is what we want to kind of empower among the young guys, so you are not naturally fighting for just what is around you …as there is so much more that you can move and explore and actually be regional or international.”

He added that the next objective is “to deliver to St Lucians a quality event that is on par and can surpass any international event …and to connect with our key partners –the media, customers, bars that we host events and other stakeholders.”

With the Guinness brand product on the global market, since 1759, said Lovence, “Arthur Guinness did not think that his key vision, which is ‘the harp’ would actually lead Guinness down the road to music…and musically Guinness is always connected”.

“What we are searching for is talent around the island, but not limited to just the winner,” he explained. “The key thing is that we want participants to be seen, heard, and recognized. You need to show your talents and reach that broader audience out there.”

Local deejays were called to audition at separate venues in the preliminary rounds. Four deejays will be selected from each zone and 16 deejays will advance into the semis and eight into the finals, with one deejay to be crowned GSOG Champion St Lucia.

The format will allow individual deejays to bring out their “true versatility” and heading to the semis, the deejays will be allowed to dip and pull out the name of an international artist; whereby the deejay gets to play a selection of five tunes from that celebrity artist to incorporate the deejay’s unique style of ‘telling a story’ to the audience.

On Wednesday, the inaugural  ‘Guinness Greatness’ challenge took off at the Talvern Pub – a popular venue in Babonneau, as the organizers take the entertainment train on tour across the island.

The remaining itinerary for GSOG contest auditions: August, 5 – Ti Chwizen, in Micoud; and August, 6 – The Oasis.

The official GSOG launch is set for Sunday (August, 7), at Pigeon Point. The semi-final rounds will be held alternately on August 14 and 21; with the grand finale set for August, 28.

The Judges will assess skills set, crowd engagement, and versatility, and each deejay will present a 15-minute set of the progression, including, the introduction, mid-set, a closing- set, and the “incorporation of our local music …to show the versatility as well.”

Louise Victor, Heineken Saint Lucia Corporate Affairs Manager spoke to the notion of ‘responsible drinking’, and the campaign launched with the tagline ‘I pledge to drink Right’. “The campaign was designed to address issues about the abuse of alcohol or overconsumption of alcohol, binge drinking, and drinking and driving,” she explained.

The initiative was undertaken in collaboration with St Lucia Distillers Group of Companies and endorsed by the Royal St Lucia Police Force [RSLPF]. But in 2022, she said, it necessitated a “refreshed message …a message that is more relevant and holistically targets the St Lucian reality of today”.

Added Victor, “And really a call to action to strive for more balance in life.”

According to the organisers, the brand’s goal is to close out the summer season with a quality event that will crown Saint Lucia’s first Sounds of Greatness champion.

Lovence is excited about the prospects in store for young deejays on the island and the promotional challenge seeks to help the artists bring out their best in creativity and flair.

In addition to the US$2,500.00 prize at stake, the eventual winner gets to attend the GSOG contest in Jamaica, scheduled for 2023. The Guinness Brand Manager asserted: “And I think that’s a very exciting thing not only for the winner but for Saint Lucia, as well.” – By Reginald Andrew

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