Jamelody, known as one of the sweetest voices on local reggae scene, will receive the Spirit of Emancipation Award 2018 for his contribution to culture through music. “We have admired the way Jamelody has been able to uplift the people of Trinidad and Tobago with his songs. He has said his purpose, apart from sharing his talent with the world, was to provide words of encouragement and show the beauty of spirit,” said Kadija Dyer, the youth officer at the Emancipation Support Committee TT (ESCTT).
Jamelody will receive the award tomorrow, July 28, at the Unity Concert which takes place at the Lidj Yasu Omowale Emancipation Village, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain.
With Jah, all things are possible. There is no we without him.
The presentation of this award is ESCTT’s opportunity to acknowledge nationals of African descent and the Diaspora who manifest excellence in their field of work and on behalf of the global African family. It is given to those, through their example, personal dedication, and strength, demonstrated a commitment to their people, and helped to give them a sense of dignity and pride in themselves.
“I am honoured to be acknowledged and chosen to receive this award from my country, Trinidad and Tobago’s Emancipation Support Committee for recognising my talent amongst our many black talents,” said Jamelody on receiving word of the award.
“I will continue to give my best and be an inspiration to my black brothers and sisters. With Jah, all things are possible. There is no we without him. Thanks again to the Emancipation Support Committee for the encouragement to Spirit of Emancipation is Alive keep going forward. This is an award for all.”
Jamelody, born Michael Williams, is the youngest of six children in a church-going family in Carenage. He sang in the church choir and his love for singing allowed him to perform at graduation at his primary school, Point Cumana RC School. But, it wasn’t until secondary school, at Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive, that his passion bloomed as he was part of the acapella group Brothers with Voices which did versions of popular R&B music by Boyz II Men, Take 6 and Brian McKnight.
Although the group was doing well at the clubs, Jamelody continued to look for other ways to fulfill his life. That’s when he met Nera Griffith, the woman who introduced him to Selassie I and Rastafarianism. In 2002, Michael Williams became Jamelody and released Never Let You Down, written by his wife, Nera.
Jamelody’s music has taken him Germany, Norway, Amsterdam, Australia, Holland, Canada, Atlanta, San Francisco and of course, the Caribbean.
The concert, hosted by the Emancipation Support Committee, will also feature Isasha and Ziggy Rankin, both recipients of the award in 2015 and 2016, respectively. This is the third time the Spirit of Emancipation Award will be given to a reggae artiste. The cast of performers include Zion Star, Jah Z Blaze, Bucha, Kervern Carter, Jah Disciple, Orlando Octave, Kushite and Welete Yahosua.