Fri | Dec 8, 2023

$1M in prizes for Graduates Can Fly singing competition

Published:Sunday | June 4, 2023 | 12:11 AM
Speaker and author Alvin Day (left) and deejay and entrepreneur Jeffrey ‘Agent Sasco’ Campbell discuss the Graduates Can Fly singing competition.
Speaker and author Alvin Day (left) and deejay and entrepreneur Jeffrey ‘Agent Sasco’ Campbell discuss the Graduates Can Fly singing competition.

The Graduates Can Fly singing sompetition, organised by recording artiste and entrepreneur Jeffrey ‘Agent Sasco’ Campbell and internationally acclaimed speaker and author Alvin Day, was officially launched last Wednesday.

Open to primary and secondary schools in Jamaica, the competition had its first staging last year, and aims to re-ignite the creativity of students who are preparing to turn the pages to a new chapter of their scholastic stories.

For 2023, the Graduates Can Fly Singing Competition is offering $1 million in cash and musical instruments. Schools are being encouraged to record their graduates on video for up to a maximum of three minutes at their graduation exercise, singing their rendition of the song. Submissions should be made by the schools via email to CaterpillarsCanFly@alvinday.com.

Following review, the videos will be uploaded to social media where voting will take place between July 1 and midnight on July 15. The three primary schools and three secondary schools receiving the highest number of votes being declared the winners on July 31.

According to Day, music and singing is a great tool to engage primary and secondary school students alike, and help to facilitate transitions which by nature are challenging for youths.

“A major transformation takes place when a caterpillar leaves the vine or the bush, puts on wings and becomes a butterfly and has to take on the big, wide world. Well, guess what, a major transformation takes place when a child graduates from primary school to high school or from high school to college or into the corporate space and one of the things that can help with that dramatic transformation is music,” Day said.

Agent Sasco stated, “As I said at the awards ceremony of last year’s competition, what’s important is if the participants can find in the words of the song what I found in the book with the values and morals, then the winnings would be much more than whatever monetary prize we could ever provide. So my hope for this competition is that the participants will internalise the overall message of the content which is that you can do things that you’re not even certain you are capable of, as a caterpillar you can fly. You have wings and as young people graduating from one stage to the next, the world is yours.”

Prizes will be awarded at a ceremony to be held in August.

The competition will also feature a part two which will see a Caterpillars Can Fly EP with various artistes to be released next year. A follow-up song for the EP, a duet with LC and Tessanne Chin, is slated for release later this year in November to coincide with National Youth Month in Jamaica. The competition organisers will also be creating a TikTok Open Verse Challenge.

The hope is that both the competition and challenge will help young, talented singers gain invaluable performance and recording opportunities, as the participant with the most likes from the TikTok Open Verse Challenge will be reviewed for a chance to voice on another track. This will be open to people worldwide.