It was a great night for several of Dominica’s leading artists but in particular the ‘bouyon queen’, Carlyn Xavier-Phillip, stage name Carlyn XP who swept the first Dominica Music Awards (DMA) ceremony, taking home five awards at the end of the evening.
At the inaugural ceremony held on January 29, the versatile artist, copped the awards for Female Artist of the year, Female Bouyon artist of the year, album of the year, Bouyon Song of the Year -‘bouyon water’ and virtual event of the year- ‘Musical therapy.’
“Bouyon Boss’ Asa Bantan and ‘Undisputed King’ calypsonian Charles ‘Sour Sour’ Isaac had the second highest number of wins of the evening; Asa walking away with the male artist of the year and the male bouyon artist of the year, while Sour Sour was awarded calypso artist of the year and calypso song of the year for his hit ‘I enjoy my life.’
Speaking to Dominica News Online (DNO) following their win, the artists expressed their elation, noting that their achievement was only possible because of their fans.
“I feel overwhelmed; I feel blessed and I feel loved and supported by my fans,” Carlyn XP stated.
Speaking on the past two years which have been extremely challenging for those in the entertainment industry, she said, “I made the most out of the COVID-19; for people who didn’t know who Carlyn XP was, they surely do now because I did not sit back and let COVID break me down and disappointment me. I saw the opportunity to do something positive with the COVID-19 which helped save a lot of people and I just ran with it.”
Echoing similar sentiments, Asa Bantan labelled his wins for the evening as a “great accomplishment” that was “long-awaited.”
“For the past 10 to 15 years, I have been working hard, taking it really serious, carrying bouyon music to places it has never been played or heard before so getting an award especially during the COVID 19 pandemic while the artist and entertainment continue to struggle, it’s really is special to me,” he told DNO.
To their colleagues in the industry who were not awarded, the highly acclaimed artists encouraged them to not be deterred, but use this as an additional inspiration to hone their craft.
“I would just like to tell them that their work is definitely not going unnoticed. At the end of the day, not everybody can get nominated and not everybody will win but all they have to do is keep pushing forward, look at those who came before them and sort of partner on what they are doing, seek advice when necessary on how they can expound on their craft and by the next year they should be getting some nominations and some awards as well,” XP said.
For his part, Asa stated, “All of them are great; they have their own style., all of them are artists of the year, so it’s not only me who deserves to be awarded, we all do because everybody deserves it. I just want to tell them to keep doing what they are doing, don’t stop, keep being creative, with the different melodies and different vibes, because this is just the first year, there will be many more to come and they will get their own.”
As to their next step, both artists intend on making more music and music videos as well as touring different countries to promote the nature island.
As for Sour Sour, he vowed that this will not be his last award, and told the public to “be prepared for what I am about to unleash.”
The artists were marked on four key attributes to include composition 40 points, originality 25, production standard 20 and online voting 50 points.
Below is the list of winners in the various other categories:
New Artist of the year: Mr Ridge
Songwriter of the year: Shelly
Group/ Band of the year: TK International
Dj of the year: Dr Miguel Labadie
DJ mix of the year: DJ. Sleem ‘2020 Soca Mix’
Cadence-lypso of the year: Lobster – ‘DA Girls Love the River Water’
Music video of the year- Reo – ‘Dou Dou’
Reggae/Dancehall artist of the year- Colton T
R&B/Hip-hop artist of the year -Navy
Soca artist of the year-Starsha
Gospel artist of the year-Abiyah
Afro-beat of the year-Marie Pascale
Music producer of the year-Dada Lawrence
Lifetime achievement awards: Gordon Henderson, Michele Henderson, Dereck Rah Peters and Pat Aaron
Felix Henderson Award: The University of the West Indies (UWI).