I've Been Nominated for Blog of the Year Again!

Hello lovely,

After six years of blogging (while getting a Master's degree and working a full time job), working several fashion shows, reviewing international products and services, photo shoots, partnerships, and two blue ribbon awards for original recipes, I've been nominated for the second consecutive year for the Elevation Awards Blog of the Year!

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It's been an amazing journey and I never get tired of it. I share this honour with last year's winner, Ianthia Ferguson, Rogan Smith- This Bahamian Gyal, Nik Barnes- Stylezine Magazine, Gail Hanna- Hard Work, Bad Employee and Renaldo Dorsett- 10th year services like senior.

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The night was hosted on LiveUp TV by the incomparable Rabs and Jerchovia with DJ Epic Forealz. The opening act was a hot new single called That's Why I'm Single by Leo. Then two nominee categories were revealed. The night had many hilarious moments including a new hashtag #LittyToTitty.

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Sacha the Duchess brought the house down with an emotional performance of her second single, Waiting to Exhale before sharing the epic music video for her first single, Mr. Lover. Then we had a performance from the dynamic duo of Johnny B and Eman.

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My high school scholar, Stephan Brown premiered his brand new app, Cameo Tunes. The app combines filters that highlight many aspects of Bahamian culture with Bahamian music hits from fan favourites like Wendi, Jonathan Farrington and Bodine. The app debuts on Android and iOS next Friday!

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I loved Kenique Marie's performance and I can't wait to hear more music from her!Of course I had a fan girl moment when Patrice Murrell took the stage to perform Feeling Good. From I first saw her perform I couldn't believe such a powerful voice came from such a tiny person and I honestly admire her and try to follow her music career.

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Sanjardo B closed out the show with a performance of his hit single, Hola. Last night was amazing. I finally got to meet Patrice Murrell, the room was full of positive energy and I'm nominated AGAIN! This year there are even more categories so there will be even more winners!

For a complete list of all nominees, check out the list below:

2019 Elevation Awards Nominees

The 2018 Elevation Awards

Hello Lovely,

This past weekend was the much anticipated 2018 Elevation Awards. Artists from all genres flocked to the New Providence Ballroom in the BahaMar Convention Centre for the 2nd Annual Award Show. Last year I attended the show as media, but this year I attended the show as a nominee. I was nominated for Blog of The Year and this was also the first year for the category. I was grateful for this addition because while the world was quickly accepting vloggers and recognising them, there weren't really awards for bloggers. Going into it, I simply new I was not going to win because I was going against Ianthia Smith (fiancé of Farreno Ferguson of F.Dot Photography) and of course she won. I was excited for her to win. Honestly I don't know what I would've done or how I would've felt had I won, so I really think it's for the best. Simply being nominated and recognised for six years of hard work was enough for me. I went with my mum and one of my best friends Krista because they are two of my biggest supporters.

I've always thought that the Elevation Awards has the potential to be a local MTV Music Awards in terms of nominees walking the red carpet in wearable art made by local fashion designers and musical performances that are concert worthy. While the fashion was gorgeous, very little was Bahamian designed, HOWEVER, the performances were amazing! 

Possibly the most outstanding performance of the night was by Judah the Lion who gave us an a riveting steampunk drama. A very close second was a group of young Christian rappers called Christ Gang who brought a lot of energy to the Pre-Show. And of course I loved the performances by Bodine, Wendi (who opened the show) and Duchess who made her stage debut as a solo artist last night singing her new hit single, "Mr. Lover."

Here's the Complete List of Winners:

  • Best Short Film of The Year: Cinemorphesis
  • Best TV Show of The Year: On The Record
  • Photographer of The Year: Stanlo Photography
  • Blog of The Year: Mini Skirts & Microphones - Ianthia Smith
  • Vlog of The Year: Who Dat?
  • Visual Artist of The Year: Jamaal Rolle
  • New Artist: Sanjardo B
  • Bahamian Song of The Year: Qpid - Gimmie My Culture
  • Community Development: Get Fit With Smith
  • Gospel Song of The Year: Jonathan Farrington & Grace Generation - Free
  • Male Artist of The Year: Julien Believe
  • Music Video of The Year: Wendi - I ain't Missing It
  • Entertainer of The Year: Naughty
  • Contemporary Song of The Year: Sammi Star - I Iz What I Iz
  • Video Producer of The Year: Kyle Ferguson
  • Female Artist of The Year: Bodine
  • People's Choice Award: DJ Ovadose

It was interesting to hear so many new names, but of course they were really only new to me. In the moment, I thought some artists were snubbed or overlooked. For example, Who Dat? winning consecutively, Naughty winning entertainer of the year when literally anyone else in the category was a better option and Julien Believe winning Best Male Artist over Judah. The room was eerily quiet when Julien won and I'm not sure anyone really knew how to react. So I spoke to an organiser, to get some answers. Apparently, during the vetting process, nominees are asked to submit a complete portfolio along with a few other requirements; without this the nominee would not even be considered.

Of course no one likes to lose so there were mixed reactions to the award show. Some left before it was over, and some didn't bother to show at all. Then there were the ones that took to social media to throw digs. No one wants to think that awards and recognition are only for an elite circle in society, but when it's the "elite circle" mocking the establishment, you kind of begin to wonder what more could they want? I learned last night that Bahamians would rather diss your work or event before they support it. And they're really only happy to see their friends win. The tasteless comments were rather unfortunate. Sure this year was NOWHERE as good as last year's, with far more technical glitches and a lack of organisation, but the entertainment made up for it. I stayed up until the People's Choice Award because it was really late and I had to get my mother home. But something incredible last night happened that cannot be overlooked.

There was a very touching moment during the show when the host realised that a young 10 year old girl he had used as a part of a bit and buried her mother that same day. As a show of good faith and support, Demetrius not only gave the girl a brand new cellphone courtesy of BTC, $100 and offered to pay her next semester tuition, but he also encouraged the entire audience to donate to her. And the ENTIRE audience got up and gave something. It was very touching. I genuinely hope that the donations are put to good use for the girl.

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FINAL VERDICT: Last year's award show was much better, but it could also be that we were so enamoured by the fact that it was something new. I have a lot of ideas for how the entire experience can be improved on next year that I will sit down with the organisers and discuss. I believe in what Elevation Media is trying to do. Bahamians work hard and we really have to learn to celebrate one another. There are so many creatives in this country, maybe next year artists from the various family islands can be recognised as well. I don't take any part of this experience for granted and look forward to watching the show grow and expand to become a force to be reckoned with. See you next year!

And The Nominees for the 2018 Elevation Awards Are...

Hello Lovely,

Can you believe it's time for the Elevation Awards already? This year Elevation Media hosted the first annual Elevation Awards. I had a joy covering it and looked forward to covering it again next year. Last night, at The Golden House, Caves Village, the nominees were announced. It was a star studded event with live performances by Maleah Gabrielle, Ophine, Sammi Star, Eman, Charisa & Shon P and M-deez.

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You can watch the video recording from last night here, or just check out the nominees here:

Visual Artist Of The Year

  • Philese Roberts
  • Allan Wallace
  • Emerald Sands
  • Stefan Davis
  • Minolta Butler
  • Jamaal Rolle

Female Artist Of The Year

  • Lady E
  • Bodine
  • Fanshawn
  • Wendi
  • Patrice Murrell

Male Artist Of The Year

  • Dmac
  • Dyson Knight
  • Julien Believe
  • MDeez
  • Sammi Starr
  • Judah Tha Lion

New Artist Of The Year

  • Ophine
  • SanJardo B
  • Twin Dem
  • Charisa
  • Lexx
  • Patrice Murrell

Short Film Of The Year

  • Archipelago Alliance - CINE Morphosis
  • Eyes of Glass - Rashad Ferguson
  • Liars Dice - Valicia Rolle
  • Outlaw (The Prophecy) Steampunk Short Film - CINE Morphesis

Vlog Of The Year

  • Khing Kloud
  • Who Dat
  • The Click
  • The Next Face
  • Sawyerboy
  • Such A Pratt

Music Producer Of The Year

  • Sketch
  • Sammi Starr
  • Orthniel
  • Rik Carey
  • Zoltan Johnson
  • Frederick Seymour

Song Of The Year

  • Long Time - Dmac
  • Gimmie My Culture - Qpid
  • Your Ting - Patrice Murrell
  • Down Home - Lady E
  • Rocka My Cherry - Bodine
  • Red Plate - KB

TV Show Of The Year

  • The Stew
  • Happy Foods 242
  • The Rush
  • Chef It Up
  • On The Record
  • Sawyerboy TV

Video Producer Of The Year

  • Stephen Hanna
  • Carl Ferguson
  • Keirohn Farrington
  • Owen Petti (Cubes Pro)
  • Lavado Stubbs
  • Farreno Ferguson

Music Video Of The Year

  • Een Missing It - Wendi
  • Wanna Know Your Name - Ton Ash
  • All Wrong - Tebby
  • Outlaw - Judah Tha Lion
  • Away from Home - Mdeez
  • All Mine - Charisa & Shon P

Gospel Song Of The Year

  • Thank God For Life - DJ Counsellor
  • Young & Free - Rashad Rich
  • Make Me Wanna Dance - Althea
  • Jack In The Box - Stacs
  • Free - Jonathan & Grace Generation
  • Our Father - Godsent Music

Entertainer Of The Year

  • Sawyerboy
  • Naughty
  • Empress
  • Khing Kloud
  • Epic For Realz
  • Dyson Knight

Caribbean Song Of The Year

  • No Lie - Sean Paul ft. Dua Lipa
  • Fever - Vybz Kartel
  • Pretty Girl Team - Alkaline
  • Single - Orlando Octave
  • Buss Head - Machel Montano
  • Technically - Farmer Nappy & Destra

Photographer Of The Year

  • Stanlo Photography
  • Braxton Gardiner Photography
  • Churchboy Photography
  • Blair J Meadows Photography
  • Shawn T Photography
  • T Glinton Photography

Blog Of The Year

  • Cay To Style - Aneka Stewart
  • She So Major - Sherice Major
  • Kyss My Hair - Brittany Basden
  • Girl With Her Views - Ashley Bethel
  • Stylezine Magazine - Nik Barnes
  • Life By Olivia - Olivia Russell

Lifetime Achievement Award

James Catalyn

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THAT'S RIGHT!!!!! I WAS NOMINATED! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT! i genuinely don't even care if I win, it's just such an amazing honour to be recognised. I've been blogging since 2012, but I didn't get serious until 2014 and it wasn't until about last year that I really found my niche with it. Running this blog has been so therapeutic for me so it's a blessing to hear from you guys how much you enjoy everything I share. I couldn't do this alone. I've had amazing support from friends, family and various freelance artists I've met over the years. Thank you so much for the support and I can't wait to see you all in April!

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The 2017 Elevation Awards

Hello Lovely,

If you’ve been following me on Instagram (or IG as the kids call it), you would have seen a few highlights from the first Elevation Awards Show at the Melia Resort in Nassau, Bahamas. On Saturday April 15th, 2017, the Life by Olivia team was there to capture and mingle with some of the young Bahamian artists who are making waves on the scene and changing the industry.   The Red Carpet activity started buzzing shortly after 5:30pm as scores of fashion looks graced the scene sporting various trends, cultural prints and bold coloured jackets. The talent was anything but shy! These game changers are making BIG statements with their accomplishments but still remain humble.

If you haven’t heard, the Elevation Awards is geared to be an annual award show created by The Elevation Media Group.  The Elevation Awards celebrates the accomplishments of Bahamians in music, acting, sports, community building and other fields of entertainment. We chatted with some of the big names that night, including musical artists Gary Francis, Dyson Knight, Keeya, and Jonathan Farrington. Each artist shared a word of wisdom with us. Gary advised any new artist trying to get on the scene that practice truly does make perfect. Dyson stated that his motivation for his career comes from seeing his music touch and inspire others. Keeya shared that the inspiration behind her #1 single Faded was about being a millennial girl trying to figure out the young guys on the dating scene. The video was created by an all Bahamian team with world-renowned director, Kareem Mortimer. While, Jonathan, who had to quickly jet back to Canada to perform at the Canadian Music Festival shared how placing second in the Canadian musical competition and being the only international competitor has helped his networking and boosted his determination to continue his career.

Hosted by the host of one of my favourite local TV Shows, “Chef it Up”, Ianthia Smith, kept the audience entertained with her quick wit, humour and engaging personality.   But the best part was the live performances. The Award Show provided nonstop entertainment with concert-like performances in all genres that brought the crowd to their feet and made inner karaoke superstars out of many! We were entertained by artists such as Keeya, Jive, Jonathan Farrington, DJ Counsellor, Sammi Star and Bantangy. My favourites were Jive for their performance of Rhythm, a  rap artist by the name of Eman who performed a raw piece that told us of his transformation from street life to Christian, and a spoken word piece entitled, “The Bahamian Dream”, which spoke to the realness of current events and politics that many choose to ignore; it was written by Michaela Munnings and performed by Zemi Holland.

The first of many to come, The Elevation Awards serves as inspiration to young artists to let them know that there is a place for them in society. I've heard the biggest complaint from young artist who submit their work to local competitions: "I was told it wasn't Bahamian enough." Artists should feel free to make whatever work makes them happy and sparks a change socially. The Elevation Awards is the right platform to do this and next year, they're coming back bigger and better than ever! And as always, Life By Olivia will be there to keep you covered. Because Life Could Use a Personal Touch!

XoX,