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.
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!