The life story of Samantha Diaz, popularly known as ‘Just Sam’, winner of the 2019 prestigious ‘American Idol’ award has inspired the Devine’s Event and Consultancy International to set up a platform known as ‘The ICON’ to identify raw, unheard and unseen talents from across Liberia and show-case to them to the world at large with nine (9) persons qualifying for the final in January.
This year ICON show is in two categories, Music and poetry (Spoken). It intends to celebrate young Liberian talents and promote the creativity and artistic expression of poets whose works give new meaning of music and poetry.
The competition began early November with over 95 applicants from both music and poetry. After the audition, nine (9) applicants made it to the semi- final which was held on Sunday, December 27, 2020 at the Destiny Entertainment Center on Capitol by-pass.
Just Sam born on November 23, 1998, is a singer, songwriter based in Harlem, New York. She raised her fame after winning the eighteenth season of the singing reality show American Idol.
On May 17, 2020, Samantha was crowned the winner of the eighteenth season of American Idol, beating runner-up Arthur Gunn. Just Sam captured viewers’ hearts with her emotional black story, vivacious personality and soul-stirring vocals.
The ICON show is under the theme ‘Building Bridges for Unseen and unheard talents enables young poets to showcase their writings skills to the world.
Alex Saviour Devine Jr., Chief Executive Officer, DECI said the show is intended to bring to the spotlight those hidden talents that are in Liberia who normally display them in various communities.
Adding, he said that the show will help to unleash those young talents that are overlooked.
Dearest Leemue Preston, Market Lead, DECI said at the end of the ICON competition there will be two winners; one from the music and one from the spoken word.
“Both winners will walk away with four hundred thousand Liberian dollars, a recording studio dues and host a contest, both video and music, and formally launch you to the world as an ICON”
Serving as one of the judges for the ‘spoken word’ category, Catholic Sister Mary Laurene Brown said: “I am amazed and at the same time not surprised because Liberian children are just as gifted as any group of children in the world.”
She added that “What’s unfolding here is a pure pleasure for me and as we have reached this far, I looked forward to the final to see who is going to be the ICON for the spoken word.”
Sister Mary noted that “I really want to congratulate the young people for their talents and gifts.”
Meanwhile, those qualified for the final are Lewis Sowa, music, Justin V. Morris, spoken word, Keith Hunder, Music, Cheryl Samuels, music, Lisa Williams, Music, Dynamic Mark, music, Malcolm Smith, spoken word, Angel S. Clay, spoken word and Alexandra Bono, spoken word.