Winning Voice - Remone Watson sets sights on US competition after winning Digicel Rising Star
Having won the 2023 Digicel Rising Stars competition, Remone Watson now has his sights set on entering American singing competition, The Voice, following in the footsteps of his mentor Tessanne Chin, who won that competition 10 years ago in 2013.
"My next motive is to embrace [my] gift and have my gift soar and also represent Jamaica internationally ...because I don't think a lot of conscious music is coming from youths these days, so I think it would be something great to enter [this international competition] with hopes of winning and make Jamaica proud ," Watson told THE STAR.
He hailed Chin for her support and influence.
"Tessanne has been my vocal coach, she has also been my mentor. I've known Tessanne since I was 11 years old, so we have quite a bond," said Watson.
A 20-year-old show player at Sandals Montego Bay, Watson walked away from the Digicel Rising Stars competition with a cash prize of $1.5 million, a smartphone and credit courtesy of Digicel. However, despite appearing throughout the competition that he was on a smooth road to victory, Watson encountered a nightmarish event last Friday when he was robbed of money he collected during a campaign event. The money was intended to purchase Digicel call credit in order to vote for him.
"I would like to say to Jamaica, big up, thank you guys so much for putting in the hard work week after week to ensure that I'm still in the competition. I thought that I was going to lose it [when] on Friday I got robbed of all of the campaign money. I didn't know where it was going to come from, but it come, and I thank God, and I thank Jamaica for doing what they had to do," Watson said.
His mother, Monique Jolly, could not contain her excitement and now looks forward to seeing him on The Voice stage.
"That would be awesome and I would be behind him 1,000 per cent because he has that talent," she said.
Watson won the Rising Stars crown ahead of 24-year-old Jhanelle 'Lady J' Thompson, who secured the second spot, and Sashae Evans, 29, who ended third.
Thompson walked away with a cash prize of $600,000, while Evans received $400,000. Both received a smartphone and credit.
Coincidentally, all three finalists did their audition in Ocho Rios, St Ann.
The season 19 finale of 'Rising Stars' saw the Top 10 performers open the show with a performance of Knew You Were Waiting. The night also featured live entertainment, with noted gospel entertainer Kevin Downswell performing All I Want is You and Grace; J Calm, Tempted; D'Yani, Live a Little and last year's winner Mozein Sutherland, Johnny Gill's My My My. Sutherland who was a Camperdown High School student when he won the competition in 2022, is a now a student of G.C. Foster College, studying massage therapy.
Following the announcement of the winner, Watson closed the show with a heartfelt performance of Barry White's Practice What You Preach.
Digicel Rising Stars was first aired in 2004. Many of its winners have gone to achieve great success in the entertainment industry including Romain Virgo, who won the competition in 2007; Christopher Martin, 2005, and Dalton Harris in 2010.