Nominees for IRAWMA Announced: Teejay, Sean Paul, and Masicka Lead with 7 Nods

by Howard Campbell

LAUDERHILL – Teejay, the Jamaican dancehall star who scored a major hit single in 2023 with Drift, is one of three artists nominated in seven categories for this year’s International Reggae And World Music Awards (IRAWMA) which takes place March 22 at the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center in Lauderhill.

The Montego Bay-born artist got those nods on the strength of the song Drift which also did well in hip hop circles.


Sean Paul and Masicka also earned seven calls. The trio, along with Popcaan and Valiant, will contest the Peter Tosh Recording Artist of The Year category.

Teejay’s Nominations:

  • Gregory Isaacs Award for Best Song
  • Best Crossover Song (Drift with Davido)
  • U-Roy Award for Best Male Dancehall/DJ Rapper
  • Onstage TV Award for Best Dancehall Stagecraft Entertainer
  • Dancehall Performer of the Year
  • Best Collaborated Song (Reggae with R&B, Rap, Latin, etc.)

Byron Messia, Popcaan and Burna Boy of Nigeria, each received five nominations.

Born in Jamaica but raised in St. Kitts and Nevis, Byron Messia has five nominations. His Talibans was another big dancehall hit embraced by major artists like Drake and Burna Boy.

The IRAWMA judges nominated Byron Messia in the following categories:

  • Gregory Isaacs Award for Best Song
  • Best Crossover Song
  • Best New Entertainer
  • Best Collaborated Song (Reggae with R&B, Rap, Latin, etc.) (Talibans II)
  • Best Music Video (Talibans II)

Details of the 41st IRAWMA were announced on January 25 at Chateau Mar Golf Resort Hotel in Fort Lauderdale by Jamaican Ephraim Martin who started the show in Chicago in 1982.

IRAWMA Nomination Categories

This year will see awards handed out in 40 categories including several named for outstanding reggae acts. In addition to the Gregory Isaacs Award, they are Toots Hibbert Award for Best Album/CD, Mutabaruka Award for Best Poet/Spoken Word Entertainer, Bunny Wailer Award for Most Cultural/Educational Entertainer and Dennis Brown Award for Most Promising Entertainer.

Diamond Awards will be presented to singers Freddie McGregor and Jacob Miller (posthumously). The latter, lead vocalist of the Inner Circle Band, died in March, 1980 at age 27.

Five acts are selected for Florida Entertainer of The Year (Local — Reggae/World Music). They are Causion, Code Red Band, Sons Of Mystro, Visions Band and Yosefus.

Voters at will determine the winners of each category.

41st IRAWMA Nominations Official Media Launch