National, News

South Sudanese musician wins $1 million prize

By Gladys Fred Kole

A South Sudanese-international singer, producer, and DJ based in the diaspora has won big prize as the Best DJ, worthy $1 Million dollars at the Reggae Sumfest Global Sound Clash in Jamaica.

Kennedy Ongele Lorya, professionally known by his music name Dynamq, is a South Sudanese Reggae-dancehall artist, DJ, music producer, and the founder of Dynamq Sounds International and the Non-governmental organization, Dynamq Foundation in Juba.

Dynamq was born into a family of seven children and grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya known as Kakuma, having had to flee the civil war in his native republic of the then-Sudan.

His love for music came from attending Sunday school, and he got himself involved with Jamaican music while at the camp.

Dynamq’s affiliation with sound systems began with the Shashamane set. After relocating to Kansas City, Missouri, he formed Dynamq 10 years ago and has competed in several sound clashes.

Sponsored by Magnum Tonic Wine, Dynamq’s victory not only secured him the prestigious trophy but also a grand prize of $1 million, reflecting the undeniable talent and artistry he displayed during the competition.

He was also honoured as the Power Play winner, receiving $100,000 from Sunshine Snacks for his exceptional presentation.

After hitting the jackpot, the Jere Jere hitmaker, singer Dynamq, took to his social media handle to express his happiness for the big win.

“When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place.”

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal; It is the courage to continue that counts. The only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it is possible.” Dynamq wrote on his Facebook page:

In an exhilarating dub-fi-dub face-off at the Pier One car park during Reggae Sumfest Global Sound Clash, Dynamq, the famous River Nile Crocodile, banger emerged as the final winner. Going head-to-head with forbidding opponent Code Red.

Dynamq’s incomparable disc jockeying skill and stage presence captivated the audience, earning him the current title of Best DJ.

Besides his inspiring expertise behind the decks, Dynamq is also a notable singer, having contributed hit songs such as Those Days in Nairobi and Jere Jere to the reggae music landscape.

“I’m the 2023 Global Sound Clash Champion. Thank you, Reggae Sumfest 2023.” Dynamq joyfully welcomed his accolade.

Reggae Sumfest is the largest music festival in Jamaica and the Caribbean, taking place each year in mid-July in Montego Bay Sumfest started in 1993. It attracts crowds of all ages from all over the world and has featured a variety of Jamaican reggae artists.

This year’s Reggae Sumfest will be held from July 16–22, 2023.


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