Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Crime Free Christmas a success

Published:Wednesday | December 28, 2016 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle
Songbird Tessanne Chin and campaign organiser and popular guitarist, Lamont ‘Monty’ Savory.

Guitarist Lamont 'Monty' Savory is calling his Crime Free Christmas project a huge success.

The initiative saw artistes including Christopher Martin, Tessanne Chin, Busy Signal, Agent Sasco, Tarrus Riley and Chronixx recording their own renditions of popular Christmas songs or carols, aimed at promoting peace during the festive season, and according to Savory, it achieved that and much more.

Speaking with The Gleaner, Savory revealed that the project not only accomplished its mission of going viral on the Internet, but based on the feedback from people, its purpose of influencing persons to keep the peace during Christmas was also fulfilled.

"We already stated from the very get-go that we are not necessarily crime-fighters per se, but we have a voice and we can use it to spring awareness and try to influence people in a positive way," he said. "It did that. I feel like a lot of people enjoyed the project not just for bringing awareness, but also for bringing entertainment, because it had a very good entertainment value."

He went on to say that the World Wide Web enjoyed the remixed renditions of the Christmas songs so much that he has received feedback from people as far away as Germany.

bigger than expected

"It's far bigger than I expected. When you see people from Germany, Italy, England, sharing the videos and you're getting phone calls from all over the world, you know it was something special," he said, thanking the entertainers for coming on board.

"The entertainers have been calling me and telling me that they really respect what I did and they're glad to be on board, but I'm the one who's happy they were a part of this."

Christmas has come and gone, but Savory wants to make it known that making Jamaica crime-free doesn't just take place with him or with any single initiative. He used the opportunity to encourage Jamaicans to assist in making the country truly crime-free. With that said, Savory revealed plans to extend the project beyond Christmas, changing the name from Crime Free Christmas to Crime Free JA. While he has not ironed out plans on how he will improve the project going forward, Savory explained that he will be targeting communities where the crime rate is particularly high, focusing on the youth and determining how best he can help to shape their futures in a positive way.

"We are aiming for a crime-free Jamaica. By the beginning of the year we plan to change the name to Crime Free JA. We don't have anything planned directly now, but I want to start a charity organisation to source funds to get musical instruments and go into like juvenile detention centres," he explained.

"You know that especially for juvenile detention centres, where children who get caught up in doing certain things, if you want to give them an option, at least present them with something that you feel they might enjoy, which is music. A lot of musicians are people who grew up in violent communities, and because of music, it changed them and turned them in a positive direction, so we know that music is something that can influence people in a positive way, and that is what we want to do."

entertainment@gleanerjm.com