Before the Olympic torch was lit in London on July 27 to signify the start of the 2012 Olympic Games, the Jamaican torch had already been blazing for a couple of weeks. In case you are wondering, “A coulda which torch him a chat bout?,” I am referring to a figurative torch – the song Team Jamaica (“Light the Torch”) by singer Nando Griffiths(“Nando”). Over the past two weeks, Light the Torch has emerged as the clear favorite of the Jamaican media houses and the Jamaican public as the theme song for theJamaican Olympic team to London 2012. The song can be heard in rotation on all major Jamaican radio stations and on popular diaspora programs such as Irie Jam in New York. The accompanying internet video, which has elicited overwhelmingly positive response on YouTube and FaceBook, has also been picked up by leading Jamaican television stations for broadcast.
Light the Torch is an inspirational anthem built on three pillars: morale support for our athletes, realistic expectations of our athletes, and celebration of their efforts and achievements, whether or not such efforts result in a medal. Nando explains that he recorded Light the Torch, which he co-wrote with other members of his One Jam team, to rally the fans to join Team One Jam in support of Jamaica’s athletes to London 2012, specifically, and all current and future members of Team Jamaica. The song has thrust Nando, who currently has two songs – the lovers rock ballad My Everything and the bouncy dancehall track Ride All Night — in the Jamaican Top 25 Countdown, firmly into the media spotlight.
Nando has been deluged by interview requests over the past two weeks as the media tries to catch up on this seemingly overnight sensation and get an understanding of what inspired such a high quality song. They are quickly learning that high quality and versatility are hallmarks of Nando’s catalogue and, with the release of his debut album Yaad and Abroad only weeks away, they and the public will soon agree that Nando’s torch will be burning brightly long after these games.