Protoje Set For Global Takeover With World Service Show

HE IS one of the shining lights of the new school roots reggae movement, and was recognized by the Grammy committee earlier this year with his nomination.

Now the BBC World Service is honouring Protoje with a global radio programme which follows him as he starts work on his fifth studio album.

The last set, A Matter Of Time, earned the Grammy nod in the Best Reggae Album category, a testament to his quality songwriting, production and vocal delivery.

The BBC show is part of a series called In The Studio, which follows participants in the arts, entertainment and creative scenes to find out exactly what makes them tick. Protoje is followed by Seani B, who attempts to unearth how his creative process is formed.

“It was an interesting journey,” said Seani. “I usually play the end product on my radio show, and have also produced music for a very long time, so it was intriguing to find out what was the catalyst for Proto’s thoughtful music and subject matter.”

They first started the recording of the radio show in February, shortly after Protoje had returned from the Grammys.

Part two continued on the day after Buju Banton’s triumphant return to the stage in March and was recorded at the site of what will become the singer’s new studio complex, way up in the hills of Irish Town near Kingston.

“When I can see far, my mind becomes clearer,” said a reflective Protoje.

“I’m not originally from Kingston, and I am used to space and an opportunity to think, so being up in the hills helps my thoughts.”

Image result for ProtojeThere is a lot to think about. As Protoje reflects on his ever-changing life and the demands that success can bring, he is also pensive about the state of the world, and closer to home, and the mindset of the people in his immediate vicinity. “There is a lot going on in Jamaica, and we have a responsibility for the young people who will be here after us,” he said.

“Sometimes I feel that it is hard to even start thinking about the bigger stuff when we can’t even deal with the everyday problems we face.” The programme gives a wide view of the man born Oje Ken Ollivierre into a very musical household. His mum is the acclaimed singer Lorna Bennett, who had a smash hit with the track Breakfast In Bed, and his father Mike is a calypsonian who originally came from St Vincent, known under the stage name of Lord Have Mercy, before settling in Jamaica.

Protoje speaks about the impact that calypso, and elite songwriters and storytellers such as The Mighty Sparrow, had on him as an impressionable youngster.

“Sparrow is my father’s favourite artist – he would often point out his metaphors or wordplay and that gave me the vision to talk about things in different ways,” he revealed.

As working artists are notoriously hard to pin down, it is admirable that Seani managed to record three parts with him, with the final segment recorded while Protoje was on tour in America. A notably weary singer explained to Seani that work never stops, but he is thankful for the people wanting to see him and hear the message throughout the world.

Image result for ProtojeIn The Studio has a global audience of more than 70 million, and is an incredible platform for an artist such as Protoje.

“We were both impressed and grateful that a platform with such a vast reach would be interested in covering an artist in our genre. It not only shows the impact of the music he is making, but the level of interest in him as a character and the way he is interacting with both established and new audiences to reggae,” Seani added.

The UK has always been something of a second home to Protoje, and his touring schedule has meant that the album isn’t quite being completed to the timescale he would like.

Image result for Protoje in concert“The biggest advantage of having my own studio (which will be complete soon) is that I can work without having to worry about time. I can work to my own schedule, try things out, invite guests to come down to Jamaica and work with me,” Proto said excitedly.

The album represents a change of approach, too – he usually completes the sets with one producer, but this time has opted to work with a variety of studio producers. Get ready for what promises to be something special.

Source: Protoje set for global takeover with World Service show | The Voice Online

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