Buju Banton thinks supporting young acts like Koffee is important to the prosperity of Jamaican music.
As he is gearing up to release his new album Upside Down 2020, Buju Banton is doing a short press run to promote the project. The reggae singer, who is being managed by Roc Nation, recently did an interview with Ebro, Rosenberg, and Laura Stylez on Hot 97. During the video discussion, Buju was asked about Koffee being one of the opening acts at his “Long Walk To Freedom” welcome back concert in March 2019. He described the Grammy-winning Jamaican artist’s journey as one that was ordained.
“Koffee is a beautiful artist,” said Buju Banton. “It is prophecied in the book that ‘young men I calleth upon you because you are strong.’ Now if the young men fail to heed that call he’s gonna call upon the young women, and if they fail he’s gonna call up on the babies and suckling, and if they fail he’s gonna call upon the rocks and the stones.”
“So when we see the young ones doing the work and bringing this music forward it’s our duty to embrace them,” he added. Gargamel said a lot has changed in Jamaica since his time there prior to his international incarceration. As for how the music has changed, he says it is growing and many can attest to that. “Whole heap a female artist now back ina di arena again – it’s great,” Buju expressed. I just wanna make sure that I add my contribution in this time and that’s why we coming with ‘Upside Down 2020’ with 20 tracks.”
Buju also explained that the music can only ascend to a global platform with a united front and collective effort. “Now I’ve never been a selfish person where this music is concerned because reggae music is not about one individual or one group,” he said. “Our music is about the people so giving others the platform to be heard that is how we carry each other, or else we won’t be heard.”
He continued, “We have to create the platform, you have to bring other people so the world can see them and show them that this is who is next in line so the music lives.” Buju also dropped some major knowledge in the interview as well while discussing the importance of nurturing new talent. “I know many of you might not even know this but the Jamaican music (reggae music) was the first music to ever sell a million copies of a phonographic record anywhere in the world,” he said. “That history is well documented by the great Harry Belafonte who sing ‘The Banana Boat Man’,” he added.
The versatility that reggae music offers is also something Buju touched on during the interview. He explained that Jamaican music is not given a platform because it’s not being controlled and streamlined but it is still one of the realest out there. “Our music remains authentic to this day because when anything happens when tragedy hits we can find a song to comfort us. That’s what we want,” he continued. “We don’t wanna only dance and sing and drink and party. We wanna also reflect, think, grow, educate ourselves ’cause that’s the power of the music.”
Buju expressed similar sentiments about unity in a previous interview in March with Winford Williams from popular Jamaican entertainment program OnStage. He highlighted the importance of embracing new talents so they can learn the “musical keys.” According to Buju, he has observed a lot of bickering and in-fighting in the local industry that will only serve to stunt the growth of the genre.
Do you think we have a collaboration between Buju Banton and Koffee to look forward to in the future?