Grammy-nominated reggae artiste Protoje is today basking in the success of his song, Like Royalty. The track, which features Billboard-charting artiste Popcaan, appears on Protoje’s fifth studio album, In Search of Lost Time, and currently has 1.2 million views on YouTube. In a recent interview with The Gleaner, Protoje revealed that the song is his first single to get to the coveted million-views mark so quickly, and says its success is testament to what reggae and dancehall artistes can do when they join forces.
“This is a good start to what the album can do, and it shows what can be done when energies come together. I have two songs over 100 million views on YouTube and for me as a Jamiacan artiste, it’s a huge accomplishment to have that. Hopefully, this can be the third,” he said, indicating that his relationship with Popcaan goes far beyond music. He said a collaboration between the two was inevitable as they have become like brothers. “Poppy is a man weh just show nuff respect to me and he is always giving me good energy. When he invited me to do his show in St Thomas (last year), after we got off stage him say 2020 can’t pass and we nuh do some music, and so I had that in the back of my mind … . A few months later when I got Like Royalty in its full space, I reached out and he pulled up to the studio, and we did his verse and then the video. He (Popcaan) has done a lot for Jamaican music, he is like a legend in the music at this point.”
Protoje then went on to say that despite talks that the local industry is rooted in disunity, there are great things happening which are worth highlighting. “
Unity in MUSIC
“People who are saying there is no unity, can you tell me any walk of life where you see unity across the board? I don’t know of any, and so music is no different from any other aspect of life,” he said. “There is nothing that is going to have 100 per cent unity, but I am very encouraged with where the music is at right now.
“I am not one of these people who will say, ‘Oh, the music nah work, or sales low, or artistes fight too much.’ Let’s try to highlight the positives more,” he continued. “Let’s talk about the fact that in the past two or three years we have been streaming more, getting closer to popular culture. Let’s talk about the fact that Stalk Ashley [is] doing well, Jada Kingdom [is] doing great, Koffe [is] doing great. Things are happening and we need to highlight that. That’s what we need to focus on more than anything else.”
Protoje’s album, In Search of Lost Time, was released last Friday. The compilation has 10 tracks, and features collaborations with Koffee, Lila Ike, American rapper Wiz Khalifa and, of course, Popcaan.