Earlier this week, reggae star Protoje dropped the video for his latest love jam Bout Noon. In anticipation of his upcoming album to be launched later this month, and the celebration of his birthday, The Gleaner reached out to the Sudden Flight singer for a little one-on-one:
‘Seven Year Itch’, ‘The 8 Year Affair’, ‘Ancient Future’, and now , ‘A Matter of Time’, How deliberate is the decision to keep your album titles tied to the time theme or how natural?
“I think it’s something I think about all the time. Time is the only currency that we can’t get back. It’s the most important thing, yet we treat it carelessly. So it’s just me reminding myself to use the time that I have as best as I can.”
What keeps the relationship alive between you and long-time collaborator Winta James?
“Just the trust that we have in each other and the respect as men. It’s not only just music. It goes way beyond the music. It’s a personal relationship where we strengthen each other. It’s a vibes, and mi just trust him as a producer whole heap.”
Is your style something that has developed naturally over the years, or do you take modern style cues? b. Why is it important for a recording artist to establish a particular aesthetic?
“For me, I just kinda do what I feel. And sometimes I see something and say, ‘Whoa! That looks dope. Maybe I could rock it this way.’ I just think it’s another form of creative expression. I think it sets you apart. So, for me, I just try to do what I feel and sometimes take risks.”
Tell us about the concept behind your brand-new music video for the single ‘Bout Noon’. Why choose Papine and Half-Way Tree as the locations?”
The video was shot by Jay Will, featuring Kandi King. It’s about the late night in Kingston and those locations. I wouldn’t say I chose them. It’s just that at night-time , they’re still bubbling and bustling, so I wanted to show people working all hours of the night doing various jobs. And the one thing that everyone has in common is wanting to go home to be with their loved ones.”
You’ll be spending the rest of the summer in the US and Europe with dates currently booked going into November. On these trips, are there ever moments you wish you saw more Jamaicans on the road?”
It’s good to see Jamaicans when I come back home. And I mean, the ones that are out of the road, it’s ample. Quite enough.”
Bonus: Father’s Day is coming up. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt since becoming a dad? “
The biggest lesson, I think, is patience. It makes me realise and helps me to come to grips with that this world is about taking care of other people.
So outside of having your child, just the way that you treat people around you. I learnt that lesson through having a child because the warmth I get from her, I try to pass it on to other people.”