It's Protoje's time

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor --
Auto and Entertainment
bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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PROTOJE says a Grammy nomination was the furthest thing from his mind for his album, A Matter of Time. In fact, the roots-revival artiste had lost faith in the annual awards show when his previous set, Ancient Future, was snubbed.

“I really didn't expect it. I was surprised by the nomination, but I gratefully accept it,” the singer told the Jamaica Observer.

Last Friday he received his first nod in the Best Reggae Album category for A Matter of Time, his fourth studio project. Released May 18 by InDigg Nation Collective/Overstand Entertainment and Easy Star Records, the set boasts 10 tracks.

The album, produced by Phillip “Winta” James, features collaborations with fellow roots-revival artiste Chronixx and Mortimer. It went to number one on the Billboard Reggae Album chart.

Protoje said he has been touring Europe and the United States extensively, as it is essential to get the word out.

“You get to meet new audiences, new fans, and new people... and interact with them,” he said. As for local airplay, he felt he was getting his fair share but confessed that a little more wouldn't hurt.

“I'm grateful and thankful for the people who are playing my music, but who wouldn't want their music to be played more? Nobody owes you anything; I'm just thankful for the people who have been supporting me.”

In addition to the title track, A Matter of Time's includes Blood Money, Mind of A King, Like This, Bout Noon, Lessons, and Camera Show.

Ancient Future, released in March 2015, also went to number one on the Billboard Reggae Album chart. That set had hit songs including Who Knows (featuring Chronixx), Protection (featuring Mortimer), Criminal and Stylin'.

His other studio projects are 7 Year Itch (2011) and The 8 Year Affair (2013).

Protoje is one of the leading voices of the roots-reggae renaissance. Others include Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid, Jesse Royal, Jah9, and Iba Mahr.

Last year Chronixx's debut album, Chronology, was nominated for the reggae Grammy. He lost to Damian Marley's Stony Hill.

The other nominees in this year's Best Reggae Album category are As The World Turns by Black Uhuru, 44/876 by Sting and Shaggy, Rebellion Rises by Ziggy Marley, and Reggae Forever by Etana.

As for his chances on winning the Grammy?

“I think I have a good chance as any other of the four nominees. A nomination is just like a win to me... A win though would be a win for the culture and the generation,” said Protoje.


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