Drewbyrd, Sean G, and Shacia Payne had a conversation with Buju Banton when the inaugural episode of their Shabbaaaaa Sound Radio show took place on Apple Music. Banton explained how the authenticity of his genre kept it from grabbing the attention of mainstream.
“We don’t want to tell the people a lie. We have to tell the people the truth, and that is Reggae music,” Buju said in the interview. The veteran artiste believes that Reggae songs don’t get the mainstream appeal and the mainstream backing, because the music is a music aimed at uplifting something inside of people, not outside of them.
He said he realized that when Bob Marley was telling us and also what Peter Tosh was singing about.
Buju has not shifted his focus toward mainstream music, but the sound was drawn to him. Earlier this year, Banton made an appearance on “A Muse in Her Feelings” DVSN’s new album. Buju gave the OVO artiste a feature on their song “A Dangerous City” with Ty Dolla Sign.
Buju revealed that mainstream media and gatekeepers have disrupted the spiritual connection with the Higher Power and he also spoke about reconnecting so that everything could become seamless. As that is what was created by dancehall/reggae music.
After a year since his release, Buju Banton has claimed his place in the upper position in dancehall. He not only, staged an epic concert in Jamaica, but he had sold-out concerts in other places around the Globe on the “long walk to freedom” tour. He made hit songs again and wants to do more music for the whole world now, that everyone can be proud of.
It is interesting to hear about what he did to preserve his talent and how he now acknowledges his relentless effort to raise the standard of the music.
He now says he feels good to be back home and even though he was tired after he travelled on the night he landed in Jamaica, but he was touched by the outpouring of love he felt coming from the people.
He was quickly whisked away that night, but he was touched by the vibes he felt coming from his people. Buju says he doesn’t like the fanfare, but he was very surprised by the way the people came out to see him.
Buju Banton is having a good time with his family, seeing the difference between how they were when he left and the way they are now.
He said he didn’t even want anything to eat at first, he only wanted to meditate.
He spoke about his rigid routine and how he did workouts while he was locked up, but he said the extra pounds he had on was not for him. He immediately started to work to take off some extra pounds and managed to lose some weight when he returned.
He wanted to be able to run while he performed on the stage and he lost 30 pounds by the 16th of March which was the day the “Long Walk to Freedom” tour began.
Buju initially wanted to perform, he didn’t want any headache. Rockers Island made the concert great, and the good people on the ground did all they could and made it possible.
The moment he walked out on stage it was clear that it was a historical event and for the Gargamel, it was pure magic on a spiritual level. Some of the people were seeing him for the first time after he returned to the island. He said there were many things going on behind the scenes to make the experience magical and pure for the people, this was important for him.
He was confident because he thinks the question about how well he can perform was answered long ago and now we are seeing that his love for music is deep.
As he has been making music for a long time, he had to go into the dancehall to prove himself back in the early days. He couldn’t tell the selector to change the rhythm for him. He had to hone his skills and practice for a long time.
Buju believes the foundation is lacking in the music business now, artistes are not developed as they did in the past anymore. There needs to be an understanding of the culture and know that the music was here before the artistes who are performing now and it will be here after they leave, so the youth need to be educated in a better way about the culture and the music.
The faces of the people in the National Stadium showed the joy they felt while he performed, at the concert at the National Stadium and Jamaicans should realize that our island is a small dot on the Globe, and it has such a big impact worldwide and the music is not treated well on the island.
Banton believes, proper representation for Jamaican music is needed and the artistes need to learn how to present themselves in a better way.
Buju also spoke about touring the Caribbean, parts of Europe and Africa when he was on the “Long walk to freedom” tour.
He says the promoters in Kenya wants the people to enjoy the music, but the tour has taken a break.
He now realizes that some places in Africa are deeply in love with the Jamaican music, they even have their own Buju, Beenie and Bounty. A musical bridge is being built and that is becoming what people are walking on to connect to Africa at this time, he added.
The Jamaican influence can be seen in Afro Beats and the Africans show respect to the Jamaicans but the people who do Reggaeton are not like that.
He said he knows there are Culture vultures, but Jamaicans need to protect our culture and keep it strong.
He said his time spent on the Jamrock Cruise ship was great, he said the song he sang with Steven Marley shows that Reggae music lives, and people were crying in the audience.
Buju Banton went to the Pinnacle of Dancehall and has done so well had never called himself a King like others did. He now says he is a servant of the music and he doesn’t mind being in a humble position.
buju banton smiling laughing beach 2020
He now says he kept his spirit calm and his heart pure because in the heart lies the issues of all things and if he keeps his heart pure in all circumstances, he knows he will be doing good. He says patience is a virtue, but it is practiced by a few. He watched everything stop around him and he kept abreast of what was happening in Jamaica by reading Newspapers. He kept on looking inside himself and now he is leaving the past behind and he is moving on.
He says it is not what he wants, it is his purpose which is in music. He answered the question of whether or not he could make hit music again which was answered with “Trust”.
He now says “Trust” is a part of what he had to say about the way people are using social media. People are losing themselves in the process as the world has become data driven, it is the Goldmine for the heathen, and you are not being your brother’s keeper “So we nuh trust phone we nuh like ” he said. The song was produced by Dave Kelly’s production
Buju states that for his new album many other producers got involved and he got different sounds from different people. He addressed a number of issues in his album, ranging from dancehall, lovers rock and there is something on it for even Grandma. He is giving 20 tracks for 2020.
Buju said when you borrow other people’s sound you won’t be authentic. He said the Americans came to us when they wanted something different but if you don’t do the work and put out authentic Jamaican music because the more original you are the more money you make.
He believes it makes no sense for Jamaicans to follow the Hip Hop community and leave all the good foundation of the dancehall music. The dancehall trap music doesn’t seem to be moving people as much, but he believes it will take some serious introspection to deal with the music. Quality control needs to be checked. More passion needs to be placed in the business of music and Buju believes the music business is not growing here in Jamaica.
He hopes the young artistes will be willing to learn from the older artistes and don’t believe they already know everything because the music business needs to be preserved.
The next project could be released in May.