Protoje Leading the New Era of Reggae
Since the reign of Bob Marley, the king of reggae, many reggae artistes have found it challenging to escape the legend’s iconic musical shadow. However, with his modern take on the Jamaican-birthed genre, Protoje, born Oje Ken Ollivierre, has cemented his place in reggae, leading a wave of new artistes who are pushing the norms of reggae and infusing genres such as soul, jazz, R&B, and dancehall.
But, in an industry dominated by ego, has the artiste received the praise he deserves for helping pave the path for a new era of reggae and sharing it with younger entertainers?
In the latest episode of the Let’s Be Honest podcast, host Jaii Frais spoke briefly on the controversy that has surrounded Protoje, whom some have accused of leading or allowing the new generation of reggae artistes to go astray from the fundamental Rastafarian traditions of the genre.
Jaii Frais noted the number of young artistes that the Dread singer has helped but questioned if he had received his flowers for what he has contributed to reggae. Podcast guest Richie Feelings argued that despite his detractors, Protoje had received widespread support, highlighting his recent Lost in Time Festival.
Protoje featured a number of his fellow entertainers in his concert, such as Chronixx, Lila Ike, and Sevana. Protoje has consistently collaborated with reggae’s rising talents, including Koffee, who has referred to the artiste as one of her inspirations.
Protoje has also opened doors for artistes like Sevana, Ike, and Jaz Elise, for whom he brokered individual album deals with Six Course/RCA Records through his label and management company, the In.Digg.Nation Collective.
Protoje and the Grammy kid Kabaka Pyramid are seemingly good friends also with Protoje taking to Instagram last month to congratulate the Well Done singer on the win. Protoje was also featured on the Grammy-winning project.
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One way of measuring Protoje’s impact on the genre is the numbers he racked up for the song titled Who Knows featuring Chronic. The music video has racked up over 180 million views on youtube, making it one of the most viewed music videos out of Jamaica in the past 10 years along with Koffee’s Toast.
Watch the video below.