Oje Ken Olliviere, known to the music world as Protoje, took the time to talk to LargeUp in an exclusive interview about the resurgence of roots reggae styles in Jamaican music and his newest release, The Eight Year Affair. In the world of hip-hop, we are no strangers to the revival cycle of older styles coming into play – a trend which is also seeing light in the reggae scene, with the emergence of electronic-produced styles like raggamuffin and artists like Protoje leading the pack. The artist also speaks on the importance of the more consciousness-focused reggae he sees coming back into the forefront. Check out a few excerpts below and head to LargeUp for the rest.
LargeUp: Tell me about the sound on this record…
Protoje: I wanted to do an update of that early ‘80s Sly and Robbie sound, with my flavor and influence from hip-hop on top of that. That’s what we really came up with. In those songs, you can really hear the influence of Ini Kamoze and Sly and Robbie…
LU: What is it about that era that you identify with?
Protoje: Just the grittiness of it. I don’t know if it’s cause I was born close to that time. To see Sly and Robbie and Black Uhuru on stage just makes me feel alive, and I just always wanted to be on stage like that. That era to me is just my era. A lot of people are into the late 70s, Bob Marley and the Wailers era, which is also a Golden Era….
LU: What was the hip-hop that impacted you?
Protoje: Nas and Jay-Z were big for me, Tupac was huge, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Slick Rick. I really studied those artists—their flow, their patterning, the way they put their words together. That’s the thing I learned most from hip-hop-the flow, the patterning, the metaphors and wittiness.