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Protoje Launches His '8 Year Affair'


Rising artist Protoje has made no secret of his ambitions to walk in the footsteps of reggae legend Bob Marley, so it seemed only fitting that the launch of his sophomore project, The 8 Year Affair took place at Tuff Gong Studios, Three Miles, Kingston.  Protoje admitted that it was particularly important to him that he launched the project in the space he described as "the house that Mr Marley built."

Indeed the singer’s first album, The Seven Year Itch, took place at another Marley establishment, The Bob Marley Museum on Hope Road. Rather than presenting a performance the launch focused on providing an opportunity for the audience to listen to the music.

Elise Kelly"Wi no really try to make one bag a jump up music" Protoje said to members of the media and select others who had been invited into the studio to listen to The 8 Year Affair. He pointed out that in the current crop of artists coming up the content of the music is important. "We glad you like the melody but we want you just tune in pon some words and hear the message,” he continued.

This idea carried throughout the launch, which was hosted by Elise Kelly. Speeches were kept short, with speakers making pointed and succinct statements about Protoje and the cadre of rising reggae artists were were described as members of the ‘reggae revival’. Dutty Boukman

"This bredda live him life from him heart," said author and radio host Dutty Bookman. He remarked that when he listened to Protoje’s music it echoed the energy of the time of Marley.

"This is what the country needs,” Boukman said. “There is a real revolution happening around the music," he continued. He cited Jah nine, Chronnix, Kabaka Pyramid and Protoje as just the tip of this revolution.

"So when you see Protoje, and when you see so many of us rallying around Protoje is not a hype ting. Because Protoje is not a hype artist. This is nation building," Boukman said.

Disc Jockey ZJ Sparks was equally enthusiastic in her praise of Protoje’s work. “Protoje is a young artist trying to change the nature of music in Jamaica, and he's using intelligence Protoje breaks the tension as he makes his presentation NLJ representativeto Nationaland pace," she said. Sparks pointed out that many artists focus on creating volume rather than patiently building a strong repertoire. She argued that instead it is important that a musician plant the seeds for future growth. Sparks expressed admiration for artists such as Nomaddz, Raging Fyah and Protoje who are investing the time required to build a long lasting career.

Most of what Protoje had to say was delivered via a short documentary in which he outlined his thoughts and opinions on life and music. Protoje finally arrived on the stage to make his Legal Deposit to the National Library, after which he segued into giving thanks to speakers as well as producers, performers on The 8 Year Affair, and of course, his mother, Lorna Bennett.

The 8 Year Affair features 14 tracks, 13 of which are produced by Don Corleone.