May 26, 2009

Reggae 'Protégé' Creates Music Storm with Hit Single 'Arguments'

Protoje was born into a musical family. His mother, Lorna Bennett, is an attorney-at-law and reggae icon, best known for the 1972 hit, ‘Breakfast in Bed.’ His father, Michael Ollivierre, also known as Lord Have Mercy, is a notably successful athletics coach and former Calypso King in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

It was not long before he helped to spearhead the Vendetta Sound System, cooperating with his cousin, Donovan “Don Corleone” Bennett.

With his 2008 releases, “Arguments” and “Dread,” featuring on the local airwaves with remarkable success, there is little doubt among critics that he is indeed a sensation. Protoje is not just a mere musician but a student of music, which reflects in his craft.

He’s currently working on a song with John Holt that is a masterpiece to say the least! He’s been featured on RETV, Smile Jamaica, The Jamaica Star, Hype TV, and other local media.

His music, however, is not the typical dancehall that would perhaps be expected from a 27-year-old. Instead, his sound is a reflection of those who inspired him and the music he grew up hearing, with a modern edge. He describes it as "reggae and dub with a touch of hip-hop."

Black Uhuru and Hugh Mundell are two of his main influences.

"I was a huge Spragga fan growing up and now, I look to Damian Marley a lot. Late '70s and early '80s reggae is the music that I love," he said.

Since his official break into the industry this year, his singles Arguments and Dread, particularly the former, have been enjoying rotation on local radio. He said, "It's been getting sporadic airplay since this year."

He knows quite well that his sound may not appeal to everyone, especially to those who are fans of hard-core dancehall, but this does not faze him.

"I just do music that I believe in and that I like. I'd rather have a hundred people liking the music that I want to do, than a thousand people loving something that is not what I'm about. I want to be able to sit and listen to a song with my mom and it nuh awkward. Plus, people want balance too," he said.

The video for his single Arguments premiered April 30th on Hype TV.

Below are the following for your viewing:

Protoje’s Arguments Video:

Protoje on Smile Jamaica:

Star feature:


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