One of today’s most influential reggae artists, Protoje, tells a tale of retribution in his brand new video for “Self Defense,” the single from his latest album In Search of Lost Time (In.Digg.Nation Collective/Six Course Music/RCA Records). The Jamaican lyricist addresses distrust in his country’s government and takes a vigilante approach to control the bad-minded people running the streets. The visual, directed by Rebecca Williams, shows a group of women taking matters into their own hands to expose a man of his horrific crime.
“This is one of my favorite songs from the album and I decided to do a video for it because I feel like I wanted it to be almost like a declaration or call to attention regarding how we treat our women, especially as men. I wanted the story to be told from a woman’s perspective – and that’s how I linked up with the director, Rebecca. She’s an awesome storyteller & I think she did a great job with this video,” Protoje states.
On the track, Protoje talks about the hypocrisies of a patriarchal system and how it supports domestic violence and abuse. “Me hear some man a say them rather rape than turn a gay. As if dem deh ting deh related in any way. You nuh see say a some sicko them mentality. The patriarchy propagate all of them fallacy. Even in the church the violation prevalent Jehovah, you nuh witness, tell me that no relevant. Dem deh business cyaa exist inna we regiment. A self-defense and we no hesitant.”
Protoje is no stranger calling out misogyny and has made a concerted effort to help shift that paradigm. Within his own industry, he has signed and supported an all-female roster of Jamaican artists including Sevana, Lila Iké and Jaz Elise through his label and artist management company In.Digg.Nation Collective to represent the full spectrum of talent that his island has to offer.
Protoje’s fifth studio album In Search of Lost Time stays in rotation since its release on August 28, 2020. He colored outside the lines for a cinematic, ethereal, multi-genre LP and executive produced the entire project and co-produced five out of the thirteen original tracks. Now the vinyl edition to In Search of Lost Time is available for pre-order with shipments expected in September.
Watch “Self Defense”
Born and raised in Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica to singer Lorna Bennett and former calypso king Mike Ollivierre, Protoje blends hip hop, soul and jazz into his native sounds of reggae and dancehall. The musical prodigy, along with a collective of fellow artists, began getting mainstream attention for their addictive melodies and conscious lyrical messages in a movement dubbed the “reggae revival.” Publications such as VOGUE, Rolling Stone, The FADER, and PAPER have declared him one of the brightest talents out of Jamaica. His catalog consists of the following studio albums: Seven Year Itch (2011), The 8 Year Affair (2013), Ancient Future (2015) and A Matter Of Time (2018) and In Search Of Lost Time (2020). As a producer, he receives a co-credit for Rock & Groove Riddim (2019). His studio album A Matter Of Time earned him his first GRAMMY nomination for Best Reggae Album and his national U.S. TV debut performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, both in 2019. He has toured with Ms. Lauryn Hill and appeared on major festivals including Coachella (US), Glastonbury (UK), Afropunk (US), Reading & Leeds (UK), Sole DXB (Dubai) and Lollapalooza (Chile), reaching audiences far and wide with his genre-fusing sound. In 2020, the musician signed an unprecedented major deal with RCA Records in partnership with Six Course Records and his label and management company In.Digg.Nation Collective. Under the RCA deal, Protoje brokered individual album deals for himself as well as his rising female artists Lila Iké, Sevana and Jaz Elise. He has received praise from the likes of NYLON and Uproxx for In.Digg.Nation Collective’s forward-thinking sound. He performed on NPR Tiny Desk and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert #PlayAtHome and graces one of i-D magazine’s digital covers for Spring 2021.