Protoje about his sixth album “Third Time’s The Charm”

by Sep 27, 2022Articles

Protoje on Apple Music 1

(Video, photos, and key quotes courtesy of Ebro Darden on Apple Music 1)

Reggae artist Protoje joined Ebro Darden on Apple Music 1 to discuss his sixth studio album Third Time’s The Charm, his production work, running his own label with artists like Lila Iké and Jesse Royal, why he’d love to work with Alchemist, and more.

Protoje explains the motivation behind his Time trilogy of albums…

It’s a trilogy because there was A Matter of Time, In Search of Lost Time, and then Third Time’s the Charm… I’m trying to remind myself that [time] is the most important currency we have and that’s the one thing we can’t get back and we have to spend time. My daughter’s getting older and seeing my parents getting older, the reality is setting in that life doesn’t stop. It doesn’t pause. Even when the world shuts down, it still goes on. So it’s just reminding myself that spend time doing the things that you love with the people you love because you don’t get it back. So I’m fascinated with time and I try my best to make it move as slow as possible.

Protoje shares the strategy working with artists like Lila Iké and Jesse Royal…

I don’t presume to know what other artists should be doing and what other companies should be doing. Everybody has their own approach. But for me… And it’s a thing I tell my artists, I’m like, “Look, if it is that you’re trying to run down stardom and stuff like that, I’m probably not the label for you. What I can do for you is that I guarantee you’re going to have a full, wholesome career that has longevity and we’re building something that’s timeless,” as you said. “And that lasts. And it may take longer, it may not get the quick attention, it may not fly to the top immediately, but if you believe in the process, it will pay off for you. You’ll be able to put on music you make and take care of your family immediate and extended.” And that’s just what I try to have something that’s sustainable for an artist because I don’t want to work with no artists and then their hot 2020 and then they disappear 2021. It’s like, I’m not about that life at all.

Protoje says he has new young fans discovering his music through Lila Iké…

Everything that we do is still very current. And then because, as again, Koffee comes out and she comes out listening to Protoje and Chronixx, and then she’s dominating and then crazy of her fans are put onto our music because they kind of know the connection. And that happened. I go a show and 17-year-olds coming up to me and be like, “Yo, I listen to your music because Lila Iké said that you were her don,” or whatever. You know what I mean? So it’s very good for there to be turnover. That’s why there always has to be turnover of new crops and to stay. And for me, I’m always paying attention of what’s coming up and making my sound reflective, still rooted in what I do, but also still cognizant of the fact that it’s 2022 and it’s not 2009.

Protoje says that the title of “Ten Cane Row” was inspired by Jorja Smith’s hairstyle…

So Americans call it cornrows. Everybody does their hair in the braids that roll back. But in Jamaica, they call it cane row. Okay. In America, you guys grow corns. We grow sugar cane. So Jorja Smith, her hairstyle was always… When she just came out, she would always have her hair in cane rows. So it’s a song I wrote. It was kind of inspired by her and when I wrote it I was like, “Yo, I want to get her on it because it’s kind of inspired by her.” So that’s what it’s about. It’s just a line in there that say, “She has her edges laid with about ten cane rows.” So it was just me being descriptive and I thought that that would be a dope name for the song

Protoje says he’d love to work with Alchemist on a project…

I listened to “Alfredo” by Freddie Gibbs a lot in the pandemic. That was nice stuff. That and the Nas and Jay Electronica project. Alchemist is crazy. I’d love to do something with Alchemist. Trust me. Something special. Something would be special.

Protoje says he has a song coming out with Lila Iké and an “American superstar”…

My producer credits are going up. I produced a song for Lila. No, I probably can’t say it, but Lila and a superstar, American superstar. So big up to Lila for getting me in that room. And then I produce on Lila’s project a lot and just doing other stuff for myself as well. So branching out into more production now because I love it. I love to be in the studio and be behind the drum machine and helping to put stuff together. I love that part of creating.

Ebro Darden & Protoje (Courtesy of Apple Music)
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