A true believer of the idea that music can empower positive change, reggae act Oje Ken Ollivierre, aka Protoje, says everything happens for a reason.
Tell us what Reggae Music means to you?
Reggae music is a spiritual thing you know, we talk about things that other music genres don’t address. The struggle that people are going through, philosophical ideas and the things that make people feel something…that’s what reggae music did for me and that’s what inspired me to take up this type of music.
What has brought about the conscious, organic music trend?
I wouldn’t really call it a trend but I think everything happens in a cycle as a result of one type of music or one energy forces it to come back with another one. I just think that in Jamaica right now and in the world right now, every time there is a lot of trouble and turmoil in the world, I think reggae music creates an uprising.
How can we use music to create positive change?
Music gives you something to think about. It talks to the mind. Empower the mind through music as there are lots of different concepts out there so this gives people different options. People don’t have to keep listening to the same narrative being repeated to them over and over again. Just you putting yourself out there inspires others to do the same.
Can you share with us your first conscious memory of reggae music and what that meant to you? Perhaps from when you were little?
It would probably be my mom on stage performing and just seeing the stage and wanting to be up there. I remember one time she was doing a show with Isaac, and remember just watching the stage the whole time. I thought it was pretty cool and I’d love to be able to move people’s emotions like that.
How do you feel about being part of the first festival in Jamaica to combine wellness, gastronomy, and conscious music?
I like that am I apart of this the whole festival seems like a great initiative. I just want to do my part and make sure that all music is well represented and I look forward to doing greater things with them in the future.
Why is now a good time for reggae fans to visit Jamaica?
Because right now the reggae music here in a long time has not been at the front of people’s consciousness. It’s been a long time since we’ve had shows. The type of music coming out and the energy surrounding it is something to see. As the music continues to get more global it’s always good to come and see where the roots are. Once the connection is made there is a better understanding and seeing what reggae music is and understanding how it feels.