Protoje first burst onto the music scene with the single Arguments, and has used the traction from that song to build the beginnings of a successful global career. His acclaimed debut album 7 Year Itch was an instant hit, as was the follow-up 8 Year Affair. His current album, Ancient Future, is another global hit. Protoje is also one of the architects of the ‘reggae revival’ movement, which also includes Chronixx, Jesse Royal and Kabaka Pyramid.
Get to know more about him here:
- His government name is Oje Ken Ollivierre. His moniker ‘Protoje’ comes from the word protégé (stylised by using his first name at the end), which means a young person who is taught and helped by someone who has a lot of knowledge and experience. This is appropriate because he considers himself a student of music and the name reminds him to “always be learning.” It was suggested to him by a friend named Evaflow.
- Music is in his blood. His mother and manager, Lorna Bennett, was a reggae singer in the 1970s and is best known for the hit Breakfast In Bed. His father, Mike Ollivierre, is a calypsonian and athletics coach from St Vincent who goes by the stage name Lord Have Mercy. Top producers Donovan ‘Don Corleon’ Bennett is his cousin.
- He almost became a lawyer. After leaving her music career behind, Bennett became a lawyer and her son almost followed in her footsteps. He started doing pre-law courses, but gave it up to pursue music full-time.
- Protoje rarely performs using tracks, preferring to work with his longtime band, Indiggnation. The band started coming together in 2003, when he met guitarist Jason Worton.
- His third album, Ancient Future, reached number one on the Billboard reggae chart.
- He collects vintage Adidas sneakers.