Protoje: Ancient Future
Protoje and his band, The Indiggnation, have continued to build on their previous success with the release of the new album Ancient Future in March of this year. With singles like Who Knows featuring Chronnixx currently ruling the airwaves, this album proves to be just as successful and important as his last two. Protoje has defined himself as a rising leader in the reggae movement, being nominated by BBC 1xtra as a Hot Artist for 2015 and winning the Best Musical Collaboration award, at the Youth View Awards in Jamaica. It is said that there is a coming resurgence of conscious roots reggae, a reggae revival, but Ancient Future makes it clear that the movement is already here and here to stay.
Protoje blends synthetic sounds with classic roots reggae as he walks us through highs and lows on tracks like Stylin’, Criminal and Love Gone Cold. The album in addition to Chronixx features collaborations with Mortimer, Sevana, Jesse Royal and Kabaka Pyramid. Through these partnerships Protoje showcases some of the best rising talent in reggae music and helps shape the future of the genre with another great album.
One of the key themes of this album is change through self-improvement. From the track titled All Will Have To Change, we hear Protoje say, “I say we all will have to change, in each his own way, only Jah can judge a man...” The song speaks to the fact that it is time for the youth to wake up and address the changes that are taking place around them and that change begins with themselves. As Protoje said in his recent documentary, “Really on this album I am talking to myself…instead of looking at somebody and saying this is what you need to do…I was trying to make a difference by making a difference to myself first.” Once again Protoje sets the example in himself about what we as people can do. His message of change and promotion of Rastafari are clear in most tracks as he promotes themes of knowledge, self-improvement, and faith in Jah.
Moving between upbeat radio anthems and slow songs Protoje shares his views on the current state of world as well as explores a key theme that we have seen on other albums as he speaks of love and past relationships. More than one track takes time to address the relationships of his past that have been lost to mistrust and other issues that plague the youth of today as they did generations before us. These tracks give a well-rounded feel to the album both in message and musical tone. It is this softer side of Protoje that adds weight to the other statements he makes about society and Rastafari.
Overall Ancient Future is a fitting follow up and let’s us know that Protoje has no plans for slowing down. Currently rounding up a world tour to promote the album, with coming dates in the UK and Germany, we can only guess at what is next for this rising star, but if this album is any indicator, it will be great things for a long time to come.