Protoje impresses with ‘Royalty Free’

Jamaican based reggae artist Oje Ken Ollivierre, or popularly known as Protoje has been saturating festivals and airwaves with his energetic and unique sound, putting him on reggae’s frontline. After a string of strong singles as well as a handful of full length albums, Protoje this month released his fourth studio project titled Royalty Free (Side B), first since his brilliantly produced, Billboard topping hit release Ancient Future in 2015.

Fans of early hip hop will appreciate the melting pot of roots reggae, funky beats and melodic songwriting

Fans of early hip hop will appreciate the melting pot of roots reggae, funky beats and melodic songwriting which Protoje unearths in Royalty Free (Side B), creating a universal language that everyone can embrace. The collection opens with a fresh, fast and ferocious track “Can’t Feel No Way” which wastes no time grabbing your attention.

Tracks “Sandra Foster” and the R&B inspired closer “Used To Be My Life” are the two most clear examples of this melting pot. There is a certain impression that Protoje is most comfortable on these tracks, as they work so effortlessly with a grab bag of stylistic influences. The track “Glad You’re Home” even goes as far as sampling Anita Ward’s 1979 hit “Ring My Bell.”

Protoje not only knows what to do behind the mic, but he knows how to build songs into performances. His surrounding and supporting musicians are tight and the production and energy brings everything to life. If you haven’t seen Protoje perform live, here’s your chance. Catch Protoje on tour this summer starting June 24th at the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, United Kingdom and wrapping up August 4th at Reggae On The River in Humbolt County, California.

Royalty Free (Side B) available now for free. Download and stream at:

Track listing

  1. Can’t Feel No Way
  2. Glad You’re Home
  3. Sandra Foster
  4. Flight Plans
  5. Used To Be My life

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Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.

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