Protoje on Why Art Is Power

Posted by | April 16, 2013 | News, Speaker & Columnist | No Comments

Che had the opportunity to interview Proteje as part of his Art Is Power series on Huffington Post, a column where Che asks artists to succinctly define the power of art.

There are times you meet an artist whose very presence breathes the power of creation, who you just know is bound to have a huge influence. The first time I met Protoje, one of the leading voices emerging from a movement being dubbed the “Reggae Revival,” I had that feeling. First being introduced to him by my collaborators at Manifesto Jamaica in 2008 at Jamnesia, I felt truly blessed knowing I was watching the evolution of a superstar who was getting ready to launch.

The relationship between art and community can be naturally synergistic — the community nurtures the artist, who then reflects back a vision of the community, helping to define its essence. At certain points in history you can see a concentrated yet organic rush of like-minded individuals powerfully framing their community — think of the Russian writers of the 19th century, Mexican muralism in the 1920s, American peace poets of the ’60s… that’s what’s going on in Jamaica right now, again. A wave of artists are embodying both the roots of the music their parents listened to, as well as mixing it up with dub, rock, jazz, hip hop, creating all kinds of crazy sick sound which defies definition.

You can read this interview with Proteje on Huffington Post.