For The Culture
It’s no secret that Protoje is spending the majority of the year touring the world; but once a year in February he returns home and announces, with ever visually stimulating graphics, his themed show for the year.
Following up last year’s celebration of Ancient Future; 2017 was a ‘be there or be square’ type of event. Having been postponed to March 11 for unknown reasons, the highly anticipated Hope Gardens show – For The Culture Live – was definitely worth the wait.
Unlike most shows that take place ‘a yaad’, Indigg Collective events always start on time. Therefore when the Irie Team rolled through half way through Sevana’s performance, a new artist on the scene introduced by Protoje last year, the venue was already ‘ram (packed)’. Sevana opened the show with a one hour set, serenading her fans with new songs like ‘Chant It’ and ‘Carry You’ and her hit single ‘Bit Too Shy’. Her clearly growing fanbase sang along from their hearts, with closed-eyes, completely lost in her music, a proper way to rope in the audience for what was about to forward next. Next the ever-hyped up ZJ Sparks from Zip 103, flashing her fuscia lioness mane, roared for the crowd to welcome Protoje and the InDiggNation to the stage! *Cue stampede of photographers/videographers rushing to the pit*
As pointed out by one of our local contributing journalists, Soren W (June26PR), “you know something is about to be fire when you can’t decide whether or not to be a fan or professional bystander”. She positioned herself right to the front of the stage where Protoje in fact serenaded her at one point
(see video here) — so clearly you can see which hat she wore this night (ahem superfan moment).
As music journalists, it’s important to take in live performances as well as reviewing the music and for us this year’s performance really showcased how extensively Diggy has exposed his listeners to his full catalogue in just a short period of time. It’s easy to see how Diggy is taking on the world; from his ‘in-sync stylish’ backup singers to the smooth sounds of the Indignation everyone plays an integral role in the performance. Hit after hit was served up seamlessly by the band. Even Oje’s guitarist and upcoming recording artist ‘Zuggu Dan’, served up a proper cover of Kymani Marley’s segment in Rasta Love and stole the hearts of the crowd. From ‘7 Year Itch’ to his most recent ‘Royalty Free’ project and everything in between – Diggy gave Kingston a full show.
One of the many highlights of the night, where we can always give Protoje his ratings, is his support for upcoming talent. In proper Jamaican stage show fashion; the next generation of young artistes, coined the ‘New Wave’, took the mic and show off their lyrical skills on the ‘Sudden Flight’ riddim. The New Wave artistes include the likes of Blvk H3ro, 5 Star, Royal Blu, Wayne J, Runkus, Mortimer & Lila Ike. Historically the stage show in Jamaica was a space to feature new talent – For The Culture really brought this to fruition for us. We continue to be most impressed by the upcoming generations fearlessness in fusing their musical and creative influences. Other genres such as Hip Hop, Soul & Rock that have held their space historically in Jamaican music made their appearance on stage. Likewise the nights improv style exemplified Jamaican artists ability to influence genres via their natural playfulness with music, lyrics & language. Truly embodying his claim to be ‘for the culture’, Oje has has signed a few of these ‘New Wave’ continuing to help create and build a legitimate industry platform for more young talent to flourish out of Jamaica.
Other #ForTheCulture artistes including Jesse Royal, Dre Island, Kabaka Pyramid & the No Maddz came out to support Protoje and also took a few moments to bless the audience. One can always count on some lyrical fire being served up by the “veterans” of the evening. Not unlike many artists throughout the rest of the present world, one can hear & feel a message of discontent with the status quo residing on the lips of this generation.
In keeping in proper ‘Babylon’ fashion, the audience was left hanging on for a few more hits when the police kindly pointed out our 11:45pm contract time had passed a few moments ago. Oje encouraged fans to continue to listen via Youtube & Soundcloud until next time.
But Proto couldn’t leave us without shellin’ his newest track #BloodMoney. Ensuring a proper forward from the crowd… “Police cancel operation! Cuh no real badman a go station… Well if you check di situation… a bloodmoney run the nation.”
Diggy delivered as expected this time around, leaving his audience ready and waiting for more releases and the next JA touchdown. Protoje most recently announced his European tour dates and starting April 12th he’ll be live in Czech Republic. Visit www.protoje.com for full 2017 tour schedule and catch
the InDiggNation in a city near you!