Sat | Nov 28, 2020

A spirited celebration with Protoje, Sevana and Lila Ike - Trio promises to bring the vibes at Appleton Estate virtual show

Published:Saturday | August 15, 2020 | 12:00 AMKrysta Anderson/Staff Reporter

If rum lovers are seeking a happy ending to this weekend: the enjoyment of quality entertainment while savouring a spirited drink, then you have come to the right place. Sunday, August 15 is National Rum Day; and to mark this special occasion, Appleton Estate has lined up an impressive reggae showcase, just for you.

The talented trio of In.Digg.Nation promises to bring the vibes to the main stage tomorrow with an exciting live show. The Gleaner had a ‘heart to beat’ chat with Protoje, Lila Ike and Sevana about their upcoming performance and their pandemic projects so far.

“It’s been a while since I performed, so I’m pretty excited about this. I’ll be performing a few songs from my new album, In Search of Lost Time, for the first time. I feel good to be with my band again, being on stage; it’s my favourite thing to do,” Protoje told Entertainment about tonight’s show.

With tours and local stage shows coming to a complete halt because of the global pandemic of COVID-19, the singer and songwriter has taken the opportunity to slow things down and focus on writing and recording new music. “It (COVID-19) made it a bit easier to write and create music, because I had a lot more time with my thoughts and time to be in my ideal creative environment.”

Since signing to RCA Records in April of this year, the experience, he says, has been very good, “It’s nice to get support on a global level, and it feels really good to know they believe in the music that we are creating. And, as such, it has given me the freedom to continue to honour my creative spirit.”

He released Same So as the first single from his upcoming album, treating his fans to a difference in sweet island flavour while paying tribute to the ladies. “I just felt like it is a sound that no one expected and it was a side that I wanted to show; to begin this album cycle. Sonically, I thought it was really fresh and it would be something that would be welcoming to listeners,” he revealed.

He has gone on to fuse the musical genres of Jamaican culture, collaborating with dancehall artiste Popcaan on Like Royalty. The collaboration, Protoje pointed out, was very fun, “He (Popcaan) has a very vibrant personality and upful vibes and he did a really good job at building on the feel of the song.” Having equally enjoyed making the music video, he shared great joy and lots of fond memories of the creative process, including everyone who has been instrumental in his musical journey. “Everybody in one place to the track was very fitting,” he added.

The feedback from his loyal fans has been nothing but positive. “Fans have been showing a lot of love. It’s good to have the dancehall and reggae fans coming together, for the culture. We were also trending at number nine in YouTube for Jamaica, so that’s a good indication of how well the song is doing,” he said.

At the moment, he is appreciating the studio process and the artistic expressions of the In.Digg.Nation camp, highlighting that it is a good vibe both in and out of the studio, “Everybody is doing well in their careers. It’s good that we have music out, so we can be experiencing the same things at the same time.” Additionally, he is looking forward to the release of his new album on August 28. “I’ll be releasing a song before the album drops, with a well-known American rapper. So I’m excited about that,” he announced.

He anticipates that these pandemic projects will be well received by reggae lovers from all generations. Consequently, he hopes these songs will help to propel artistes such as himself, Lila Ike and Sevana even further into their careers, especially since they are working for a major label. “The music we are releasing is unique and genre-bending, so we’re hoping to strike an impact,” he said.

ENCHANTING EXPERIENCE

Also looking to entertain and give her virtual audience an enchanting ‘ExPerience’ at the rum concert is Lila Ike. Singing out in soulful fashion on tracks like I Spy, Forget Me and Solitude, Lila explained that her new EP, The ExPerience, means everything to her. “I did an EP and not a full-length album because I had some songs I had written that I wanted to put out and I feel I need way more time to go in on a full-length project,” she shared.

Describing The ExPerience as all the moods and experiences life has to offer, the writing process, she revealed, was mostly done in the studio, “... so I got to vibe from the energy of the producers and Protoje in studio. It was really fun.”

On the matter of finalising song selections, Lila said that choosing is always a task because it is during that process that her doubt of liking and not liking songs develops.

“Choosing songs is always a task because I’ll have doubts of liking and not liking songs.” But she lets her music speak for itself and fans are loving her angelic sound. “The reception so far has been really great actually; it surpassed my expectations. I only hope for it to do way better and reach way more people,” she added.

Her favourite song on the album is Solitude, simply because it expressed everything she had been feeling at the time of its recording. With new songs always on the horizon, fans can definitely look out for her uniquely beautiful sound in many tracks to come.

SEVANA THE VISUALIZER

Channelling her sweeter side with Mango, Sevana is looking to change the reggae game with The Visualizer. The young songstress recently released her new EP, to the delight of her devoted fans, and she is thrilled by the response. If Only You Knew shares a beautiful love story and pays homage to Africa with the music video. With empowering tracks like Be Somebody and festive tunes like Phone a Friend, you are guaranteed to be entertained and be inspired.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com