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Everything Was Perfect At Protoje's "A Matter of Time: Live" Homecoming Show

Everything Was Perfect At Protoje's "A Matter of Time: Live" Homecoming Show

A Matter of Time was more than an album title, it was Protoje’s foreshadowing.

The reggae artist had a stellar 2018. He released his highly anticipated studio album, “A Matter of Time”, brought the sounds of reggae all over the globe and on Dec. 7th, received his first Grammy nomination. “Same day me get a Grammy Nomination the man responsible fi make me waa be an artist come back a yaad. Ratings to the baddest. Gargamel,” the artist tweeted, referring to the day Buju Banton was released and returned back home. Protoje would soon be met with his own homecoming a few weeks following the Grammy’s ceremony. He, unfortunately, was unable to take home the award, but would be welcomed to a sea of fans for the Jamaica stop of “A Matter of Time: Live”.

Within days of the concert’s announcement, tickets were completely sold out. Fans begged for more tickets on the artist’s social media accounts and in an effort to accommodate, more became available and, once again, sold out within mere hours. This is a testament to Protoje’s impact and influence on his native, which would be centrestage during his live performance.

Duane Phillips / DDR Media

Duane Phillips / DDR Media

Resident cool-girl, Sparkie, kept the energy high in the packed Hope Gardens venue. Fans were overly excited to see the artist perform hits from his latest project and, more importantly, were ready to give him the welcome home he deserved. Suddenly, the lights were dimmed and the sounds of The Indiggnation band pierced through the darkness. The familiar tune from the album’s title track, “A Matter of Time” began to play and the artist appeared decked out in white denim.

Duane Phillips / DDR Media

Duane Phillips / DDR Media

He lead the audience into “Lessons” before transitioning into “Truths and Rights”. In what was a surprise to everyone, the track’s featured artist, Mortimer, came to assist with the performance. The two performed more singles together including their 2015 record “Protection”.

Wrapping up with Mortimer, Protoje took a brief pause in the show. “Woman artists in Jamaica a gwan good. It’s time for the woman to shine”. Songstress, Lila Iké, walked into everyone’s view in a two-piece sparkling pantsuit. The artist crooned her way onstage singing her second single, “Second Chance”.

Duane Phillips / DDR Media

Duane Phillips / DDR Media

An unexpected vocal treat, to say the least, but more sweetness was on the horizon. One by one, various artists came and graced fans with their presence: Tarrus Riley and Zuggu Dan, included. The artist made his way through his singles “Bout Noon” and “Like This” before taking a moment for reflection. “I’m very grateful for all of you who came out tonight,” he said. “My first show, 24 people did forward. Four years ago at the Hope Bandshell, 500 people came out. I appreciate how you allow me to try new things, musically. The ting nuh linear. We can try different things”.

Duane Phillips / DDR Media

Duane Phillips / DDR Media

The crowd screamed in support as the artist welcomed his next guest, Koffee, who performed her hit single, “Toast”. The stars continued to shine over Hope Gardens as more special guests made their presence known, including Chronixx, Agent Sasco and Jesse Royal.

It’s undeniable that Protoje’s Grammy-nominated project was a beautifully textured and illuminating project on his own reality as well as the reality of the everyday Jamaican. His boldness, transparency and sonically arresting storytelling shines through his lyricism, with amazingly stunning visuals and creative direction to match (shoutout to Yannick!).

“Never so them plan it but a we a run the planet” is how Protoje opens his single, “A Matter of Time”, and that holds truth. Perhaps we don’t need to wait for any given institution to hand out the accolades one rightfully deserves. The proof is in who shows up and shows out and for Protoje, its the unwavering support of his fans back home. A matter of time, you say? Protoje’s time is now.


All photos and video were captured by the DownDiRoad team!
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