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Protoje in concert in Antwerp, Belgium, 2022
Protoje in concert in Antwerp, Belgium, 2022
Background information
Birth nameOje Ken Ollivierre
Also known asDiggy, Proto
Born (1981-06-14) 14 June 1981 (age 41)
OriginSaint Elizabeth, Jamaica
GenresDub, reggae
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, deejay
Years active2005–present
  • In.Digg.Nation
  • Overstand Entertainment
  • Don Corleon Records
  • Easy Star
  • RCA

Oje Ken Ollivierre (born 14 June 1981),[1] popularly known as Protoje, is a contemporary reggae singer and songwriter from Jamaica. His mother is Jamaican singer Lorna Bennett, best known for her 1972 rendition of "Breakfast in Bed".[2] His father is a former calypso singer Mike Ollivierre from the island nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. [3]

Music career[edit]

He was born in Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica.[1] Protoje first gained notice for his 2005 mixtape Lyrical Overdose Volume 1, featuring mostly hip hop-influenced songs. With a guest appearance by Busy Signal, however, his future career was leveled as a reggae and dancehall artist. In 2010, Protoje began working with Don Corleon Records, run by his cousin[4] and popular Jamaican producer Don Corleon.[5] After releasing "Dread", "JA" and "Roll" in 2010, Protoje's debut album, entitled The Seven Year Itch, was released on 25 January 2011. The first single off the album, dubbed "Arguments" (2009), was responsible for his early popularity in Jamaica. In 2011, he released another single off the album entitled "Rasta Love" featuring Ky-Mani Marley.

His second album, The 8 Year Affair, was released 12 February 2013. "Who Dem a Program" was the first single released from the album in January 2012, with "This Is Not a Marijuana Song" following mid-year. "Kingston Be Wise" was heavily promoted via traditional and social media. On the day of its release, 5 November 2012, the music video became the most viewed YouTube link among internet users in Jamaica.[citation needed] The hashtag #KBW was used on Twitter. The song "Kingston Be Wise" (a remake of Ini Kamoze's song "England be nice") was featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto V on the in-game "Blue Ark" radio station,[6] increasing its popularity further and making an international name for the reggae artist. Protoje cited reggae artist Ini Kamoze and group Black Uhuru as influences when recording the album.[7]

In December 2014 Protoje was included on BBC Radio 1Xtra's 'Hot for 2015' list.[8]

His third album Ancient Future was initially set for release in September 2014,[9] but was put back until March 2015.[10] Produced by Phillip "Winta" James, the album includes the song "Who Knows", a collaboration with Chronixx, which was released as a single.[2] Two tracks from the album, "Answer to Your Name" and "Criminal" were released ahead of the album as exclusives on the England Be Wise mixtape for BBC 1xtra DJ Toddla T.[11] Two weeks after its release it topped the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart.[12] "Who Knows" was certified Silver by BPI in 2022.[13]

On 14 June 2016, Protoje released Side B of his fourth studio album, Royalty Free, as a free download to the public on his website.

His 2018 album, A Matter of Time, received a Grammy Award nomination in the Best Reggae Album category.[14]

On 27 March 2020, Protoje joined Chronixx on a remix of Alicia Keys' song Underdog.[15]

On 13 April 2020, Protoje announced a new label deal with RCA Records. The deal allowed him "a certain level of creative control" and included artists Lila Iké and Sevana who he had been mentoring under his own In.Digg.Nation label.[16][17]

On 28 August 2020, Protoje released his fifth studio album In Search Of Lost Time, which peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.

On 23 September 2022, Protoje released his sixth studio album Third Time's The Charm, which peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart and has secured him a Grammy Nomination. [18]


Protoje at Ruhr Reggae Summer 2017


  • 2005: Lyrical Overdose Volume 1
  • 2011: This Is Protoje
  • 2013: Music from My Heart
  • 2015: Kingston Be Wise (Toddla T Meets Protoje)


  • 2011: Seven Year Itch
  • 2013: The 8 Year Affair
  • 2015: Ancient Future
  • 2016: Royalty Free
  • 2018: A Matter of Time
  • 2020: In Search of Lost Time (Deluxe version released in 2021)
  • 2022: Third Time's the Charm


  • 2009: "Arguments"
  • 2010: "Dread"
  • 2010: "JA"
  • 2010: "Roll"
  • 2011: "Rasta Love" (featuring "Ky-Mani Marley")
  • 2012: "Who Dem a Program"
  • 2012: "This Is Not a Marijuana Song"
  • 2012: "Kingston Be Wise"
  • 2013: "I&I"
  • 2013: "Resist Not Evil (Militancy Riddim)" (Overstand Entertainment)
  • 2014: "Who Knows" (featuring Chronixx)
  • 2014: "Stylin'"
  • 2015: "Answer to Your Name"
  • 2015: "Bubblin'"
  • 2015: "Sudden Flight" (featuring Jesse Royal and Sevana)
  • 2017: "Blood Money"
  • 2018: "Bout Noon"
  • 2018: "Criminal"'
  • 2020: "Switch It Up"
  • 2021: "Still Blooming" (featuring Lila Iké and Izy Beats)
  • 2022: "Hills"
  • 2022: "Family" (featuring Jesse Royal)


  1. ^ a b "Protoje age, hometown, biography". Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b Johnson, Richard (2015) "'My best work yet': Protoje pours it all in latest set", Jamaica Observer, 11 March 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2015
  3. ^ MacLeod, Erin (12 March 2015). "Protoje: 'I wanted to capture the history of Jamaican music'". Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  4. ^ Henry, Krista (28 March 2011). "All in the family – Cousins Protoje, Don Corleon share their love for music". Jamaica Star.
  5. ^ Bishop, Marlon (2013). "5 Dancehall Producers Dropping Fire". MTV Iggy.
  6. ^, Metro Music Reporter for (3 October 2013). "Rockstar reveals definitive GTA 5 radio station song list". Metro. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  7. ^ Saxon Baird (7 January 2013). "Protoje: Reviving Reggae in Jamaica". Afropop Worldwide.
  8. ^ "Protoje Makes BBC 1xtra's Hot For 2015 Artiste List", Jamaica Gleaner, 17 December 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2014
  9. ^ Dyer, Deidre (2014) "Interview: Protoje on the Reggae Roots Revival and His Low-Key Love of Pop Music", The Fader, 4 July 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2014
  10. ^ "Protoje To Release 'Ancient Future' Album", Jamaica Gleaner, 9 March 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015
  11. ^ "England Be Wise Mixtape". soundcloud. 4 February 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  12. ^ Brooks, Sadeke (2015) "Protoje Tops Reggae Billboard Chart", Jamaica Gleaner, 26 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015
  13. ^ "British certifications – Who Knows". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  14. ^ Bonitto, Brian (2018) "It's Protoje's time", Jamaica Observer, 12 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018
  15. ^ Collins, Latoya (2020) "Alicia Keys Recruits Chronixx & Protoje For ‘Underdog (Remix)’: Listen", DancehallMag, 27 March 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020
  16. ^ Leight, Elias (2020) "Protoje Announces Label Deal With RCA", Rolling Stone, 13 April 2020. Retrieved 13 April 2020
  17. ^ Williams, Shirvan (2020) "Protoje, Lila Iké And Sevana Sign Major Deal With U.S. Label RCA Records", DancehallMag, 13 April 2020. Retrieved 13 April 2020
  18. ^ "Protoje's 'Third Time's The Charm' First Week Album Sales Are In". DancehallMag. 4 October 2022. Retrieved 4 October 2022.

External links[edit]