Reggae Star Protoje on Pot: 'It Really Calms Me Down'

Best Reggae Album Grammy nominee Protoje has been dropping videos from his fifth album In Search of Lost Time since its August 28 release. The latest, "Still I Wonder," is produced by Supa Dups. 

We check in with Protoje (nee Oje Ken Ollivierre) about the song and album, which also includes "Weed & Ting," and his love of all things ganja.

Protoje photos by Yannick Reid

What's "Still I Wonder" about?
It's about not paying enough attention to your partner and not realizing that your focus is elsewhere - which are not things in the relationship. It's also just trying to admit that that is the situation - not paying enough attention - and trying to ask for forgiveness.

How did you hook up with Wiz Khalifa for "A Vibe? Watch it here
This link up happened through a mutual acquaintance we have. We didn't really link up and speak about it but I did meet Wiz years before and it's funny, the verse that he raps about is pretty much how our actual meeting was - he rolled up a spliff and gave me to smoke. I'm sure he won't remember, but that's what happened.

Ganja is smoked in all of these videos. What does it do for you?
Marijuana is a thing for me that really opens up my creativity and sometimes calms me down. Sometimes I'm surrounded and in a crazy place and I need my mind to chill out and I use that. It has different purposes for different times.

Many musicians are getting into the legal marijuana business. Are you?
I've thought about doing the marijuana thing but I'm just focusing on music right now. Sometimes it doesn't feel right because people are still going to jail in Jamaica for it and getting their farms seized while legal dispensaries are being operated. I'm still undecided.

Who are your main musical influences?
My influences are far and wide, you know, like Black Uhuru, Ini Kamoze, Jay-Z and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony to name a few.

Protoje Bio

Born and raised in Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica to singer Lorna Bennett and former calypso king Mike Ollivierre, Protoje blends hip-hop, soul and jazz with reggae and dancehall. His catalog consists of five studio albums: Seven Year Itch (2011), The 8 Year Affair (2013), Ancient Future (2015), A Matter of Time (2018) and In Search Of Lost Time (2020). A Matter of Time received a Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Album in 2019.

RELATED: Koffee Is First Women to Ever Win the Reggae Grammy Award


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.