Ahead of his album release Third Time’s The Charm , the versatile MC/artist Protoje shares the LP’s latest endearing ballad “Ten Cane Row” featuring the British soul singer Jorja Smith. Iotosh is at the helm, while Llamar “Riff Raff Keys” Brown lays a blanket of soft keyboard chords on the JA meets UK collaboration.
Protoje opens the track inviting you to learn about this queen he knows. The clear sign of royalty is a crown atop her head — the ten braided rows of hair, curving down from her neck and flowing along her figure. It’s a crown like no other — all-natural — unlike the precious jewellery typically associated with sovereignty.
The visual, directed by SAMO, is self-care at its finest, and Black hair is a focal point of pride and beauty. Corn rows or cane rows (the region-specific term in Jamaica) are worn by the music video’s subjects as they unite and celebrate attributes of style, glamour, and grace in every frame.
Protoje’s latest opus, Third Time’s The Charm, adds to the trilogy of albums he’s dropped since his GRAMMY nomination for A Matter of Time (2018). It comes after In Search of Lost Time (2020), released in partnership with Protoje’s label In.Digg.Nation Collective and RCA Records, which planted a new flag for Protoje and his network of home-grown Jamaican talent he’s helped develop over the past two years. Third Time’s the Charm conjures hope and progression, and is a bookend to the isolating era of the pandemic.
“Sonically Third Time’s The Charm is a bit more reggae than my last, even though reggae is always the root, I had some fun implementing all the sounds I’ve grown to love,” claims Protoje.
Recorded primarily at Protoje’s studio The Habitat, located in the hills of Kingston, Jamaica, the tight-knit set features an array of the island’s producers like Iotosh, Ziah .Push and Zion I Kings (which consists of Laurent “Tippy I” Alfred, Romaine “Teflonzincfence” Arnett and David “JAH David” Goldfine). Protoje carries a deep affinity and vast understanding of multiple genres: from ska, to lover’s rock to reggae, he intrinsically channels his native island’s rich musical stylings stretching over a half century, while mixing hip-hop, trap dance and soul into a colorful unconventional style of his own.
The acclaimed musician, record label chief and one of Jamaica’s key figures in today’s musical landscape, Protoje, is currently touring the U.S. on his Lost In Time Tour with support from Jesse Royal and Lila Iké.