Buju Banton to release 20-track album in May

Buju Banton says his new album will address a range of issues.

Buju Banton says his much-anticipated album that is slated for release in May will host 20 tracks.

“Ten for the years I wasn’t around, and 10 because I love you so much, guys,” Banton said.

The project will mark ‘The Gargamel’s’ first album since being released from the McRae Correctional Facility in the United States in 2018, where he served 10 years on drug-related charges.

“There is something on it fi even grandma.”

— Buju Banton

“I’m addressing a conflux of issues ranging from love…put it simpler, you have music fi yuh relax, yuh have dancehall, yuh have reality, yuh have lovers rock, yuh have all kinds of something fi everyone. There is something on it fi even grandma,” Banton said in the recent Onstage interview.

Socially responsible

The album will be released on Jay-Z’s Rock Nation imprint and Island Records UK. It will see contributions from a myriad of producers, including Dave Kelly, Bobby Digital, Donavan Germain, Steven Marsden and Banton himself to achieve different sounds.

“[We] want to make something that everybody can be proud of when it comes to reggae music. Our music needs proper representation on stage and off stage,” he said.

The album will follow Banton’s 2019 releases, including Trust, which highlighted his scepticism of anything good from smartphones, particularly social media.

“Everybody now…coming like dem forget seh dem haffi be socially responsible with dem social media stuff,” said Banton. “People a die in front of you, and before you try assist your fellow Jamaican, you want to be the first to send it out live stream. We’re losing ourselves.”

Keep my spirit calm

Buju Banton is encouraging Jamaican acts to be as authentic as possible.

While he did not see the relevance of revisiting his time spent incarcerated, he did speak about how he sustained his soul.

“I kept my heart pure, keep my spirit calm, yes, because in the heart lies the issues, all things, and if I am able to keep my heart pure in all circumstances, I’ll be okay,” he said.

The entertainer has also been keeping abreast with the new sounds on Jamaica’s music scene, like trap dancehall. While he is not sold on the idea of “borrowing” foreign sounds in the making of the genre, he is open to passing on his knowledge to the new generation of acts.

“Try to be as authentic as possible with your sound cause the more original you are, the more business you’ll get,” Banton said.