Buju Banton Talks Current State of Reggae, New Album, Touring & Weight Loss & More

Buju Banton got a lot off his chest during this highly-anticipated interview.

On March 16, 2019, Buju Banton’s talent was reunited with the Jamaican People after his “Long Walk to Freedom.” He executed one of the greatest concerts in Jamaica’s history with a thrilling performance in front of a sold-out National Stadium audience. A year has now passed since the launch of his legendary “Long Walk To Freedom” tour in Kingston, and so much has happened since. He has toured the Caribbean, Africa, Europe and has even released a hit single “Trust” along the way.

During this time, he hadn’t been doing much press in Jamaica, which had built the anticipation for the people to hear how he has evolved since he had been away from home for a decade. The always reliable Winford Williams finally delivered what we had all been pining for, a highly anticipated full-length interview with the once exiled Gargamel.

During the interview, Buju Banton discussed his triumphant return to Jamaica after an 8-year stint in prison. He expressed how happy he was to finally feel the island ground below his feet and see the masses who were at the time overcome with excitement about his return, but he also spoke about wanting to distance himself from the attention and recollect himself. According to Buju, part of recollecting himself was losing 30 pounds before the Long Walk To Freedom concert after being required to shed only twenty.

“I have a whole heap a work fi do pon di stage enuh. Yuh cyah carry dat whole heap a weight and run up and dung fi a hour and a half, two hour, nah mean,” Buju told the host. The dancehall legend was asked to describe his feelings in that moment he approached the stage for the first time in almost a decade – a question that was dignified with two simple words, “pure magic.” Buju went on to share even more on his mindset when preparing the show adding, “We wanted to make the experience magical, pure yet entertaining, an den jus put it inna jah hand,” he said.

One of the topics Buju Banton spoke passionately about during the interview was the state of dancehall music today. When asked about the advent of dancehall trap and its hip hop-esque style, he urged producers to “stay true to the craft” of dancehall music. “Keep it hardcore and less blonde” were his words to describe what he hears now.

Elsewhere in the interview, Buju Banton made a major announcement. Gargamel has a new 20-track coming in 2020. The record which he said was produced by Dave, Bobby Digital, Donovan Jermaine, himself and more is slated to be released this May. He told Winford that the project would be inspired by “wul heap a summen summen” not just dancehall. “We want to make music for the masses, for the culture, for reggae music. We want to support our culture and our music like we always have been but stronger, on a more global platform this time around.” Buju says our music needs proper representation on and off stage and that he plans to “partner with Roc Nation and Island UK to make something that everybody can be proud of when it comes to reggae music.”

Buju Banton has proven that he can still make hit music with his song “Trust” late last year. We can’t wait to hear the songs on his new album.