Monday 9 December, 2019

Buju Banton joins Roc Nation almost a year after release

This undated photo provided by shows reggae star Buju Banton. Jay-Z’s Roc Nation company has added Buju Banton to its jam-packed roster. On Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, Roc Nation announced the partnership with the reggae and dancehall king, whose comeback concert held earlier this year in his native Jamaica was one of the country’s largest shows. More than 30,000 people attended the concert. (Shawn Theodore/SMG via AP)

This undated photo provided by shows reggae star Buju Banton. Jay-Z’s Roc Nation company has added Buju Banton to its jam-packed roster. On Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, Roc Nation announced the partnership with the reggae and dancehall king, whose comeback concert held earlier this year in his native Jamaica was one of the country’s largest shows. More than 30,000 people attended the concert. (Shawn Theodore/SMG via AP)

Jay-Z’s Roc Nation company has added reggae star Buju Banton to its jam-packed roster.

On Friday Roc Nation announced the partnership with the reggae and dancehall king, whose comeback concert held earlier this year in his native Jamaica was one of the country’s largest shows. More than 30,000 people attended the concert.

He has since spent the year touring the Caribbean as well as parts of Europe. 

Banton, 46, celebrated the new deal with Friday’s music video release for his song “Steppa.”

"Steppa" is among a string of singles Banton has released in recent months, the others being "Bagga Mouth,” “False Pretense,” “Country for Sale,” and “Trust”.

Banton, real name Mark Myrie, released his first album in the earlier ‘90s and he’s become one of the important and respected acts in reggae. “Before the Dawn,” his last album released 2010, won the Grammy for best reggae album.

Gargamel, as he is popularly known, told Rolling Stone magazine that Bajan singer Rihanna introduced him to the Roc Nation family.  The two connected when Banton performed in Barbados. 

 “A great guy who works alongside her, Omar Grant” — who helped A&R albums like Talk That Talk and Anti and now serves as co-president of Roc Nation — “we started working together on small stuff, and the idea [of collaborating] came about," Banton said.

Banton told the magazine he shares at least two priorities with Roc Nation. First, “to do things independently and show that we can foster a unity in our people that can’t be emulated anywhere else.”

He said their affinity to the prison reform situation that’s going on over in America, is also something he can identify with.

As part of his deal, Banton joins the roster of artists under the Schure Media Group. Schure, founded by Grenadian Yvette Noel-Schure, represents artists such as Beyonce.

Banton was released in December 2018 after serving seven years in federal prison on drug charges.

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