Buju Banton performed his single “Buried Alive” live on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
Whenever there are conversations around the topic of the great orators of reggae music, one should not forget to include Buju Banton among the crop of Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, or Peter Tosh. Buju had a quick chat with the host of The Daily ‘Social Distancing’ Show, Trevor Noah, in which he discussed the power of his music, which is included on his new album Upside Down 2020, along with his hopes for the future.
During the online chat, Buju Banton clarified that while the impact of his music is felt all over the world, he does not consider himself as a legend. “I consider myself as a servant of reggae. Reggae music is a music that comes from the people of Jamaica,” reflected the “Hills and Valley” singer.
The entertainer was made to face his own hills and valleys in 2009 when he was arrested on drug-related charges in the United States. The singer was subsequently sentenced to 10 years in prison and was released in December 2018 after serving 7 years.
In reference to the love he received from the approximately 40,000 fans that turned out to witness the Gargamel on his first post-release show at The National Stadium, he said, “So coming home and seeing my people in the National Stadium to celebrate that moment with me and people from all over the world it was like Noah, not Trevor, building an ark,” he joked.
‘Til Shiloh released in 1995 and Inna Heights released in 1997 are still considered two of Buju Banton’s and reggae’s most influential albums, due to their socially conscious teachings and true to the roots reggae riddim patterns.
“Music is more than just something to have you gyrating and dancing. It posses those qualities but there is also the ability for you to think, the ability for you to learn something,” said Buju Banton when asked about how his music speaks to lack of freedom human beings face. Buju, whose real name is Mark Anthony Myrie, continued, “I always want to make music that uplift, educate, stimulate the minds of the people and we will not cease from doing that because that gives us a tremendous joy.”
Gargamel who also boasts hits such as “Bogle,” “Me and Oonu,” “Big It Up,” and “Batty Rider,” confessed that “whenever the people dem hear Buju Banton or see Buju Banton, positivity is a necessary ingredient that you’re gonna get.” However, he also mentioned that, “You gonna get music to gyrate but you gonna get something positive.”
Comedian/host Trevor Noah joked that Buju may have had some insight into just what a tumultuous year 2020 would be, or he may have had a hand to play in the various events that have since unfolded; hence the reason for blessing the album with the title Upside Down 2020 way before the starting of the year.
Upon acknowledging the slight humor, Buju pressed on in positivity by calling for deeper introspections in order to bring about profound changes.
While speaking on the inspiration behind his album, he credits the power of a higher being that flows through every man, which teaches unification and oneness. While he sees reggae music as “being relegated to a third-world music,” he confidently agrees with the host that “the impact is still far reaching.” During an interview with Winford Williams for OnStage, Buju Banton spoke on the shortfalls of the music being produced in Jamaica. He listed Vybz Kartel as one of the only entertainers producing anything of substance from the island.
The “Driver A” deejay’s latest album was released on June 26, 2020, the same day that Vybz Kartel dropped off ‘Of Dons & Divas. Both albums landed on Billboard’s Reggae Albums chart. However, after a few weeks Upside Down 2020 continued to cling to spots near the top of the charts meanwhile Vybz Kartel’s project fell drastically. While breaking down the layout of Buju 20 track masterpiece, which sees 10 tracks dedicated to his nearly decade long incarceration and the remaining 10 to the future, Noah asked what the Jamaican artiste wants to see in the future.
“Peace, Peace and Love,” answered the Gargamel.