In Tune: After 10 years, Buju Banton’s voice remains the same
As March 16 approaches, for Buju Banton’s first show in Jamaica in over 10 years, his co-manager, Donovan Germain, is hailing the artiste’s exceptional talent.
Germain, who has managed Buju for decades and produced several hit songs with him, told The Gleaner that musically, Buju Banton has done the mind-boggling. It is the norm for artistes who have not performed for an extended period to take a while before they can ‘tune’ their voices to sing their songs in the same keys as before their hiatus. Some of them are never able to achieve this feat. But, according to Germain, “Buju picked up exactly where he left off.”
He continued, “We did not have to change any of the keys in any of the songs. Not even one key. It is the same Buju. After 10 years, he comes back and it is the same, exact sound. I must say that he surprised us all. That is more than amazing.”
Germain attributes this to Buju’s “God-given talent”, and also the fact that the entertainer is well-rested.
However, the word ‘rest’ isn’t in Buju’s vocabulary right now. The Grammy award winning artiste now has a very hectic rehearsal schedule as he prepares for a night which his co-manager says will be “very special”.
“Buju has been rehearsing four days per week, for at least four hours. The rehearsals are very intense,” Germain outlined.
There has been much speculation about the songs which Buju will perform for fans on Saturday, given his extensive catalogue of both dancehall and reggae hit songs. Will he do new songs? Will he bring on some of his friends like Beres Hammond to do collabs?
Without giving much away, Germain stated confidently that as far as the list of songs is concerned, they have made the best selection.
“I helped Buju to pick the set that he is going to perform,” he revealed. “And I think it is the perfect set of songs for the occasion. It will be a very special night.” Germain says that personally, he is looking forward to the reaction of the crowd to Buju’s set, the artiste’s interaction with the audience and the overall presentation.
“This is an artiste who people have not seen in 10 years. He has an extensive catalogue and he is eager to perform. It is going to be a great show.”
And, Germain told The Gleaner that Buju, who is glad to be home more than anything else, is looking forward to his big night out at the National Arena in Kingston, a 35,000 capacity venue which is already almost totally sold out.
It would still not be surprising, however, if Buju is feeling a teeny weeny bit nervous. But his manager dismissed this.
“No nerves at all. This is Buju Banton. He has years of experience in presenting his material. He is looking forward to this show. Look at it this way: if you put a racehorse on the track, it is going to run.”