With less than 13 months before he is released from prison, Buju Banton’s former manager expects a rebirth for the Grammy-winning artist.
Donovan Germain, who produced some of the singer’s biggest hit songs, told National Weekly that demand for Buju Banton is high. He is one of Jamaica’s most popular entertainers ever, said Germain.
“People calling me left, right and centre for Buju to do shows. Wi talking ‘bout the Caribbean, Europe,” said Germain.
Banton has been in a US federal prison since June, 2011 for drug trafficking. He is one of 1,660 inmates at a federal correctional facility in Georgia.
According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website, Buju Banton is due for release on December 8, 2018.
Germain produced most of Banton’s early hit songs including Browning, his breakthrough hit, in 1992.
Once Buju gets out, his former boss believes he should return to what he knows best.
“Him jus’ need to come out with another good album and introduce himself to a new generation of fans. Once him do a good album, things should get back to normal,” said Germain.
Buju, while in prison, also received his Master’s degree in Music Business Management from New York University (NYU). Buju told reporters, “I can do anything I put my mind to; you know that. People who know me know that I am very determined and will achieve my goals despite hardships. I will not allow the system to conquer me.”
‘Til Shiloh, Buju Banton’s 1995 album, is regarded by critics as one of reggae’s finest. It contains the songs Shiloh, Untold Stories, Murderer and Not An Easy Road. The album heard him taking a more spiritual direction and finding Rastafari. The 1997 follow-up, Inna Heights, followed a similar path. Germain who has also produced hits by Buju compatriots Beres Hammond, Marcia Griffiths and Wayne Wonder, notes that because Buju has an “excellent catalog”, his music is still fresh.
“Yuh still hear his songs at every stage show an’ dance. The people love him an’ that doesn’t hurt.”
Buju Banton, who turned 44 on July 15, won a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2011 with Before The Dawn.