One of Buju Banton’s first wish on his return to the island Friday night was to spend quality time with his family, according to the Grammy award-winning deejay’s producer, manager, mentor, and friend Donovan Germain.
Outside of that Buju — whose return after eight years in a US prison on drug charges electrified his many fans locally and abroad — appears to be holding his future plans close to his chest, at least for the time being.
“We took him to the studio (Penthouse) after his arrival and spent a brief time there before going to his own studio for another brief stop, before he went home to rest,” Germain told the Jamaica Observer, yesterday.
Asked why the artiste was not allowed to walk through the normal exit channel at Norman Manley International Airport so he could meet and greet his fans, who had waited patiently outside the terminal to greet him, Germain felt it was necessary for him to get some rest before he started socialising.
“He felt the crowd was too big, and Buju had already been harassed by the dozens of passengers who travelled home with him, taking full advantage of their luck by taking pictures and videoing him, and asking questions on his way back home,” Germain said.
“I went to pick him up, but on seeing the crowd we went for him in the cargo section, took him out through that exit and took him to the studio,” Germain explained.
“He was in a good mood. He looked well rested and he has actually put on a lot of weight. He used to weigh about 150 pounds; now he is 200 pounds and it is muscles, not fat,” he said, as he recalled the skinny Buju Banton who was turned away by security at Penthouse’s former location at Slipe Road, Cross Roads, so often that they eventually pitied him and gave him the break which started his career.
Germain said that it was obvious when they got to Penthouse’s current location that the deejay needed to rest; but he insisted on visiting his own studio off Red Hills Road before going home.
He said he was not sure when Buju (real name Mark Myrie) would start talking to the press, but he was sure that his first live stage engagement will be in March somewhere in Jamaica — on a date he wouldn’t reveal.
“You will just have to wait on the formal announcement. I won’t say where and when he is booked right now,” Germain insisted.
One of the important things that the local music industry admires most about the producer is that he takes personal interest in all the artistes that are closely associated with his labels — among them Beres Hammond, Wayne Wonder, Tony Rebel, Dalton Harris, and Buju Banton.
In the meantime, Germain continues to enjoy a great December as Kingston College football team, that he manages, won the Manning Cup, while Dalton Harris won the X Factor competition in London.