Last weekend VIPER attended Lost In Time Festival in Hope Gardens, Kingston, Jamaica. The festival featured an incredible mix of Reggae and Dancehall artists, with the festival’s founder Protoje headlining, alongside Jesse Royal and Lila Iké.

The trio invited a string of superstars on stage for surprise appearances from Popcaan, Masicka and Valiant, among others. Thanks to Visit Jamaica for inviting us to be their guests at the second year of Lost In Time. Read on to find out our 27 favourite moments of the night…

1. Romain Virgo’s emotional moment in his performance

Romain Virgo performed just before Protoje, Jesse Royal and Lila Iké hit the stage, putting on an unforgettable performance. Displaying his striking vocal talent, his energy was unmatched as he paced the stage. The crowd shared a special moment with the Jamaican singer as he broke down in tears while performing a song from his new album, ’The Gentle Man’. 

2. Protoje’s entrance to ‘Hills’ 

As the man responsible for putting the event together, it was bound to be a special moment when Protoje touched the stage. His entry to ‘Hills’ didn’t disappoint, as he sang the lyrics, “I been up in di hills, yuh know. Like hide away, no sign a-me.” His lilac denim set offset against his light brown self-designed T-shirt provided the perfect laid back but stylish look for his performance. 

3. Jesse Royal’s leather look 

A little less casual than Protoje’s outfit, Jesse Royal soon appeared on stage wearing a white leather co-ordinated jacket and pants look. With sunglasses completing the look, he was giving Rasta Rock Star all night. Bouncing around the stage with ease, the Reggae artist ran through classics from his catalogue, including his 2019 collaboration with Protoje, ‘Lionorder’.

4. Lila Iké freestyling: “I don’t remember the lyrics, I didn’t really sleep”

Not every artist can perform like Lila Iké, her captivating energy and angelic vocals made the experience of seeing her live feel like a spiritual awakening. Despite her powerful performance, she expressed to the crowd that she hadn’t rested well before the festival. Later on Instagram she expanded, explaining that nerves about the show prevented her sleeping for a couple of days. Watching her live, you would never know she dealt with nerves, as she put on an effortlessly stunning show from start to end. 

5. Appearances from Jaz Elise, Naomi Cowan and Sevana. 

Soon after her appearance on stage, Lila Iké introduced three friends and talented fellow musicians, Jaz Elise, Naomi Cowan and Sevana to sing their versions of ‘Rock N Groove Riddim’ released via Protoje’s record label, In.Digg.Nation Collective. With Naomi Cowan and Sevana appearing in the One Love movie, inspired by Bob Marley’s life, it was a powerful interlude as the four women left VIPER (and probably many others) with chills thanks to the beauty of their vocals. 

6. The way Jesse Royal and Sevana bounced off each other’s energy when performing ’Sudden Flight’

Rather than leaving the stage, the siren Sevana stayed to perform her song with Protoje and Jesse Royal, where she demonstrated the range of her Jazz-style vocals. Showing the crowd what a star she is, she bounced off Lila Iké and her fellow performers with a superstar aura. 

7. Mortimer’s performance of ‘Lightning’

Taking the pace of the show down a notch, Mortimer was invited to the stage to sing his 2019 song ‘Lightning’ from his ‘Fight To Fight’ EP. As he began singing, women in the crowd soon began screaming, before singing word for word along with him. Purple stage lights maintained the magical mood as the entire festival was captivated by his soft, soothing vocals.

8. Mortimer singing Ky-Mani Marley’s hook on ‘Rasta Love’ 

Remaining on stage after performing his own song, Mortimer remained to sing the chorus of the 2011 hit, ‘Rasta Love’. For the second verse of the performance, Protoje then called his friend Zion to join him on stage and sing the rest, providing an impromptu stunning performance.

9. Protoje’s performance of ‘Blood Money’ from his ‘Matter Of Time’ album.

Hearing Lila Iké’s backing vocals added to an already incredible song, made the classic song even more magical. The lightness of her ad libs created the perfect contrast against Protoje’s deep tones.

10. Jahshii and Stonebwoy’s surprise appearances. 

Jahshii ran out to join Lila Iké as he sang ‘Born Fighter’, quickly running through the song before Ghanaian rapper Stonebwoy joined him to serenade the crowd with a song.  

11. Yohan Marley’s rendition of his collaboration with Jesse Royal. 

Possessing the raw vocal power he inherited from his grandfather, the legendary Bob Marley, Yohan brought the crowd to a climax with his performance of ‘Blessing’, released by Jesse Royal in 2023.

12. Lila Iké’s energy.

From start to finish, Lila Iké dominated the show with her powerful presence. Despite her lack of sleep, she brought all the vibes all while bouncing around the stage. What a performer! She owned every lyric she sang, every step she took. This is one artist that you must see live.

13. Protoje’s performance of ‘Bout Noon’

A stunning love song from his 2018 ‘A Matter Of Time’ album – when Protoje began to sing this song, the crowd sang along with him. Bringing a chilled energy to the festival, he serenaded the audience with this soothing number. 

14. Agent Sasco/Assassin’s surprise appearance. 

The Dancehall icon slid through a medley of songs, including ‘Mix Up’ from his ‘Theory of Reggaetivity’ album and a soulful cover of Dennis Brown’s ‘Your Love’s Got A Hold On Me’. His presence on stage was powerful and a great surprise for guests who were yet to see him perform live. 

15. Valiant’s guest slot

Running on stage to perform ‘Fighter’, he bounced off the live band, quickly sliding into ‘Mad Out’ then ‘North Carolina’. The young star of Dancehall didn’t disappoint when it came to the performance, delivering both vocal range and a high-energy show as he raced across the stage. 

16. A surprise set from Govana

Dressed in black leather, with a flash of yellow, the Dancehall star sang ‘Gyal Clown’ and ‘Champ’ – pausing to bring Jesse Royal to the front of the stage to compliment his “clean Rasta” look. As the two bounced off each other, Govana sang the first line on ‘Breeze’, his song with Aidonia, running off the stage to “haha hoho.”

17. Lila Iké bringing “her favourite singer” Samory I on stage 

The pair sang their collaboration, ‘Outside’, from Samory I’s incredible 2023 album, ‘Strength’. Dressed all in red, the sweet, velvety tone of his voice rang out across the crowd gathered in Hope Gardens. Giving just a brief taste of his soulful style, his smile showed just how much he enjoyed his time on stage.

18. The mechanicals of the performance

The dynamic of the show brought a new dimension to the performance, allowing multiple performers to share the spotlight before shifting to a new set. Though Protoje and Jesse Royal stayed on stage for the majority of the show, Lila Iké would drift in and out of the performance, leaving fans with an exciting and engaging show. Like the most perfect sensory overload, as soon as one act ended, the next would shake up the crowd again. More shows should consider this format, we loved it!

19. Chi Ching Ching’s outfit 

Chi Ching Ching was definitely the best dressed artist of the night, wearing a denim Louis Vuitton suit embellished with diamanté crystals. First appearing early in the show, he spat a couple of lyrics before returning later in the night to perform with Lila Iké when he performed a string of songs including their 2023 collab, ’Wurl A Baff’.

20. Lila Iké’s rendition of her 2024 song ‘Good & Great’ and 2019’s ‘Where I’m Coming From’ 

Speaking of Lila, her live vocals are haunting, with delicate angelic tones. Displaying the power and range of her voice, she showed what a natural performer she is, never faltering when it came to delivering a song. In fact many of her songs sounded better live than they do on her records, especially as she prepped the crowd for Masicka…

21. The build up to Masicka’s guest appearance 

Lila kicked things off singing the hook to ‘Triumph’, her feature on Masicka’s new album ‘Generation Of Kings’. As she reached the bridge of the song, her vocals built up to a striking climax, with Masicka running on as she reached the peak – launching straight into his verse. He remained on stage to screams from the crowd, cementing his place as one of Dancehall’s best loved acts today.

22. The balance of Reggae and Dancehall. 

Lost In Time is a Reggae festival first and foremost, but the balance of Dancehall acts appearing on the stage showed the two sounds can stand side by side. With Dancehall’s often raunchy themes and vulgar lyrics, it was special to see the sound being embraced at a traditionally Reggae showcase, demonstrating how important both genres are in Jamaican music history. 

23. Lila Iké’s granny 

Present on stage through much of the show, she gave a heartwarming performance shortly before the end of the show. Singing as Protoje, Jesse Royal and her granddaughter Lila all danced across the stage. 

24. Jesse Royal’s rendition of ‘Modern Day Judas’

The perfect follow up was Jesse Royal’s performance of his breakout track, 2013’s ‘Modern Day Judas’, bringing classic Reggae sounds to Hope Gardens. The performance showed the legacy of Royal’s catalogue – while he performed a great deal of his hits, there were many that he didn’t get to showcase, just demonstrating the mass of music he’s released. 

25. Popcaan and Protoje’s performance of ‘Like Royalty’ 

Running on stage in a mask, Popcaan’s surprise performance was the closer of the night. He emerged after Protoje performed their collaborative track, popping out as the song hit his verse on the song. With his face covered, the rapper and singer was identifiable thanks to his jacket, bearing the word “Unruly” across the back. 

26. Popcaan’s high-energy performance of ‘St Thomas Native’ 

Sensing the show was drawing to a close, Protoje instructed the band to switch tracks to VIPER’s favourite song from Popcaan’s 2023 album, ‘Great Is He’. As he began to sing the chorus, the crowd joined him in loudly singing along. The festival couldn’t have closed on a better note, with the uplifting tones of the song, bringing the show to a joyous pinnacle. 

27. The Show’s Production 

The seamless production throughout the night made Lost In Time a truly unforgettable experience. Considering Protoje launched the festival in order to show that Kingston needed a live music experience, he more than proved that an event like this could be a success in Jamaica’s capital. We hope you consider attending Lost In Time next year! An unforgettable experience, it’s more than worth the flight to Jamaica! 

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