Get To Know [Ep.12]: Leno Banton

REM Collective (@REMCollectiveJA) is a group of young creative minds that I think people should really keep an eye out for. The group consists of recording artistes, visual artists, music producers etc. Basically, if you want anything from the creative arts field, just link them! In case you missed it, I already featured some members from the group in previous episodes, Yanah (singer) PalacePikney (music producer) and Khari Kamau (visual artist)

This week we have another artiste from the REM family, the young Banton! Leno Banton is in a league by himself as his music is just different from everybody else. Different in a good way. Blessed with the gift of undeniable flows, catchy and thought-provoking lyrics, Banton is sure to get your attention as you press play.

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Photo by: Yannick Reid (@thetherapistsol)

Put your playlist on shuffle and give me the first five selections. Let’s see what you got.

  1. Protection – Protoje feat. Mortimer
  2. Wrong Side of the Law – Protoje
  3. Family – Popcaan
  4. Reggae Origin – Agent Sasco
  5. Anytime – Melovice 

What are some of your best memories from high school? (Meadowbrook High School)

Leno: Well I would say, just how carefree I was. People were more genuine back then, I guess. Also, selling Hershey’s and just chilling with friends.

Where did the journey start to becoming a recording artiste?

Music has been a part of my life since birth. I always knew that I wanted to be an artiste but I didn’t start recording until near to the end of high school when i used to record rap music on my phone and SNR (@snr876) would mix the vocals and ting.

What was it like growing up with Burru Banton, as your father? How much did he influence your choice to get into music?

I got to see how much people respected him for who he was and what he stands for and that was really a big part of me wanting to be an artiste to be honest. Seeing him go to the studio and going with him sometimes got me to love the feeling of being in a studio. He influences me more now because we reason about music and I can have a better understanding of things now.

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Left: Leno Banton, Right: Burru Banton

Photo by: Romario LYNCH (@lebosslynch)

You released your debut album, REMSZN (2016) for free on all platforms. Why did you choose to take that route?

I don’t really put any labels on it to say it’s an album or mixtape, to me it was a project I put out to get everybody familiar with REM and I wanted everyone to get it. So, making it available for free was the most practical thing to do.

Did you release any projects before REMSZN?

Nah. Just some singles but I don’t really consider those as my official tracks anymore.

Listen to REMSZN here:

One of my favourite tracks from you is definitely SIMMA (feat. iotosh) Could you give us some insight into the recording process for this song?

It was basically just me and PalacePikney (@palacepikney) in the room and I already knew how I wanted it to sound with the main vocals but the harmonies were the only problem. Palace gave me his opinions and I just worked with it.

Listen to ‘SIMMA’ here:


What are some of your other interests outside of music?

I dig chilling with trees. If I’m not at home you can find me under a tree. I dig anime, cartoons, world theories, the ancient people’s way of life and I generally just like to observe.

What should people look out for from you this year?

I’m just going with the flow for now.

Cool cool. In closing, what message would you like to leave with the people?

Put your trust and foundation in Jah because this generation don’t really stand for anything, it’s all trends and what’s hot and not what’s right. So don’t be a sheep, try not to be a wolf either nor a shepherd, be a bird.

Well that was a well rapid episode lol. Give thanks for reading. More episodes coming….. well rapid.

In the meanwhile, check out more sounds from Leno Banton on Soundcloud:



Author: Shawnello

Hey! I'm Shawn and I love art. I'm also slightly obsessed with music. Jamaican music especially.

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