SAINT Lucian internationally acclaimed reggae artiste, Taj Weekes is set to release a brand new album titled – Pause.
This is expected to be Weekes’ first solo effort without the band Adowa.
According to WORLD REGGAE magazine, the Saint Lucian Brand Ambassador “is without a doubt one of the most gifted songwriters in modem music, with an unmistakable voice and trademark sound that has made him one of the most beloved artiste in reggae today.”
The publication further describes Weekes as an “unwavering energetic humanitarian” who founded his children’s charity, They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO) through which he implements and executes various programmes designed to enrich the lives of Caribbean children.
Taj Weekes has six acclaimed albums of “musically adventurous” reggae that imbues his songs with a pragmatic non-judgmental optimism that is not merely unusual in reggae, but also quite unique.
Taj is highly credited for his critically acclaimed albums Deidem and Pariah in Transit, which are included on Midnight Ravers Top 50 Reggae Albums of the 2000s. His enduring message of “Let Your Vibes be High and Your Message Mighty” conveys the optimism and conscious spirit that his music represents.
In an inclusive with the publication, Taj speaks on his decision to release a solo project after so much success recording with his band Adowa.
In an effort to beat down the ‘Covid blues’, Taj says, he took the opportunity to write some tunes. During the buildup towards recording this latest project, he accomplished a rare feat of teaming up with more than 150 world musicians to work on the production.
Taj explains: “I’m actually recording three albums all at once. Covid had me home …so I just started writing and it just continued. The first album is done and we are working on the second and third albums. It’s been difficult during Covid because we do so much through Zoom with a few studio sessions. So it makes it very difficult. It came about because I was able to be part of this thing. There were 197 musicians, one from each country in the world, and we did a song together. So I met people from all over the world so I reached out to them and we started building on things.”
He added, “Isolation …it made me want to do something new and something different. So left alone all this time with a guitar in my hands. Because that’s what I do, I write songs. So I’m working with some brothers in Amsterdam , people that I’ve heard about, people that I’ve spoken to . The brother doing the production work on the first album is a brother called Ziggy Coltrane. He used to be signed to Columbia back in the day. He’s an incredible musician and an incredible producer. He really takes the lead on the first album.”
Of his latest project, Taj asserts: “You know when you’ve been with people [the band] for so long, you start doubting yourself as a musician as to whether or not you can actually do it by yourself. I’m very proud of this album.”
The first single from Pause is a track titled “Crisis” which speaks directly to the current Covid crisis and the uncertainty that people face as the pandemic continues to spread throughout the world.
WORLD REGGAE describes this project as a ‘history-making subject matter’, while stating that who better than Taj Weekes “to put into words what we all feel.”
A verse from the song goes: “Fly open too soon, Here comes the next rush, (uncertainty looms a novel virus), It’s alright to come out slowly, It’s alright to bend the curve, (and will history see you clearly, for your greed and not your verve.”
Taj speaks a little more on the production: “The first album I called Pause because I took a pause during this period. So the album is a reflection of what happened from the first day they called COVID to the last song I wrote. I get a little more personal on the second album and then the third album is probably the most introspective and personal because it’s talking about the time I spent at home by myself with a woman for 365 days every day and the ways I can go about being a better person.”