Bred in the Caribbean island of St. Lucia but shaped by intercontinental life experience, my friend Taj Weekes is also an unwavering, energetic humanitarian, who founded his children’s charity, They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO). His efforts has garnered him the title UNICEF Champion for Children for St. Lucia where he implements and executes various programs designed to enrich the lives of Caribbean children. Aside from brains, a heart, and a great smile, Taj 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 almost unique. So what makes Taj Weekes special can be summarized in three words: MUSICIAN. POET. HUMANITARIAN. What makes him astonishing is the easy and unforced harmony among all these facets of his existence.
I have been doing a lot of checking in with family to the program recently, so it makes sense that Taj and I caught up to dive deep into his brand new album, “Pause”. We get into the many newness’s that went into this, his 7th release, an album I feel captures so much of the him that first lead me his way. We talk about how working on this album with Ziggy Coltrane, took him to new levels…in this chat, we experience some of those actions and the path to the flowering results is fascinating. We also, as followers to this program are well aware, get into the real important stuff with what he has been up to with his TOCO (They Often Cry Outreach) endeavors. This time around, Taj traveled to Accra, Ghana for his first humanitarian mission to Africa and performed and reached out to the Ghanaian youth with local and international charitable organizations. We circle back after talking about walking that African walk that many artists talk about, and feel how this is shaping not only the storytelling songwriter – and the plans for more intimate live shows – but the individual that is already one who reflects and understands the miGhty good feelings of the give back. #respect.