Album from St. Lucian Reggae Artiste Accepted for Grammy Consideration
St. Lucian roots reggae artist Taj Weekes and his band Adowa celebrate the acceptance of their sophomore release DEIDEM for consideration of a Best Reggae Album nomination by The Recording Academy for the 51st Annual Grammy Awards on February 8, 2009.
Grammy hopeful Weekes states, “We may just be the first St. Lucian artists to be nominated for a Grammy to date.” For the first time ever, the announcement of nominations for the 2009 Grammy Awards will take place during a prime-time television special, “The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music’s Biggest Night,” on December 3 on the CBS Television Network.
Enthusiastically received by fans and the media alike, Billboard Magazine proclaimed DEIDEM as one of “six albums that herald the roots reggae resurgence.” Veteran music journalist and XM Satellite Radio Program Director Dermot Hussey described DEIDEM as “raising the level of songwriting within the idiom of reggae music.” Reflecting on his position as a non-Jamaican reggae artist, Weekes muses, “Reggae music is like a tree… its roots are in Jamaica, but its branches have outgrown the yard and the fruit has landed in other territories.”
With potent and penetrating lyrics, DEIDEM, meaning “All of Us,” delivers a passionate commentary on the relevant issues of our time. Weekes explains, “Whether it’s Darfur, the Middle East, global warming…there’s something going on in every part of the world and we’re trying to bring it all together on one album. No one is talking to each other; the album is designed to create conversation where people can come together.”
Though the topics are insightful and serious, the grooves, melodies and rhythms are the familiar backbeats that reggae fans know and love. Reggae Reviews writes, “After releasing perhaps the best reggae album of 2005, Taj Weekes returns with an early candidate for the best of ’08 in DEIDEM… It’s smart, inspirational, musically vibrant, and just plain gorgeous. No reggae fan can afford not to know Taj Weekes.”
Weekes’ commitment to humanitarian issues is demonstrated by his work as Goodwill Ambassador to the Caribbean in cooperation with the International Consortium of Caribbean Professionals (ICCP) and as founder of his charity, They Often Cry Outreach, which is dedicated to improving the lives of underprivileged, at-risk and orphaned children in the Caribbean and beyond. A portion of the proceeds from the song “Orphans Cry” will be donated to TOCO to bring awareness to the issues that affect the Caribbean such as HIV/AIDS, global warming and poverty.
DEIDEM was released during the eligibility period on August 8, 2008 through Weekes’ independent label, Jatta Records, with U.S. distribution through the Independent Distributors Collective and Homegrown Music Network. Through a licensing deal with Spectra Records, DEIDEM was released to major distribution chains throughout the U.S., Canada and Asia. In conjunction with Afrikool/Culture Taxi Records, Jatta secured distribution for DEIDEM in the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. DEIDEM is available online through iTunes, eMusic, Amazon and other online music distributors.