Taj Weekes Fly On The Wall Interview


Interview By: Mister G

FOTW – Q:   What is your home town?

TW – A:   Castries, St. Lucia

FOTW – Q:   How did your childhood influence you?

TW – A:   I grew up in the Caribbean at a time when the Rastas were taking responsibility for their lives and future, and the governments were opposed to their new worldview. The music of the time mirrored that vision and I too, like all the children in the Caribbean, sucked it up like a sponge…so here I am now…I stand Rasta.

My brother, MPLA, also had a profound effect on me as I was growing up. The song  MPLA on our debut cd Hope & Doubt  tells of his story: “My brother MPLA/ trod thru Iyanola with the dreadlocks on his head/ trying hard like each and every Rasta/ in desolate places seeks his daily bread”

FOTW – Q:    When did you start playing/singing?

TW – A:
   My brothers and I had a little group together, starting from when I was 9 years old. We used to sing in the local talent shows and community halls around the island. I also organized and promoted my own shows as well as bringing on other bands to play with us. When I was 12 years old, I was a DJ and had my own radio show on the local station.

We were always singing and playing in my house. My father was an incredible singer…we took that from him and then there was the church and school choirs….so I guess I’ve always been singing.

FOTW – Q:   What made you choose the guitar?

TW – A:   My brother MPLA played the guitar and taught me the basics. I also compose on the piano.

FOTW – Q:   Musicians/Artists in your family?

TW – A:   My brothers and my father.

FOTW – Q:   Name some early musical influences. What attracted you to them? How do they link up with what you are doing today?

TW – A:   My musical influences were quite varied, ’cause the radio stations played all kinds of music. There were no formats, so we grew up listening to everything from calypso to classic rock to classical music. I was always attracted to the lyrics in the songs and would listen to people like Lord Kitchener and the Mighty Sparrow. They were like town criers telling the stories of the day. I always liked the power of the word…and that is basically what we are doing now….putting a rhythm to a suffering man’s cry.

FOTW – Q:   Are there any songs on the album that you’d like given special mention-for the story behind them, or any other reason?

TW – A:   The Orphans Cry is one of the songs on the album that means a lot to me…they all do, but this one holds some extra special significance. After a trip back to St. Lucia for my mother’s funeral, I was watching another television program on the  atrocities being committed in Darfur, and  had to do something . It was also the inspiration for my non-profit organization TOCO (They Often Cry Outreach), which aims to help impoverished, at-risk, and orphaned children. All the proceeds from Orphans Cry will be used to help children affected by the crisis in Darfur.

And then there is Louisiana about Hurricane Katrina…I feel as artists and especially as Rastas, we should really make every effort to highlight these situations and not go silent in times like these. This song will also be on an upcoming album called Waterlogged Soul Kitchen, which will be a fundraising album for the victims of the hurricane.

If I may also mention Dark Clouds, which speaks out on the issue of the environment…’cause if we don’t change our plan, we’ll inherit a wasteland. We’re trying to bring awareness to these issues and  inspire people to be part of the change we need to make the world a better place for all of us.

FOTW – Q:   Any stories from recording in the studio you would like to share?

TW – A:   The story about the studio is always to let the studio session bring about it’s own magic…not go in there with the music set in stone, but to let things sometimes happen on the fly.

FOTW – Q:   What about the inspiration behind this album?

TW – A:   After completing touring behind Hope & Doubt, both of my parents died and the songs I started preparing for the new album were reflecting the sorrow on my mind. Wallowing in my grief, I wrote songs that were incredibly depressing. Then I realized that it wasn’t about me. Sure, I lost two people, but there are millions of people dying every day. So right then, I scrapped all the songs I had and wrote twelve new ones. I wrote about the world instead of myself…so here is DEIDEM.


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