Taj Weekes is a singer-songwriter, poet, musician and humanitarian hailing from the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. In 2020, the government of St. Lucia named Taj a Goodwill and Brand Ambassador with the official title, His Excellency, Taj Weekes. On August 9, 2021 Taj releases his seventh studio album entitled Pause.
In 2020, Covid-19 brought the music industry to its knees. Taj Weekes was not to be stifled by the loss of touring opportunities or the psychic demands of quarantine. His mind worked overtime, synthesizing a new reality, imposed by a humanitarian crisis unlike any other in our lifetime. In odd synchronicity, hundreds of thousands died from the raging virus, while black political activism in America was simultaneously ignited from the death of George Floyd. The resulting Black Lives Matter movement imposed hard decisions on many social activists to choose between live demonstrations in the streets or to stay home in the safety of isolation. Many forged ahead, some did not. It was a struggle for survival in the direst of circumstances.
Taj poetically captured this stunning reality with a profound reflection of the times by writing deeply rooted emotional lyrics that comprise his new album, Pause. Taj believes this could well be his most outstanding album to date.
“This album was written during the most important year of my life. The year the music stopped and about everything else in between” – Taj Weekes.
Pause reveals a musical diary of introspection imposed by clashing and conflicting affronts on humanity. The album touches on the insidiousness of politics, racism and disease. We all endured these hurtful realities of the struggle for survival, yet only a talented poe could capture the painful essence of confusion and pain. Taj’s reflections are painfully accurate yet the sweetness of his voice also gives me a sense of calm and hope.
Many of the album tracks on Pause include a stark assessment of political greed. Crisis, the first single and video released in July 2021, awakens our consciousness to the haunting sound ‘a siren is a sign of crisis. If you come out too late, we will lose investments. In the ska infused tune related to an ill fated Presidential prediction, ‘all lives matter except on Easter Sunday.’ where we overstand, money trumps life. Memoirs ensures truth will reveal itself and ‘all that was hidden to cover a crime.’ Bang Bang, March of the Silent, Sister Mary and Rainstorm are deeply expressive songs of emotion and at the same time speak to the power of the people. The perfection of instrumentation, Taj’s commanding voice, the perfectly timed back up singers and chanting guest round out a highly executed work of art. One that will withstand the test of time and mark one of the most challenging and scariest moments of our generation. Taj was caught in the storm and sings ‘the whole world has been shaken, but I cannot take a Pause, simply just because there’s much left to do.’
Taj has a long history of giving back to the community not only through the lyrical potency of his music, but through his ongoing humanitarian works to foster support for the children of the Caribbean. His non-profit, They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO), spearheads projects such as after school sports programs, diabetes awareness, domestic violence awareness and artistic activities. During the recent 2021 St. Lucia election season, Taj worked with the Rotary Club to deliver 10,000 pounds of food to social service organizations on the island to feed the hungry. Taj Weekes is an artist who walks the walk and talks the talk by teaching his own children the joy of giving, something he learned from his own mother.