A talk with Taj Weekes at New York’s Brooklyn Bowl

A talk with Taj Weekes at New York’s Brooklyn Bowl

I had the opportunity not only to attend Taj Weekes & Adowa, but also had to chance to speak briefly to Weekes himself! Blessing the Brooklyn Bowl with root reggae vibrations, Taj Weekes illuminated the stage alongside his opening acts, Allinor and Te’La. 

Allinor blessed the stage with melodic sounds of traditional roots reggae music. Allinor had a good compilation of songs that featured themes of love (“Special Place”), smoking weed (“Pass It On”) and libations (“Liberation”). His stage presence was that of those who have come before him, resembling most of a young Don Carlos.

The next opening act was singer/singerwriter, Te’La. Her voice and style is similar to the likes of Erykah Badu. Her house band was compiled of several interesting elements that allowed Te’La to stand alone as a true contemporary artist. From the bassoon to the bass on a percussion pad, Te’La definitely brought flavor to your ear. 

Taj Weekes welcomed the crowd with reggae vibes both young and the new…

There were many songs that stood out for me, one being a cover of “Love Is You”. Te’La mentions that this is one of her first songs she performed before performing her own songs, giving all of a greater appreciation of the music itself. Another standout song was “Raise”, which according to Te’la, “reminds me of happiness”.

Taj Weekes welcomed the crowd with reggae vibes both young and the new, blending rocksteady, familiar bass rhythm and some electric rock elements to create a truly unique experience. The drumming is similar of traditional African beats. This is all glued together by Taj’s lyrics and rocksteady guitar playing. 

I had the privilege to sit down and ask Taj Weekes some worldly questions on top of his performance.

Wow! That was such a great performance! Have you ever performed here in Brooklyn? What do you think the vibe is out here? 

  • TW: People who come to my show are likeminded people, so going to different places, different countries are the same to me. I used to live in Brooklyn, actually, and Brooklyn itself has changed.

Songs like “ All Tears Flow” and “ You And I” talk about the sociopolitical climate of our country. In your own thoughts, what is the biggest divisor between us?

  • I think one of the greatest divisors between us could be the media. There is no more printing press, not truth in our stories. We have to create our own stories. 

As an educator, philosopher, teacher and an artist, what has your past struggle taught you about life and how has that influenced your music?

  • I don’t know if it has taught me anything, it has only fueled me. 

What music are you listening to right now? 

  • There is no music that is influencing me right now, but there are plenty of musicians and performers that influenced me today. I listened to John Mayer and indigenous St. Luscian music, which is an English-French patois that uses fiddles and bongo to tell the story of the days.

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