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Weekes Brings Skilled Lyrics to Greenville

Weekes brings skilled lyrics to Greenville

Reggae artist Taj Weekes is following in the style of one of the most famous Rastafarians to have promoted unity and love through his music: the legendary Bob Marley.
Want to go?
Who: Taj Weekes
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Independent Public Ale House, 110 Poinsett Highway, Greenville
Info: 864-552-1265 or

When: 9 p.m. Oct. 2
Where: The Grey Eagle, 185 Clingman Ave., Asheville, N.C.
Tickets: $12 advance and $15 day of show
Info: 828-232-5800 or

Weekes grew up on the Island of St. Lucia where he learned to play music with his siblings in order to perform for his family and church.
“When I was very young, my brother gave me a guitar,” Weekes said. “He played a few notes of 'Redemption Song' and asked me to finish it. It took me a long time to finish it, but when I did I felt so accomplished. After I got the hang of it, every week we'd try and learn a new song to present to everyone.”
Weekes will perform his own music Wednesday at the Independent Public Ale House in Greenville and Oct. 2 at The Grey Eagle in Asheville, N.C.
“The radio stations in St. Lucia aren't formatted; every station plays everything — calypso, jazz, reggae, rock, jazz, classical. So I grew up with a rich musical background,” Weekes said.
“We would listen to the Jackson 5 and all that, but we would always go back to playing (reggae) because that's what spoke to us. It was also important to us because reggae music is based around social issues more than any other form of music.”
And as a humanitarian, bringing light to certain social issues is one of Weekes' top priorities. He is the St. Lucia UNICEF Ambassador for Champion of Children and is also involved with the Clothesline Project, which addresses the issue of violence against women where abused women hang color-coded shirts related to the type of abuse they faced (sexual assault, etc.)
Whether it's to bring awareness to violence against women or to bring awareness of the dangers of diabetes to the people of St. Lucia and other Caribbean countries, Weekes seeks to make a difference.
“I fight for human rights no matter race, gender (or) sexual orientation,” Weekes said. “Recently, I became a strong advocate for the LGBT community, which was purely by accident. I was supposed to do an interview for a magazine and a female reporter refused to interview me because she said I was homophobic.
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“That was a huge generalization on her part, but I realized if I was quiet about the issue, I was condoning the hate.”
In his upcoming album, “Love, Herb and Reggae,” Weekes has a song titled “Here I Stand,” in which he addresses the issue of discrimination of the LGBT community.
The song's lyrics include such lines as “But what really is the focus/Shouldn't the talk be all of love/Now is it wrong to love another/'Cause it's not your kind of love?”
Weekes has been criticized for his lyrics being too “heavy,” and his response was a new song called “You Ain't Ready for the Heavy.”
In it, he states, “You ain't ready for the heavy, I'm bringing you the light/You ain't ready for the truth, I'm bringing you the slight/And though your well resounds, it doesn't follow/You are not deep, you are merely hollow.”
Weekes' music and lyrics are meant to inspire and break stereotypes. He particularly wants to break the stereotype of the Rastafarian whose only interest is in getting high.
“I know everyone is going to assume that the 'herb' reference in the title of my (upcoming) album (Love, Herb, Reggae) is supposed to reference marijuana,” he said. “But what people don't realize is that Rastafarians use many different types of herbs in our cooking, healing and in life. In fact, the album cover will have sunflower, parsley, hemp and other types of herb leaves all over it.
“People are thankful we're fighting the stereotypes. Our motto is 'Let your vibes be high, and your message mighty.' I hope when people come to the show they will learn that our message is love and unity.”
Along with being a skilled lyricist, Weekes is a great musician. He has a soft voice which is easy to listen to, and his music, like Marley's, is traditional reggae with bits of funk and soul and the occasional guitar solo in the mix.
“Music isn't just the instruments,” he said. “It's in the leaves, the trees, earth. It's the soundtrack of my life and everyone's life.”