The “time has come” to expel all evil and darkness from T&T.
That’s the message from Trinidad-born reggae band Judah Galt (Keegan Galt) to their compatriots with their new album THC (Time Has Come).
Based in Florida, USA, the artist said he was increasingly disenchanted with the corruption he sees globally in political and business dealings and felt compelled to urging the citizens of his “beloved T&T” to hold their government officials accountable for their actions.
“I see politicians robbing the poor without any reward and it made me question the reality I was being presented with. For my part, I never accept things as they are presented, I like to interrogate a little deeper so that my conscience is clear and the conscience is processed correctly in a healthy way, ”Judh began during an online exchange with the Kitcharee last week.
The Talparo-born performer has said in years past that “evil acts weren’t something T&T accepted so easily.”
“Folklore kept the children under control and the festivals kept the peace in the adults. We never used to make excuses for bad deeds and we always aspired to achieve something greater together as Trinbagonians,” Judah added.
Judah remembers falling in love with reggae music after seeing the Wailers perform live for the first time at the age of five at a surf expo in Orlando, Florida. He found himself on stage that day, on the shoulders of bassist Aston “Family Man” Barrett during the set, adding that the experience “changed my life forever”.
“It was also the first time I hung on to a real Rastaman dreadlock, much less one of The Original Wailers. It changed my life trajectory into appreciating and loving reggae music at a young age, even more than soca and calypso, until I came to respect the fact that calypso, soca and rocksteady were created by Trinidadians.
As a pre-teen, he returned to Trinidad and founded the Xixgon International PA system with a group of childhood friends which then included current TTT CEO David Roberts. Now based in Florida, the sound system continues to play across North America.
Returning a spirit of love to T&T must begin with “uncovering the hidden pain and trauma” that fuels “manifestations of meanness and toxic behaviors”, he reflected.
“I am with my people and bun fyah pon all corruption. It is the way Christ told us and the way Emperor Haile Selassie I showed us. The EP Time Has Come spends the majority of its time articulating the problem and providing a simple and effective solution through the biblical understanding of judgment, verdicts and fulfillment of prophecy addressed to twisted minds who believe that they can come and spoil our great country,” he said.
Hear the cries of the people
Judah emigrated to the United States in 2004. In February 2020, he returned to T&T to film the music video project for his single “Land of T&T”. The singer said complaints from family, friends and ordinary people he met about the lack of proper public services and deep corruption in several state agencies “shake me to the core”.
“I was blindsided before I thought Trinidad and Tobago could ever become so corrupt. I started calling my people to see what we could do to get some accountability and healing centers were opened to mental and emotional trauma. Many cowered in fear and I was left standing with few by my side,” he lamented.
Eight days before that country closed its borders in March 2020, Judah returned to Florida to begin work on the album. The sunshine state was one of the few in the United States that did not impose restrictions on movement and gatherings.
“I felt like I was in a movie. The streets were quiet, the shops were quiet, there was this underlying silence of uncertainty, but I kept my peace. I lived my life normally as I could, praying every day,” he revealed.
Judah says he plans to return home and “network with people who are serious about change and growth.”
“It just takes love to bring more love. We are all looking for love and sometimes people think they need to kill to be loved, but that’s an ego illusion and a deception circumstances. I hope to get home as soon as possible because there is no place like Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.
Judah and his team are already working on a new album which they hope to bring to an uncertain and sometimes frightening world.
“As Trinis, we are leaders in the Caribbean. We behave differently and have proven to the world that our culture is one of the most extravagant, extraordinary and exciting. We are the spirit of Carnival and we know what it means to be truly peaceful, happy and fun all at the same time.
“Success for us in 2022 would be to see our people unite again and rise up against the corruption of tyranny. In my eyes, the devil is the worst enemy and we need protection from this monster every day, but it is our responsibility to seek it out.
“Let’s make sure we never break the golden rule again: ‘Do unto others as you would do to yourselves.’ The devil is in the details, kick him out and kick the dragon out of my nation. People have power and as one of my favorite legendary artists, David Rudder sang at the time: “See how we move, watch how we dance. See how we step in with style. A beautiful nation, under a furrow, The Ganges comes to meet the Nile,” Judah concluded.