JAmusic: Music lovers globally will always be looking for that new, impeccable sound that can be looked upon as leaders of the new wave of vocalists. How would you define a musical genius that can eventually become a vocal leader?
TA: I don't think it takes a musical genius to become a vocal leader. So I won't define it that way. I think it takes a talented person, passionate and confident about their craft, their content, their sound and creativity to impact a culture where consequently, through admiration for his/her talent. The fans make you a "new vocal leader."
JAmusic: Some of the most genius artistes have thrived when taking chances and innovating. How important/present is that on the Reggae soundscape today; from what you've seen and that might have help in composing your singles?
TA: I think it's very important to be innovative and take chances, period; across the board. Not just on the reggae soundscape. We all have talent, but as a creator it's important to try and establish what it is that will make you different and stand out from the rest. That's when you will challenge yourself as an artist and contrive your best work.
JAmusic: How do you think the single Right on Time will impact your growing fan base as well as attract new ones?
TA: Right on time has already impacted my fan base, and by that I mean since we released it it's been building my fan base. It's the reason people are finally giving my sound a chance. And that's because it's simple, yet pretty and very eclectic . It's where dancehall meets R&B and that's not common sound in music right now.
JAmusic: With every single that an artist releases they intend to tell a specific story. What is the tale being told on Right on Time?
TA: The story being told in "Right on time" is that of love. The beginning where it's fresh and new, just mere bliss. That's the moment I tried to capture while writing "Right On Time."
Photographed by by Martei Korley
JAmusic: What's the biggest risk you've taken artistically; one that went over surprisingly well and one that might've gone over people's heads?
TA: The biggest risk I have taken in music is stopping, then starting over. Starting over with a new team, with a new sound and with a new approach. Some artists would never do this because of the fear of it not working. Also, for people watching, they often view your "going back to scratch" as a form of failure. But I only deemed it as an opportunity, not a risk.
JAmusic: Who's the artiste that keeps you on your toes? Pushes you to go harder?
TA: The artist that's keeping me on my toes and pushing me to go harder would be me, Tosh Alexander. My worst critic and biggest competitor is me. I am the only one with the ability to truly push myself because I know where I want to be and what it takes to get there.
JAmusic: When you got into the music business where did you think you'd be today or where did you see yourself fitting in at the moment?
TA: When I got into music , I didn't know how long it would take to be successful. But where I am now, with the supportive team I have, with the sound we created, is exactly where I wanted to be, because in that moment I just wanted it to feel right, and now it does.
JAmusic: What's the purpose on your musical journey? What's the message you're trying to give?
TA: There are several purposes of me pursuing music. In fact, I'm only naming a few but there's several. The main purpose is to use the talent that God has given me to share with world. To contribute to the gift known to us as music. Another purpose is to inspire people all over the world from everywhere, in any circumstance. Showing them dreams are unbounded and real and can be pursued and accomplished. Lastly, I now know the purpose of music was to help me grow as a person, to humble me and put me in a situation to help myself and those around me. So I'm not necessarily trying to give a specific message, I'm just hoping through sharing my story and my struggle as an artist and person, I can inspire people to aspire for greatness.
JAmusic: What's one song that you hold close to you because of a particular line or better yet what's the most philosophical quote you've heard in a song that you hold close to your heart?
TA: Music has always been a source of encouragement for me, so there's an array of songs I hold close to my heart. However, I can't say there is a philosophical line I hold close to my heart, that's what the bible is for.
Photographed by by Martei Korley
JAmusic: We live in an era where the average person's attention span is limited to what they want to see or hear. What are you doing differently that will hold their attention?
TA: I am focusing on making great, and hopefully timeless music. And when I create, I'm considering to give quality and relatable music to the listeners. So in all honesty, if I don't hold the attention of a listener, then maybe that song isn't for them. But I'm sure they will find something in my body of work that they will love. True fans of music will give the necessary attention.
JAmusic: With success comes a lot of negative feedback, how do you react or deal with negativity?
TA: How do I deal with negatively? Well I can proudly say that at one point it would deter me, have me questioning myself and talent. But thanks to life in general, you realize that negativity will take place by default. So now, I have it propel me to be better. I channel it into positive energy and embrace it for what it is. I can't please everyone, and that's ok with me now.
JAmusic: What kind of future plans have you set for yourself as an artiste (to accomplish and maintain)?
TA: My future plans as an artist is to grow and become better with every song that I release . I want to break records and win Grammys and awards. I want to be a true representation of an artist and respected as such by people and my peers.
JAmusic: What insight can you give on the power of music and its ability to communicate certain messages verbally and non-verbally? And what do you think your music represent?
TA: Music is love . It breaks barriers and fuses cultures and people . It speaks to the soul. Music is essential. And that's my incentive to make great music. Because that's what music means to me . And I just hope that people will feel the same when listening to my music.