Legendary Jamaican artist Frederick “Toots” Hibbert is pleased that he was able to contribute towards the revitalization of the Jamaica Festival Song contest with his participation this year.
“I want to congratulate Buju Banton and all the other contestants, all the beautiful girls and all my brethrens who played a role in the contest. This contest was what Jamaica needed, it was all about elevating Jamaicans, and raising the level of the festival song contest, and delivering a positive message,” a jovial Toots Hibbert said.
“You don’t have to tell me that I won, I am a winner, I won already!” he added, laughing.
Buju Banton emerged as the winner of a star-studded field of contestants at this year’s Jamaica Festival Song contest.
“I was asked to come and participate, and that’s why I did ‘Rise Up Jamaica’ because we have to elevate and uplift Jamaicans and also rise up the level of the contest, and to tell my people ‘don’t give up’, beware the coronavirus, but still rise…and I feel great to have been part of that whole process,” he said.
Toots Hibbert and The Maytals are three time winners, winning for the first time with ‘Bam Bam’ before going on to emerge victorious in 1969 with ‘Sweet and Dandy’ and again in 1972 with the immensely popular ‘Pomps and Pride’.
Hibbert, 78, is now turning his attention towards his first studio release in more than a decade. The album, ‘Got To Be Tough’, recorded with The Maytals, is an energizing provocation that renews the near six-decade career of the man who launched a new sound and genre with his 1968 release, “Do The Reggay.”
“This album is going to be amazing,” he said.
The album will be their debut project on the Trojan Jamaica imprint, to which they signed in October.
The single comes with the welcomed news of a full-length Toots and The Maytals studio album release – of the same title as the single – set for global release via Trojan Jamaica/BMG Records on August 28.
“The single, ‘Got to Be Tough, is the lead single and it is telling everyone that they have to be tough and resilient, ,don’t give up, believe in yourself, believe in God and what you are doing and it will all work out in the end,” he said.
Hibbert is throwing down an authoritative guide: how to survive and thrive among our earth challenges.
“It’s a positive message. The overall theme of the album is love and happiness, from you have that, you have everything,” he said.
During a time of global social and political unrest, Toots’ welcomed return and voice couldn’t be more needed or necessary than ever. Harking back to the start of Ska, during the civil rights movement era in America and Jamaican independence in the 1960s, he has sung iconic truths such as “Monkey Man” and “54-46 Was My Number,” a wry but not bitter response to his unjust incarceration for ganja.
He hipped our heads in the 1970s with the dynamic pan-Africanism of “Funky Kingston” and the early warning message of “Pressure Drop”; re-defining soul with the “Toots In Memphis” LP in the 80s.
Toots has constantly evolved while staying uniquely the same.
Since his wrongful 1966 imprisonment – which spawned one of his biggest global hits “54-46 Was My Number” — Toots has gained insight into the corrupt systems that try to dominate our bravest endeavors, and it is in his new resistance music, that his anger at and sensitivity to injustice in 2020 is clearer than ever. Returning with a message, with no apology – a warning, as he repeats for emphasis on his latest single.
The multiple GRAMMY® Award nominated and winning musician, vocalist, songwriter, producer and icon has made the wait worthwhile, crafting a stubborn groove, designed to inspire tenacity, while splendidly balancing joy and anger, pain and healing.
Produced by Toots himself, who also plays many of the instruments on this album, alongside Zak Starkey on guitar, drums from one half of Sly and Robbie, Sly Dunbar, percussion from Cyril Neville, and a mighty horn section arranged by Toots himself.
“I played all the instruments, bass, keyboard and drums. I asked Sly Dunbar to redo some of the drums, and Zac Starkey contributed on guitar, Cyril was on percussion. It’s a real all-star effort that anyone who loves great music can enjoy,” he said.
“Got To Be Tough” the album will be available worldwide from August 28.
‘GOT TO BE TOUGH’ TRACK LIST
Drop Off Head
Got To Be Tough
Good Thing That You Call
Three Little Birds Ft. Ziggy Marley
Having A Party