BECAUSE of its global devastation, COVID-19 has inspired numerous songs by artistes who were sidelined from recording and touring for almost two years. The height of Junior Toots's frustration came during government-sanctioned lockdowns.
Fayah fi di Wicked, a song on which he collaborates with King Kanashi I from St Croix and Ugandan deejay Blessed San, recaptures that tedious period of solitude. Produced by British company Soulfyah Productions it will be released Thursday.
"I was frustrated with the COVID lockdowns so I decided to reach out to Africa to DJ Raffa to promote my single Physically Spiritually, and also to talk to him about working with artistes from Uganda. He referred me to Blessed San who I connected with and then I sent them the track and I also linked up with King Kanashi I from the [US] Virgin Islands," Junior Toots recalled during an interview with the Jamaica Observer.
The pandemic significantly cooled Junior Toots's recording output. The California-based singer has released four albums, the previous being 2015's Guidance Star.
His self-described "sound of legends past and present" has served the St Mary-born artiste well. He has performed on major festivals, mainly in California, such as the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival and Reggae on the River.
Born Clayton Hibbert, Junior Toots is the son of reggae legend Toots Hibbert, who died in 2020 from COVID-19 complications. In December that year, he paid tribute to his father with a cover of his 1970 classic Sweet And Dandy.
Junior Toots spoke about the importance of carrying on his legacy.
"He's my father and his songs are great. I look forward to adding more of his songs to my set," he said.
Crown of Fire, Reggae Got Soul, and A Little Bit of Love are Junior Toots's other albums.