GR: How did you begin doing music? Todah: Well, I've always loved music but one experience really started my desire. In my mid teens my cousin had a Music programme in Church an she had me sing in the choir and do a rap song with one of my friends.. that was like a catalyst for me to begin doing music that represents Jesus Christ. GR: Tell me, how did your name come about? Any obstacles with it--funny mispronunciations, etc…? Todah: My friend who co-founded Melchizedek Order with me...we were invited to sing in a concert hosted by the group 'Culture Rammers', they advised us to get a group name and to name ourselves individually , so we prayed about it.. My friend Darryl, he came up with the group name 'Melchizedek Order' and I decided on 'Todah'..which means to praise God as a sacrifice...or to give thanks. GR: I know that you have written a whole heap of songs in the past, but what's your favorite one? Now, if that is too hard for you to answer, then tell me this; if you spent 5 minutes with an avid reggae fan and only had enough time to play them one of your songs, which one would you play them? Todah: Well.. that song would be God Is Real.. It's one of the first songs I wrote. I just love its message. GR: What do you have to say about (or to) artists that started off in the Christian industry (CBA) doing gospel music and now sing secular (mainstream) with a watered down, or ambiguous message? Todah: Well..I don't know... to each his own ..(lol) I'm not the type to Judge..even though from the question it's obvious that the person has stepped back from what he or she believes...One thing I know for sure is that we all have to give an account to God for what we do. GR: As Christians, God is of course our true inspiration, but beyond the generic response of "Jesus," what are your muses in your life (for lack of a better word)? For example, what are the people, places, or things that trigger a fresh musical idea and ultimately a new song for you? Todah: Honestly, Life inspires me.. The Word of God.. family..music..travel..just being in a different place, 'limin' with friends or something you hear on the news or see on television or a situation you might find yourself in or see others going through. GR: What has been your lowest moment so far in life? Todah: When I migrated to the US..(lol).. no.. that was a good thing... but leaving my wife who was my girl friend at the time.. family ..close friends and the Group...that was really tough. GR: What has been your highest moment? Todah: When I got married and the birth of my daughter. I cried like a baby for both..(lol) ..TO READ THE REST OF THE INTERVIEW COPY AND PASTE THE LINK BELOW INTO YOUR WEB BROWSER: http://www.gospelreggae.com/browse/artists/todah/detail.html
Finally, the release of Melchizedek Order's Ground Breaking Album 'Triumph in the Midst of Babylon' on www.gospelreggae.com . This timeless CD was a cornerstone recording for the Gospel Reggae movement in its early stage and it has always been a favorite of mine. As a die-hard fan of the genre, I have always thought that it was a shame that this album never saw the light of day outside of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Back in 1999 this group was actually in heavy negotiations with myself and Lion of Zion Entertainment to become the first artist signed to Christafari's label but things eventually fell through. Since then I have kept in touch with former members of the group and some of them have continued singing and recording. The most promising artist in the lot is band founder Jason 'Todah' O'Neil, who is now releasing new music through GospelReggae.com's download section and working on his first solo debut. It is a shame that nothing else happened with the band, but hopefully through this digital release their music can live on in history and in our iPods! It has been said that good things come to those who wait. In this case, almost a decade has passed, yet their creative blend of dancehall, soca, roots and culture still lives on. Download the whole album today and hear a landmark album for the Gospel Reggae genre. You won't be disappointed! By Mark Mohr
Over the last couple weeks I've begun to really love the book of Leviticus. It speaks of the different rules and regulations the children of Israel were to follow in their service to God, and serves as a back-drop for what was to come. In those days different sacrifices 'atonement' had to be made for the sins people committed. Sin was not forgiven, it was atoned for or covered up, not taken away like Christ did and the High Priest alone was to offer such sacrifices. We now have a High Priest , Jesus Christ, that is, forever making intercession on our behalf. Alot of spiritual truths can be drawn from this book and applied to us today. There were conditional laws, if you do this, you get that, the reap what you sow principle. It's just amazing to see how involved God was in the everyday aspect of his peoples lives, from the way they were to approach him to the way the were to treat with each other. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbour as you love yourself is not just a New Testament thing! Of course we know that we are no longer under the law, for Christ came an gave his life as a perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin, not only for his people but also for the world, a direct fulfilment of the promise God made to Abraham. Alot can be said about this book but make no mistake, this book was for the children of Israel but again, we 'modern day' or 'new testament' children of God can surely learn from it. Remember, the law has been fulfilled by the sacrifice of Jesus, so we are not bound by it. The book paints a picture of our need for God and the fact that we are lost without him. Paul vehemently oppose those that still wanted to keep the law in the book of Galatians because in doing so, they were denying the sacrifice that Christ had made. We are now to be led by the Spirit, meaning we are to submit our lives, daily to the influence of the Holy Spirt through the Word of God. But still today we 'modern day' Christians implement the law in our lives. When you get the chance take a study of the book of Leviticus. An Old Testament perspective of the Law and Sin but also take the time to study the book of Galatians, a New Testament perspective and draw your own conclusion. Christ Peace.