Artist Details and Stats:

Hometown: Holyoke, MA

Website: www.toussaintliberator.com

Genre: Reggae

Reggae charts for Holyoke, MA
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Protector of Soul Music, Defender of Roots

With a husky tenor that is the epitome of soul, and with musical influences that range from roots reggae to gospel to neosoul to hip hop, Toussaint carries a sound that is true to his nickname, “the Liberator”. Yet Toussaint remains firmly grounded by his foundational pillars of soul and roots. As a “soul roots” singer unlike any other, and with an epic debut album on tap, Toussaint is poised to break new ground worldwide.
Toussaint began his musical journey in the church. The son of a Baptist preacher and a gospel singer, Toussaint spent the majority of his youth singing in various churches in Indiana. Following a relocation to Boston in 2001, he began to sing with a wide range of groups where he learned to jump easily from the blues, to old-school R&B, to funk, to reggae.
In 2006, Soulive invited him to join the band as their lead singer. Toussaint penned all of the lyrics for the acclaimed group’s album, No Place Like Soul, released on the newly revived Stax label. Touring the world, Toussaint was able to share the stage with renowned artists such as Isaac Hayes, the Rolling Stones, John Legend and the Dave Matthews Band.
2010 finds Toussaint poised for another swell in the storyline of his career. Connecting with St. Croix-based I Grade Records – the label behind several notable reggae releases by Midnite, Dezarie, NiyoRah & others – Toussaint has recorded an epic album of original soul-drenched, genre-defying roots music: Black Gold. Slated for a Summer 2010 release, the album’s first single, “Be You”, is already ringing through the airwaves worldwide, with a video filmed on location in St. Croix. Keep your eyes open for what comes next. www.toussaintliberator.com


“Not many would consider soul music to be a natural bedfellow for roots reggae, and truly it isn't attempted very often. Toussaint's Black Gold proves that the musical forms can be blended with excellent results. Black Gold's first single was "Be You", an uplifting and positive track that also has an accompanying video (link) but the album opens with "Nobody Knows". "Nobody Knows" is a soulful track that gives praises to the Most High. It's one of Black Gold's strongest songs, and it lays down for the uninitiated what a 'soul roots' album is going to sound like. "This Song", which follows, is gospel-inflected and it allows Toussaint's powerful and raspy voice to really shine. By then the listener should get the 'soul roots' phenomenon. "Rise and Fall" is the only track featuring a guest vocalist, the excellent chanter from Guyana Jahdan Blakkamore, and it is also a stand-out. ”

“A cynic would say Toussaint's commitment to reggae and its culture is a professional ploy, citing how he speaks without the Caribbean accent he uses when he sings. But reggae hasn't held great purchase with consumers since its heyday in the '70s and '80s, and he has the vocal chops to pursue other avenues to commercial success. Besides, in the broader rock world, John Fogerty, who sings with a Southern twang, was raised in Berkeley, Calif., and Gillian Welch, who can evoke life in rural settings, grew up in Los Angeles. Yet no one questions their commitment to their music. "Black Gold" works as a cross-cultural exercise and can be seen as an acknowledgment of the roots of reggae in American R&B and sinewy postbop jazz. ”

“Of course he’s not the only one out there now doing quality, full-blown soul singing, but the way he folds skillful interpretations of traditional, no-holds-barred, unabashed soul into the deeply roots, mystical, easy-winding vibes that define Tippy’s I Grade projects makes him stand out. Now inevitably lumped into a genre of chanters and Rasta-chat rockers, he’s a soul-reggae pioneer casting off into relatively uncharted territory among the reggae landscape.”

“Toussaint reminds me of Luciano's non-VP Records albums: midtempo, sensual, excellent production, solid bass grooves punctuated with horns and a killer rhythm section. The man can write a ballad ("Hello My Beautiful," "Black Gold") without being clichéd, as well as hype a crowd ("Roots in a Modern Time," "Conquering Cocaine"). Toussaint is at his best right in the middle, with an irie classic like "Sunshine in the Morning," relying both on the exceptional production and his heartfelt, bold vocals.”

“ Roots/soul singer Toussaint proves to be an eloquent statesman for reggae music on his new CD, Black Gold...Black Gold is a record that is both timely and timeless. It is Pan-Africanist in outlook...very here and now. Read more: Toussaint - Black Gold | SoulTracks - Soul Music Biographies, News and Reviews Read more: Toussaint - Black Gold | SoulTracks - Soul Music Biographies, News and Reviews ”

“One of the best reggae albums of recent years, Black Gold was cut with a spot-on band in the Virgin Islands by the songwriter and singer Toussaint. While he can vocalize commandingly in reggae style, Toussaint also has the chops of a testifying soul singer and R&B balladeer. Much of Black Gold moves in strict reggae tempo, accented by cool horns and tasty guitar licks, but several tracks are indebted to reggae’s roots in American R&B.”

“Black Gold offers pure soul (the sweet Hello My Beautiful), straight reggae (the mighty Roots In A Modern Time), and songs that are something of a mix of both genres (the single Be You). And the mixture works extremely well. In addition, Toussaint appears to be an excellent storyteller. The lyrics are personal and deals with topics such as struggles in life and overcoming addictions.”

“On board are the ‘Zion I Kings’, which is a collective of the labels Zion High Productions [Zion], I Grade Records [I] and of course the Lustre Kings [Kings] and again, that’s not something I’d imagine as the basis for a ‘crossover’, but the very fact that it is, ALONE, takes this project from already being ripe with discussable moments and circumstances, to literally being a GOLD MINE of fascination and arguably the single most interesting release I’ve come across thus far in 2010”

“This past weekend St. Croix kids ages five to 17 got some hands-on experience singing, dancing, acting and working on production for a music video of an original new socially conscious song entitled "Be You," by international reggae vocalist Toussaint. Award-winning St. Croix documentary film maker Johanna Bermudez-Ruiz shot the video over three days on the sun-drenched fields at Good Hope School, Ham's Bluff, the V.I. Sustainable Farming Institute and other locations against the backdrop of St. Croix's brilliant sunsets, pristine sea shorelines, forests and verdant fields.”

“Toussaint's history reads like a nomadic wanderer of vibes, having gone from a background in Soul, R&B and Hip-Hop and performing actively in those styles for nearly a decade before bringing his very nice, heavy and cool vocals and linking with the venerable I Grade Records to sing Reggae music. Not surprisingly the label already has the strong first single for Toussaint, the inspirational 'Be You', up and running and along with a forthcoming video, the single is set to be released to etailers across the globe via Zojak Worldwide on April 20. ”
United Reggae

“There’s no question that we saw a very grown up Toussaint last night. Our crew all noticed that immediately upon seeing him on stage...They’ll be back in Boston at Church in March and if you’re a fan of energy, dancing and seeing one of the best under appreciated vocalists, then I’ll see you”
Kip Owen - hip2besquare.net

“His versatile band jumps easily from dubbed-out reggae explorations to hopped-up funk and soul romps, all anchored by Toussaint’s charismatic tenor.”
Christopher Blagg - Boston Herald

“Toussaint Liberator & Buru Style's total nuclear funk eradicates the ego and leaves only an ass-shaking, joy-filled husk behind. I wouldn't be surprised if, in the wake of their show at the Main Pub this past Friday, people were showing up to work drunk, high, and smelling like sex. Damn.”
Dan Barry - The Hartford Advocate