Peter Tosh lives. Well, at least through his youngest son, Jawara Gamel McIntosh (stage name Tosh1), a perceptive and philosophical lad, who makes no bones about preserving the vision and legacy of his late father, the mysterious and esteemed legend who many deem just as essential to the history of Jamaican music as Bob Marley. Minutes after taking the stage at Life Fest 2010 (last Saturday at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in St. Andrew), young Tosh (30, reggae artiste, father of three, economics major at Boston’s Northeastern University) kicked it with TALLAWAH to explain his purpose, passions and plans.
TALLAWAH: Why has it been important for you to stay committed to carrying on your father’s vision and legacy?
Tosh: My father’s legacy is one of truth and about educating the youths about identity because a lot of what is out there now is all about vanity and we need to change that. There is a lot of brain-washing going on. We are here for a higher purpose, and if the music is not dealing with that then the music is about nothing.
TALLAWAH: To many onlookers, you still live in your father’s shadow. So how have you been distinguishing yourself as an individual and an artiste in your own right?
Tosh: I’m a very unique artiste in that I am versatile entertainer; I sing, DJ and rap, and I also incorporate much of my father’s legacy in my music. He’s an icon and it’s up to me to maintain that standard and make it clear that [my father] is still relevant.
TALLAWAH: What are your thoughts on contemporary reggae?
Tosh: There is a lot of good and bad. It is just for people in the biz to wake up and re-discover that music is power. We are influencing a lot of people, especially the impressionable youths. It’s up to the artistes to keep it positive and look to the higher purpose of music.
TALLAWAH: When you consider the crime situation here in
Tosh: I think it is absolutely disgusting. It is really sad to see Black people killing each other. We are killing the wrong enemy.
TALLAWAH: When will your first album be out?
Tosh: Right now I’m working on an album called Babylon Burning, and hopefully it will be out later this year or early next year. I don’t really want to put a timeline on it, but we’ll see what happens.
GET MORE TOSH: The conversation continues at TALLAWAH JAMAICA. Tosh speaks on being an indie artiste, the joys of fatherhood and no-baby-mama drama. Get the rest here.