George Nooks riding out his storm
Popular reggae-gospel singer George Nooks has been concentrating on performing and promotion to keep his name relevant in the industry.
Back on the road following hard times, he recently graced the Rebel Salute stage, held in St Ann. The craving for the return of the music festival and for timeless rhythm-and-blues-inspired reggae gospel was very apparent among the crowd. The people were welcoming as Nooks, who first found fame as a deejay in the 1970s, stepped onto the stage and his praise songs filled the air. Nooks last performed on Rebel Salute in 2020, prior to the start of the pandemic.
"It is good, it is always good, and Rebel Salute is a staple show. I have been on it a few times now, and it is all good, the audience always react. It has stepped up; there's a lot more artistes, and with it going on, we hope it step up another level for the 30th [anniversary]," Nooks told THE WEEKEND STAR.
The singer explained that over the years he has garnered a large fanbase because of his ability to switch between his artiste personas. Also known as Prince Mohammed, he recorded several hits for producer Joe Gibbs, notably on Dennis Brown's 1978 hit Money In My Pocket and How Can I Leave, as well as the single Forty Leg Dread, among others. He has primarily recorded gospel material for the past five years and his latest full project, Through It All, was released in the middle of the pandemic.
"Everyone knows me as Prince Mohammed, too, and I've had many hits and platinum records. I must say, to God be the glory, great things He has done. I wonder sometimes, because there were a lot of artistes out when I just came out, and every year I step it up. The people just love the voice, and I just keep doing what I do bes...I'm a singer and a deejay," Nooks said.
Since 2017, the God Is Standing By artiste has had run-ins with the law over speculation of cocaine possession. However, two years later, he was found not guilty of breaches of the Dangerous Drugs Act in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court. The singer continues to rubbish claims that he was found with illegal drugs or has, in any instance, attempted to pervert the course of justice, which was the additional charge mentioned when he was re-arrested in 2020. He said that Through It All typically revolves around the battles he has been fighting and keeping close to God.
"There were a lot of struggles, or just things happening through the difficulties, and a lot of things inspired it. And that is where I try to come up from; some of the songs come up from it. It is one of my favourites so far," Nooks shared.
He is once again awaiting a chance to prove his innocence. "I don't even like to hear about it. But it is what it is, and it will be finished soon. Sooner or later, it (the truth) will be out."
He was scheduled to face the court on November 23; however, his lawyer, King's Counsel Tom Tavares-Finson, confirmed that the trial date has once again been pushed back.
"Mr Nooks' trial date is now March 14," he said, also describing Nooks as "a nice guy".