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Album Showcase: Soom-T – “The Louder the Better”


Editor’s Note:  Scottish reggae artist, Soom-T, is a favorite of the Rootfire team. We first covered her back in March of 2021 when Kayla Kush interviewed her as part of our Women in Reggae series. Today, we publish an Album Showcase article focusing on her latest LP, The Louder the Better, which was released this past October.  The article features an in-depth interview with the singer conducted by Rootfire writer, Brooke Ashley.


RF: You’ve had a longtime fanbase here at Rootfire. We love your music and really appreciate you taking the time to answer these questions! 

For those who don’t know Soom T, briefly introduce us to Soom T and what she stands for. 

Soom-T: I am a Christian recording artist and songwriter from Scotland with an aim to share the truth about God, spirituality, humanity and society with the world.  


RF: What is the biggest message you want to share with your fans through your music?


Soom-T: That Almighty God is the overriding power in this world and Jesus Christ is his son who died for our sins and gave us a chance to go to heaven and have our prayers heard and answered by God.


RF: You’re a self-produced artist who has mastered having your own music label, Renegade Masters. What/who does Renegade Masters consist of?


Soom-T: It is a label which began in 2013 officially and ran with 4 others.  It eventually became an outsourcing label operating as a production base for my own musical output.  It consists of a variety of music composers, engineers, artists, labels, consultants, admin, agents and performers and now operates like a well oiled independent machine.  It consistently churns out new songs and albums for digital, vinyl and video release with the assistance of plugging and distribution partner, X-Ray Production, based in Paris, France.  It also manages the live concerts and tours alongside European booking and live production experts, Talowa Productions.


RF: You’re from Glasgow, United Kingdom. How does it feel to be an international artist? When you started out, did you aspire to this level of notoriety, or did you approach music more casually? 


Soom-T: It is fun and exciting to be international as it allows me many opportunities to leave my humble abode in Scotland to have adventures in far off places whilst sharing my love of music and the message of truth.  I always approached music casually.  When I was younger, I was ambitious like any other aspiring music artist, but as time went on, I became more attuned to understanding the true reasons for my choice to pursue a career in music and that was to use my meager talents to make the world a better place.  Ambition turned to responsibility, self seeking turned to recognizing my need to serve others by my vocation, entertaining turned to educating and traveling for fun turned to disciplined touring to ensure a professional result.  As for notoriety, I have never considered it until you mentioned it to me.  It means as little to me as a gust of wind in a snow storm.  


RF: You made a statement once in a previous Rootfire interview that really sat with me – “We can use any genre to promote the truth.”  This really impacted me, because I feel like I’m always searching for a bigger truth than myself and society’s expectations. Sometimes I feel like I must stick with one genre or a realm of genres when I know that isn’t the truth. I really respect and admire how you don’t stay within the box. You are out there spreading your truth through several genres of music — soul, reggae, and gospel. Is there any specific genre you have a bigger connection with than the other and if so, why?


Soom-T: Absolutely.  Look at Jesus.  He used fig trees,  mountains, water and many other simple things to explain profound truths.  The same applies to styles of music because Jesus taught us that pretty much everything from a feather falling from a bird’s wing to a flower blowing in the breeze has a great truth to share if we care to look deep enough.  Reggae for me has a special capacity to transmit great truths and is easily closest to my heart with regards to sharing deep truths, prophetic words and Godly considerations.  The subtlety of the beats used in many signature reggae songs, the melodious skank which doesn’t take over a track while hinting of its presence and dictating the mood, the empty echo hallways that allow for the imagination to concoct a picture with barely audible sounds dubbed into oblivion, create a perfect backdrop for a lone voice in the wilderness to grace it with meaningful dialogue.  Bob Marley surely proved to us why reggae could be so effective in getting a point across.  It is surely the platform of the truth speaker, the preacher, the independent voice with the unfiltered truth to share with the world.  I always said that sound systems were the last uncontrolled  platform left for the independent voice with reggae music being the dedicated vehicle for true spiritual activism and I still believe that today.  It used to be Hip-hop too but that has long since been hijacked by the devil.  Reggae is where the truth has always been found.


RF: The Louder the Better is your sixth studio album. What and/or who served as your greatest inspiration for this work? 


Soom-T:  The Gospel and the writings of Sister Ellen G. White.  I originally started writing the album with the 3 Angels Message in mind.  This message is outlined within Chapter 14 of Revelations.  This message is the word God desires to share with the world in the end times which I believe is now.  Sister Ellen G. White was a prophet of God sent to us in the 1800s whose almost 70 year ministry left us with all the literature we could possibly need to prepare us for the return of Christ.  They outlined the methods and manner in which we as God’s servants were to share the end times prophecies with the world.  She educated us on the specific chapters we should concentrate on such as Revelations, the book of Daniel and Chapter 24 of Matthew all of which share great prophecies of the end of the world and the return of our Lord Jesus.  These chapters among others alongside sister Ellen G. White’s writings were the inspiration for this album.  

Photo credit: Jade LeFort

RF: Explain the creative process for you at this point in your career.  Has this changed from your first studio album?


Soom-T: I write the songs’ lyrics based on the particular topic I desire to write about.  For example, in the song “Michael,” I wanted to share one of the most important events in the Bible and so I wrote the lyrics to share this event as effectively as one can in three verses and a chorus.  My method of writing has definitely not changed since I was nine years of age, writing my first poem,  encouraged by my poet father who loved a good sonnet, having scribed many himself.  However, my way of recording has evolved drastically, as has my ability to convey a concept, which has also advanced and developed significantly over the years, as would be expected with age and wisdom – not that I claim much of the latter, but determine that I must have gained some,  albeit a sliver – on my consistent wanderings.


RF: What were your goals for this album, both from a creative/production standpoint as well as for how it may resonate for listeners? 


Soom-T: The main goal was to convey the best part of the end times message with the music supporting the message by adding dramatic effect, emotive melodies and uplifting ambience to the proceedings.  I wanted songs whose sound quality, songwriting and musical effect would all add to a dynamic, joyful and uplifting experience for myself and so the listener.


RF: The album includes 16 songs and runs for just under an hour. This is a massive work and a true gift to fans.  Did you have to cut down from an even greater amount of songs and/or did you consider saving some songs for a future LP vs including all of your material on this record? 


Soom-T: To create this album I must have started with at least 50 to 60 demos.  This was whittled down to around 25 final options with the final 16 being selected and then completed to the agreeable standard required to satisfy my ears.  They were selected based on musical and sound quality, songwriting quality and then general impact and likeability.  The others from the final 25 it was agreed were just as viable to be included on the album were there space for them, so they have been earmarked for a part two of this album, which is already titled Even Louder.  They include more songs from Christian Cowlin, Dr. Bud and Mauro Rabello, among others.  Looking forward to sharing them in 2025.


RF: You’ve been known for your rapid-fire toasting skills but you can also sing really well and both vocal styles are featured on The Louder the Better. Do you have a preference for one style over the other? 


Soom-T: I think as I get older I enjoy a good croon.  It is more relaxing to sing soft and slow and does not tire the body and voice as much as toasting, but requires a flawless voice which isn’t hoarse, tired or troubled, whereas the toasting can be forced out even when the voice is husky and tired.  I have had to perform after a bronchial infection at times when my vocal chords were thick with mucus, my voice hoarse and my stomach muscles strained, making it more difficult to sing, but the toasting was as always an easy go-to.


RF: Similarly, The Louder the Better vacillates between dancehall/soundsystem type of reggae and more relaxed roots reggae vibes. This keeps the listening experience diverse and fresh. Did you make a strategic decision to blend the styles on this album or did it more so naturally unfold that way through your creative process? 


Soom-T: Yes.  I get tired of hearing myself toasting for more than 2 songs in a row.  It can become monotonous and lose its impact.  I like the respite a sudden change of pace allows, like when a slow melodic ballad is sung, such as on Christian Cowlin’s “There is Love.”   Or, where a laid back, soulful song is expressed in a way which allows short lines of poetry to be more easily absorbed and considered than a double speed toast like on IRIE ITES’ production,  “Like a Dog,” which is better for dancing or when you want to be energized.   Roots reggae with a soulful edge, such as ‘Christian Cowlin’s “Prophets” and ‘IRIE ITES and Mafia and Fluxy’s “Walk the Earth,” allowed for a more dynamic effort at songwriting and sharing an experience.  

A traditional style song with shorter lines and verses and a concluding hook as can be found in
Terry Vibes’ tracks, such as “Good Will Come” and “Fly My Bird.”

Fly my Bird” allowed room to facilitate a greater depth of feeling as the tale or idea was being conveyed. 

I owe a debt of gratitude for the excellent composition talents of Teddy Green and Kunta who created “Hail to the Watchman,” Dr. Bud, whose “Bad Road” is a live favorite, Tom Fire, who created the headline song “Path of the Wanderer” and Mauro Rabello’s, steppas addition with “Michael.”   The strategy decisions were supported by a talented host of studio and live composers and musicians without whom the creative process would not have resulted in so dynamic a tracklist.


RF: “Good Will Come” really hit home for me. This song resonates a positive message of perseverance and knowing that no matter what, good will come from whatever is going on in life. How do you personally stay optimistic in the face of obstacles, challenges and/or dark times? 


Soom-T: By trusting in the Lord Almighty.  I have come to trust the Lord above all things and beings.  People are changeable as the wind.  Many people are so damaged by life that they will offload their own inner baggage onto you, usually unwittingly ruining your day, your experience and your naturally generated peace and joy.  Many people walk around believing some great thing of themselves when in actual fact we are better off accepting – in the words of Victor Hugo via the main character, Jean Valjean, in the great title Les Miserables, – “We are all fools sir, for most of our lives.”  That resonates with me because I know it to be true in my case and fully accept that my entire life has been a long series of foolish choices.  However, in among them was one good choice and that was the choice to hear and learn of the wisdom of God’s word enshrined within the Holy Bible, and so that reminds me not to feel bad, to trust in God and enjoy the natural peace and joy that comes with faith in so great a power in the knowledge that “good will come” from that one wise choice.  


RF: In “Prophets,” you sing about how nobody knows the future and that humans have free will, but then you speak of how someday things will unfold as prophets have told. This seems contradictory. Which do you believe in your heart? 


Soom-T: There is no contradiction here at all, but in fact I confirm the point I make.  In 2 Peter 1:21, we are told “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake the words of God as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”  These holy men were none other than the “Prophets” I am talking about.  So we clearly see here that Apostle Peter himself conveyed to us the truth that no mere mortal, no man or woman, knows the prophecies of the future.   We know nothing of ourselves, we could not ever know the holy laws of heaven were it not for the word of heaven given to the Prophets.  It is the Prophets who recorded in writing the prophecies given to us by God himself as clearly stated in the Bible.  Now, with this in mind, please return to the song and you will see that far from contradicting itself it leads a person to understanding that it is only the Prophets who had been given the truth by God Almighty himself, who knew the deep truths of heaven to share with us, and that is why “All will happen just the way they say, as was told by prophets in their day, given to the righteous when they prayed in faith.”

Photo cred: Jade LeFort

RF: “Ezekiel’s Vision” is a song about the Book of Ezekiel in the Bible that relates directly to Christianity. What are your beliefs when it comes to religion? How do your beliefs affect your music dynamic?


Soom-T: For years I trundled along on this strange road of life in a world that misunderstood me as much as I, it.  Like everyone else, I made an effort to fit in, to find acceptance in a society opposed to my true inner leanings, which longed for a kinder, more compassionate, less cold hearted, selfish world, but found no respite from the onslaught of disagreeable, challenging societal characteristics besieging my senses.

I witnessed more and more the natural progress of human character being hindered by manipulative propaganda, narcissism and miseducation, and redirected to becoming compliant with that to which it was naturally opposed, bowing to peer pressure, threats and cancel culture; and I despaired.   I sought for an alternative path and as my sweet Lord Jesus once promised, “Ask and it will be given, seek and ye will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” I was given an answer to that which I sought.  I discovered the true message of the Bible, the effect it had on great teachers, scholars and prophets of the past from the great Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon and John Wesley, to the relatively recent prophet Sister Ellen G. White.  Led to these teachers by their love of Jesus and the Gospel and their unshakable faith in God, I finally discovered the reasons for my feeling so misplaced in this world.  

I discovered that a true child of God belonged in heaven and not on the earth, which was the domain of Satan himself, and that by studying the Prophets and scriptures of the Bible, I could discern the roadmap of life which would finally lead me to my true home eternal, where I with other pilgrims on this earth would reside forever in the Holy City of Zion with our King and Shepherd Jesus Christ who had been sent to the earth for this very purpose.   How could so great a truth not affect all that I do including the music I make as I bide my time here on earth?  Ezekiel is yet one more prophet whose writings are a treasure trove of wisdom, which only assist me in further developing the character required to commune with the angels someday, high up in the heavenly courts of our Father God in heaven,  and his beloved Son Jesus.


RF: What or who inspired “Fly My Bird,” or what is the message in the song?  Is this song about dying or perhaps establishing faith? 


Soom-T: The song is about the freedom that comes from finding faith in the Gospel of Christ.  Living in sin is like living in a cage.  We are enslaved and trapped by our addictions to sin.  These sins and addictions slowly destroy us and do not allow us to be truly free, sapping our precious time as we slowly wither away trapped in a cage.  The Gospel of Christ frees us from sin, by faith and prayer to request help resisting those sins.  That faith frees us and allows us to fly free to evolve, develop character, travel, establish and achieve goals and become who we were destined to become.  We are that bird and when we accept Christ as our personal savior we are freed from that cage by God who says “Fly my bird, you are free, you are no more locked up in a cage, I have set you free.”  We all have skills, talents and abilities vested in us from birth but we need to be free to pursue our life’s destiny, and that means being unhindered by cages that stop us.  That cage could be our own laziness, someone else stopping us, a drug addiction or alcohol abuse, but we can make a choice to choose a better way and be freed from that cage and fly free to soar to high heights.


RF: What is your favorite song on the new album and why?


Soom-T: It is difficult to say.  Many are so close to my heart.  I will simply say that I love “Like a Dog,”  since it encompasses my love of digital and speedy toasting to make feet dance.  However, I also love “Prophets” and “Fly my Bird” as well as “Path of the Wanderer” as they are all songs that I feel have a certain depth, and I am pleased with the songwriting, poetry and melody aspect as well as the overall outcome.  Some days, “Bad Road” is my favorite.  It depends on the weather I suppose.


RF: Do you have any anecdotes, funny stories and/or particularly difficult decisions or challenges that you can share with us from the production of this album? Do you have a favorite memory from this process? 


Soom-T: Yes.  I tried to rinse the lyrics I had just written to Dr. Bud at the Big Bag Festival I think it was.  It was amusing.  I got my laptop out and started singing the lyrics real fast.  People started looking into the backstage tent and Dr. Bud was excited to know I would soon be recording them.  It was a funny moment.  Another was on “Michael” when I simply could not get the delivery right and Mauro had asked me to re-record the entire thing.  I was flustered but after much effort I was pleased to send a more agreeable recording and we laughed about it later.  

“Fly my Bird” and “Path of the Wanderer” were both written on the same day after a particularly difficult day.  It was raining outside and very cold as it was winter and we were still locked down.   I moved into my living room which was a cozier room to be in for a change of scenery and there on my laptop I wrote the songs which I proceeded to sing over and over for hours it seemed.  It was a good day.

RF: Depending on the assignment, I like to share music with my daughter. She is 14 and I often think children and teenagers see a different view than us adults. I like to share the artist’s music and then ask her to give me a couple interview questions. She came up with two great ones after listening to your music.


  • What was your reasoning in deciding on reggae?  


Soom-T: First of all, thank you for sharing my music with your child and may she be blessed by it and encouraged to know that there is a big world full of lovely things out there.  In answer to her question.  It was truly accidental.  It all began with my hip-hop band, Monkeytribe, when I was 21, who made a few songs that could be deemed dub reggae.  Then, a producer I worked with from a crew called Bus in Germany signed to Scape Records, called Tom Thiel and gave me albums by Sizzla and Tanya Stevens among others and I fell in love with them instantly.  I recorded several minimal dub albums with them as a young 23 year-old and it was the start of my career as a dub reggae artist.  

Over the years, it became obvious mainly from the results of recordings and the opinions of others that my voice seemed to be particularly fitted for reggae.  Add to this my future mission to share the Gospel and spiritual scripts on predominantly reggae music and it would appear that there was surely an element of fate at work in my 25 year journey as a music artist that would lead me to becoming a fully developed reggae song writer and artist.  

Perhaps I did not know it but the Lord certainly knew how best to convey a message and on which long developed musical platform to do it.  I praise the Lord for that and thank all the different people who supported, encouraged, influenced and advised me along the way.  A special salute goes to Alex Paterson of The Orb,  Tom Thiel and Daniel Meteo of Bus and the Mungo’s lads who had faith in my voice as a reggae instrument while I was still pursuing the tough terrain of hip-hop.


  • If you could change one thing while pursuing your career, what would you have changed, and why?   


Soom-T: I could write you an endless list here but the truth is that I would not be me today with all my scars and wisdom gained from the suffering endured were I to change things about my past to have given myself an easier experience.  Even the things which caused me untold pain or grief taught me things in the end without which I may never have gained further wisdom, developed  character or achieved the things I achieved.  In saying that, there were countless  joyful experiences that instilled only good memories.  I wished I had smoked a little less weed on the road in the early days so I could remember the people and places I had met but perhaps my good memory today better appreciates the memories I have since I quit.  

Everything is a process and we are all a work in progress.  Let’s not forget that.  It is better not to regret.  I certainly repent of sins I committed as I journeyed through life but I’d like to think that I found my faith due to the choices – some terrible – that I made on my journey which ultimately led me to my true destiny of being a follower of Jesus Christ and finding my true and final identity as a God loving Christian.

Photo cred: Jade LeFort

RF: What is the best advice you’ve been given and from who?  (Not necessarily pertaining to music – just to life in general…)


Soom-T:  Love your neighbors.  Forgive your enemies.  Gather not for yourselves treasures on earth which moth and rust destroy and which thieves break in and steal but gather for yourselves treasures for heaven which moth and rust do not destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal.  It is more blessed to give than to receive and finally seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all its righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”  I could go on and on but I suggest you go and read my greatest inspiration and the wisest teacher who ever lived by reading the New Testament and teachings of my beloved treasure and Lord, Jesus Christ, the great redeemer of mankind and shepherd of lost souls.


RF: Along those lines, what’s one piece of advice you would give to aspiring artists, especially artists in the reggae scene?


Soom-T: Lose the ego, lose the vanity, lose the self idolization.  You are a corrupt sinner who needs to be saved by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.  Respect the promoters, engineers and crew who build and run the stages and technical equipment at your concerts.  They are not there to put up with the diva behavior that goes with your dubious status.  They were there long before you prepared it and will be there long after dismantling it all.  They deserve your wage and you deserve theirs.  

Make your music.  Keep it clean and ensure it has a good positive effect on the youth by telling the truth and not corrupting them because these songs will follow you into judgment day where you will stand to give an account of your words before a Holy God, Christ and his Angels.  

Work hard, eat healthy, exercise, train your voice, learn breathing techniques, quit smoking, get proper sleep, dedicate to your writing and recording, be kind to those you meet on the way up because you will surely meet them on the way back down, and most of all, love others as you would love yourself.  

Consider your work as a reggae artist more a service to others than a service to yourself.  Be grateful for those who support your music and consider them more friends than fans.  Don’t strive to be great on this earth but rather to be a good person because it is better to have the respect of one wise person than a million fools.  

Never forget the labels, producers, composers, artists, promoters and others who supported you and encouraged you and instilled faith in your music over the years.  You may not have achieved anything without their support.    

Finally, Remain humble.  You are blessed to make songs to make the world a little kinder to the suffering souls in it.  Be grateful for everything.  God bless you.


RF: What is one thing you still hope to accomplish as an artist?


Soom-T: The perfect song to adequately describe my beloved and precious Lord Jesus, which I know I shall never achieve, as such a creation would be impossible to create here on the earth.  Not even the million or more songs already in existence about this one God man has sufficiently described the beautiful, perfect and blessed character of our Lord, but that’s no reason to stop trying.  I am sure there is already such a song in heaven, penned by the most talented of the heavenly angels with the assistance of God himself, that I may anticipate hearing on that great day of our Lord.   On that glorious day I shall stand in the mighty congregation of the redeemed  saints alongside sinless angels, in the presence of our redeeming Saviour who led us through darkness, to stand before his throne in heaven, to hear that mysterious song and join in that blessed chorus.


RF: A tour is happening soon! Let us in all the details if you can.


Soom-T: At the end of January and throughout February and March of 2024 I will be touring in France and the summer tour dates will be announced in May 2024.


And let me take the opportunity to thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you and to be myself.  God bless you and your family my friend.  Take care of yourself.


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Brooke Ashley is from Central California. She has a tremendous passion for writing and reggae music. When she isn’t working her full-time, part-time, and side jobs, you can find her in nature. She enjoys hiking, the solace of the earth, and the beauty in the silence. She is a mom of three children and advocates for Mental Health Awareness through reggae music. She knows how reggae music and the community have literally saved her life. She wants to spread that feeling of belonging and acceptance throughout the world.

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