Tarrus Riley’s foray into music was inevitable. The talented singer and songwriter was always surrounded by music from an early age. His father is veteran reggae singer Jimmy Riley.
Riley has learnt a lot by merely being in the environment of the music business. He caught on very quickly and made his recording debut as a teenager. “I’ve always loved music; I used to deejay but everyone used to encourage me to sing. They used to call me “Singy Singy” because I was always singing,” Riley commented.
In 2004, Tarrus released his debut album, Challenges. “I was fortunate to have recorded my debut album with an independent label out of Miami”.
The secret to his success is quite simple – “when preparation meets opportunity”, stated a self-assured Riley. ‘I sing for the people – this is the contribution I can make and after I make a song; it isn’t even mine anymore; it belongs to the people.”
Known for his ‘healing’ music, Tarrus released his sophomore album Parables in 2006 to widespread acclaim and spawned hit singles – “Stay With You”, “Beware”, “She’s Royal”, “Lion Paw”, among others. “I worked on Parables with Dean Fraser and I wasn’t surprised at the success it has had, but how fast it all happened”, Riley reflected.
“I define myself so I make thought-provoking music about Black consciousness and experiences. I want to open people’s minds and let them think. My music isn’t prejudiced towards colour, class, creed or nationality,” he explained passionately.
Riley has consistently racked up awards for his work. Among his accolades are Best Singer, Male Vocalist, Cultural Artiste, Song of the Year, and Best Song. Some of the awards institutions which have rewarded Riley include the Youth View Awards, The Star People’s Choice Awards, EME Awards, and the Reggae Academy awards. Said Riley, ‘I have received awards both locally and internationally. But to be honest, the best award I receive consistently is from the people themselves – when I can look in their faces and see the impression my music has made – that is the best award I can ever get’.
His most recent singles for some of Jamaica’s top record producers include Original Dancehall, Dream Woman (Chimney Records), Can’t Step Without My Lady, Antique Loving, Don’t Fight Me Down (Chimney Records), and Let Me In (Head Concussion Music).