Reggae, Dancehall & ‘Baby Blues’ - Tarrus Riley In His Own Musical Lane
Updated: Nov 13, 2022
Since the release of his breakthrough album Parables, Reggae Singjay Tarrus Riley has been singing his way into the hearts of people all over the world. Perfectly blending the rules of his Rastafarian religion with every day topics that people can relate to and topping it off with an ever-soulful delivery, it is undeniable that his talent is one of a kind.
As the son of another Reggae legend, Jimmy, whose career spanned 6 decades, Riley grew up around several industry heavyweights as he developed his own passion and honed his talent. "It wasn’t smooth for me (in the beginning). I never benefited from any kind of nepotism. I wah tell you it was harder for me cause people used to see 'true yuh think to see yuh fada a singer, you can just come in a just 'ray ray'. The good thing is that it's something that I had been around since me a baby. I have a lot of encounters that a lot of youths wouldn’t have just by being in the environment. It even makes me come in like a veteran more than how me really is just by being around the music", he told Kaboom Magazine.
Originally hoping to get on the scene as a hardcore deejay inspired by artistes such as Bounty Killer, Buju Banton, and Shabba Ranks the 'Start a New' singer discovered his ability to seamless do both in the studio when a producer recognized that his Deejay style was extremely melodious.
That was over a decade ago, and since then Riley has given hit after hit across all genres with songs such as 'Beware', 'Stay with You', 'Corner' ft. Masicka, 'Lighter' with Shenseea and several other covers and singles.
"Me step in the music with variety, it was just not highlighted at the time because it was right on the breaking of social media but now, here we are where everybody wanna do everything, rappers are singing, singers are rapping and I am just like wow, must be nice. I never wanted to be in this world and not do my own thing.
I believe if you can do one thing, do it and be the specialist, but if you can do more than one thing, you should try cause you have more to offer so for me to just be a singer, I would be cutting myself short cause I can play and instrument to, I can deejay and I can write, so I don’t want to limit my talent", he explained when questioned about the diversity of his catalogue.
Currently, Tarrus Riley is promoting his newest single 'Baby Blue' that is fusion of Reggae and R&B sounds. It is a sweet love song that in true Tarrus Riley fashion has catchy hook and is paired with a stellar video that gives its listeners all the butterfly feels.
Even now, the 'She’s Royal' singer says he is having a full circle moment as he feels he is in a similar state of mind to that of which he had when her was putting together his second album.
"I am actually at the same place now where I was then. Which is weird because mi go through whole heap a phases and come right back there and what I mean is I was being very intentional about writing some good songs. So, I don’t know what else did a happen, but I know my pen was on fire and I was writing cause I just wanted to make the best songs", he revealed.
For him, a part of this new mindset is because of him being able to create more since the Covid-19 pandemic.
"True me always deh pon tour, mi neva get fi put out music like how I like. Before Covid enuh me woulda seh me a big artiste cause remember mi have 'Parables' and 'Contagious' and all of that. But hear wah now. When Covid come and we check it, we were one of the most streamed artistes. We had one of the biggest songs in Covid. You had Koffee, you had Dexta Daps and you had Tarrus Riley and Shenseea and we had 'Corner' with Masicka at the same time. So we a put out nuff hits. So when the place lock up mi do an album (Healing). Then after the album mi pure tune so me just a seh might as well do some tunes. It worked out cause I get some classics", the Singjay explained.
As for the future, arguably being one of the industry’s best-dressed male artistes, Riley plans to eventually launch his own fashion line that will reflect his own personal style.
"I have a particular way of how I feel about fashion. I want to do clothing in and out of season not just when I am on tour alone and I find it. Cause I have some ideas for little things that I think are cool and sometimes when mi go some places people always seh 'Yow dat bad ee'. So that’s something I definitely want to do", he expressed.
While he continues to give good music and radiate good vibes, he encourages youngsters in the industry and business of music to do the things that feel right for them.
"Listen to the voice inside of you. Because everybody has a voice that will tell them what to do. There is something about you that is special that when you face the world it is going to make you get recognition. Be yourself. If you’re honest and you are doing what you’re doing from an honest, sincere place then people affi just know seh a you dat", he advised.