FANS of Tarrus Riley can expect to see the singer in ‘full hundred’ mode when he takes centre stage at the Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY at the inaugural staging of “Reggae, Rhythm and Blues” concert on Labour Day, Sunday, September 4.
The festival is expected to attract thousands of music lovers from the tri-state and Canada, making their way into the city to see performances by dancehall hotshot David Brooks aka Mavado, R&B singer Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and soca king Machel Montano.
“Labour Day weekend in New York is all about music from the Caribbean. The Brooklyn Parade which happens on this day, typically attracts over two million participants annually. Patrons have a great blend of entertainment, there’s lover’s rock, dancehall, R&B and of course soca… a perfect way for revellers to hit the parkway on Labour Day,” said Bobby Clarke, event organiser.
Riley is the son of veteran singer Jimmy Riley. He began his musical career as a deejay working with Busta Rhymes, taking his birth sign as his stage name at his mother’s suggestion (the spelling later changed from Taurus to Tarrus), and recorded his first singles for his father’s Love & Promotion label.
“Tarrus has one of the most powerful voices in reggae ,” states Clarke. “He is loved by the ladies and respected as a talented singer by men. He has built up a massive following here in the tri-state area and as such we are excited about his upcoming performance at Reggae, Rhythm & Blues festival.”
Finding deejaying somewhat limiting, Tarrus began to further explore songwriting and singing. By the time he released Challenges in 2004, he sang on each of his self-penned tracks. Impeccably produced by Dean “Sax” Fraser, Challenges (re-released by VP Records in 2008) yielded several Jamaican hits including the unwavering Rastafarian statement Barber Chair and a joyous celebration of music Take Me Higher. In October 2006, he released his sophomore album Parables, another brilliant production by Dean Fraser, which Billboard Magazine cited as “the quintessence of Jamaica’s roots reggae revival”. The album yielded chart toppers such as the touching acoustic tribute to his infant daughter Can’t Sleep, a haunting reggae rendition of John Legend’s Stay With You and the indomitable She’s Royal which extols female pride and made Tarrus a household name across the Caribbean.
“She’s Royal is a special song that celebrates and pays homage to our beautiful black empresses. It is still one of the most requested songs on Irie Jam Radio here in the tri-state area. I hear it a lot on radio in Jamaica as well. It is just a beautiful song! What would be a special moment at Reggae, Rhythm & Blues is for Tarrus and Babyface to perform that song together. It would not only be a historic moment for these two celebrated stars of their respective genres, but can you imagine the type of reception they would get from the ladies? It would be mind-blowing,” Clarke noted.
Tarrus’s last album Contagious was released by VP Records and contained the hit single Human Nature, a soul-stirring rendition of late Pop King Michael Jackson’s original 1983 hit.
(Article provided by Jamaica Star)