Healing, the title track of Tarrus Riley’s latest album, was released today June 19 and Mr. Singy Singy believes it could help the world to begin the process of picking up the pieces.
The album, also called Healing, was released under Zojak World Wide today and was produced by renowned Jamaican studio producer Shane Brown, veteran sax man Dean Fraser and Riley himself.
Tarrus’ last album Love Situation was released in 2014.
Healing’s release is timely and was most likely intended to coincide with Juneteenth. Juneteenth is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day and Liberation Day and is a holiday celebrated annually on the 19th of June throughout the United States to commemorate proclamation on June 19, 1865, that all slaves in Texas were finally free. He may have chosen today to send some positive vibes to the #BLM movement as well, as they have been protesting for equal rights for black people in the US following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis on May 25th.
Tarrus also enlisted some of dancehall’s top talents to help him share his message of healing. Sultry songstress Shenseea, Konshens, Dexta Daps, TeeJay, and Rvssian all feature on the 12 track album.
Riley said that he used the downtime during the Covid-19 pandemic to write and record the album. He spoke with The Voice to share the process behind the creation of his seventh album. “I did a lot of self-reflecting like the world is doing,” Riley said.
He also shared how he handled the pandemic and how his handling of the situation gave him some of the inspiration to create the album.
“What I had to do to not panic, and keep my sanity, is to express myself. Not all of it is inspired by Covid. This project is about life itself: A soundtrack for our lives now, and maybe what is to be our lives,” he said to Voice Online.
The new normal also prompted Riley to do the title track, he said.
“I’m not trying to be a prophet when I ask, ‘What will this new world be like? I’m asking a question everybody wants to know. We need healing right now — the healing of our health, financial healing. My father is a singer and my mother is a nurse. I am them together and I make healing music.”
Riley also shared about how he adapted to the quarantine times and a bit about the innovation that was needed to bring the album to fruition. He said that he wrote some of his songs using his acoustic guitar and he would then send voice notes to Brown who created the rhythms around the lyrics. Following that he would take an hour-long drive to Brown’s Kingston studio to record his vocal tracks before the curfew was imposed for the day.
His team including Fraser and bassist Glen Browne would occasionally join in while guitarist Mitchum ‘Khan’ Chin and drummer Kirk Bennett sent in their parts from home.
Brown also shared his experience while making the album. He said: “When Covid-19 first happened, I called Tarrus and said, ‘Singer, I have an idea for a song,’” as he explained how ‘The Great Equalizer,’ which is the first track recorded for the project came to be.
“Did you notice whenever something goes wrong, whether it’s natural disasters or public shootings, all of the sudden we’re on a level playing ground? He started writing about it and it seemed as if I turned on a lightbulb in Tarrus’ mind, because Tarrus sent me two other songs right away. Every day we were coming up with the next song. We were to do 4 or 5 and that turned to 8, 9, then 12,” he continued.
The album will be available on most streaming sites.