Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with one of the most prolific singers in the entertainment, Reggae, and Dancehall industry. As a former engineer now writer, I have a different insight and outlook on these artists, their talent, their level of commitment. The pride they put into their work and career.
One of the first things that come to mind when I think or hear of his songs is “CLASS”. You know that old saying you can send a man to school but you can’t buy class. Well, he exudes it in every aspect. His work ethic is second to none, his demeanor is one that doesn’t expect anything from anyone, but like most artists, they all have a mercurial and torn side.
How do we differentiate character from music? Does one’s character make his or her music great? We all live within the confines of our thoughts and he’s already born music royalty. So with this interview, I wanted to know more about the person than just music. His views on certain subjects and his journeys and experience.
We spoke about faith, spirituality, family. Topics like generations and carrying a mantle that most fear and some embrace. It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t listen to his last EP which was a very good project. I wanted to know more about Tarrus and his perspectives and views. We spoke about commitment and how he values it as something not to be taken lightly. We spoke briefly about his father being a Reggae icon and him having to live with that as a shadow or a blessing. He quickly responded as we can tell he has heard it before. It just reaffirms that he had to put in twice the work because of expectations and his measure of error was a lot stern and so was the learning curve. He was never given the slack a normal musician would get nor the excuses.
This project wasn’t surrounded by the hype that comes with a Tarrus launch, but one that came with enough confidence to say this project or piece of art speaks for itself. The title is called “BLEM”, and from a Jamaican perspective, “Blem” is the patois for adding something to give it a flavor, aroma or texture. He did just that on this project with songs like “GYAL” which again means Girl You Are Loved with African superstar StoneBwoy. He’s dueted as well with Carlos Alberto Calderon on the track “Feel It”. Young superstar in the making Lila Ike “Dangerous Waters”, is a next example of Tarrus knowing what he wants. This track has a pop Carribean feel. The snaps and drums are very reminiscent of breeze sand and water.
Again the project is one to just sit down, relax and enjoy, the variety of cultures, sounds, and feels.
The EP, is spicy, reflective and also well produced. Something that is now a trademark of Tarrus Riley and the team associated with him, from Dean Frasier, Rummel, Sly & Robbie and all the greats that work in accord.
After sitting down with Tarrus I can see and actually feel why he writes the way he writes and why he sings the way he does. He’s also an introspective young man, he’s searching, he’s learning and he’s growing. Very reflective in his music and if love isn’t at the top of the agenda then we have no agenda at all.
Congrats Taurus and the Black Soil Band. Congrats on the Armani deal. I’m sure he carries our culture like a badge of honor.
Contributed by Vivian Thomas