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Tarrus Riley

  • Center for the Arts 314 West Main Street Grass Valley, CA 95945 (map)

The Center for the Arts presents
Thursday, May 26, 8:00PM
General Admission
(limited seating with standing/dance room available)
$24 members, $27 non-member

Reserved Seating and Meet & Greet (Limited to 50)
$37 members, $42 non-member

(Ticket price includes $2 facility fee.  Does not include applicable fee for online purchases.)

“…walking everywhere it can beyond its own borders to embrace folk, R&B, soul, and a sort of emerging style that I can only at the moment label as ‘narrative’…  …one detects Ladysmith Black Mombazo, Donny Hathaway, John Martyn, Terrell, Terence Trent Darby, 60s folk rock, Taj Mahal, the Neville Bros, yes even Nick Drake and a very wide swath of others.” – FAME Review

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.

Virtually born and steeped in music, Tarrus Riley has learnt a lot by merely being in the environment of the music business. He caught on very quickly and so “voiced my first song at the age of 13”. “I’ve always loved music; I used to deejay but everyone used to encourage me to sing. They used to call me “Singy Singy” ‘cause I’m always singing,” he said with a introspective smile.

Tarrus has consistently been awarded for his contribution to the industry and for touching the people. “From when I released Parables, I’ve been getting ‘Best Singer of the Year” or ‘Best Song of the Year’ awards, both locally and internationally. But to be honest, the best award I receive constantly 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,” he comments genuinely.

Nonetheless, Tarrus is the proud holder of CVM’s 15th Anniversary Award, held in February 2009, for the ‘Most Admired Song in the Past 15 Years’ for the hit, “She’s Royal”. “That award really means a lot to me because it was chosen by the people in the streets,” he shared keenly.

In 2004, Tarrus released his debut album, Challenges – “I was fortunate to have recorded my debut album with an independent label out of Miami”. Tarrus successfully released his sophomore album 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”, commented a reflective Riley. “I’ve known Dean a long time and to work with him on something as great and historic as Parables, is an honour”, he also said. “Parables was a confidence builder and has set the foundation for everything else that I will be bringing to my audience”.

“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. “I target women and children with my music because slavery tampered with the woman’s mind and that’s why I wrote She’s Royal. She’s the head of the household so she has the power to influence the young men and women of tomorrow,” he further explained.

As with everything in life, a firm foundation is always the safest way to go. Tarrus works with a group of friends on a movement proudly titled BLAKSOIL – Bredren Living According King Selassie – I Overstanding & Iritical Livity. Through this movement, Riley hopes to further target the consciousness of our women and children.

Mecoustic followed under the musical direction of Dean Fraser who carefully arranged the songs, crafted the vocal harmonies and performs saxophone.

Fifth outing Love Situation continues to step away from the glitz in tribute to reggae’s forebear – the rocksteady sounds of the mid-60s. Tarrus sailed close to this territory on Contagious when he recorded Young Heart over theHeptones Make Up To Break Up for London’s bygone rhythm revampers Peckings. Later he guested on his friend Konshens’ Rasta Impostor Remix which was an update of a Treasure Isle gem (Love Is A Treasure by Freddie McKay).