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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Riley wants his music to be contagious

Tarrus Riley wants his music to be contagious
OMAR Riley is no stranger to reggae music. He is the son of the legendary reggae singer Jimmy Riley. Omar, more popularly known as Tarrus, was born in the Bronx, New York in 1979. During his career, Tarrus has released three albums, Challenges (2004), Parables (2006), and Contagious (2009). Contagious features guest appearances from Damian Marley, Vybz Kartel, Etana, Konshens, Demarco and Duane Stephenson.
Riley’s commercial breakthrough came in 2006 with the Parables album which produced the Jamaican number one single She's Royal. The Far Away singer, who is set to perform on November 8 at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire with David Rodigan, spoke to Juliana Lucas about his success in the music industry.
Have you changed the way you see music since you started recording at the age of 13?
I can’t really see music any other way now. I just really like music. My father is a singer so I used to hang in the studio and thing. At 13 I just loved my music and I just want to be like
people we look up to, people like Shabba Ranks, and that kind of stuff.The older you get the more you get to understand what music is. You start to see music as a treasure. You start seeing the craft of the music and start getting more into it because as a youth you see it as a hobby.
Are you involved in the way your music is created?
I have always been involved in the music I have created. I am involved with the song writing, chord structure and arrangement. You talked about Shabba Ranks being your inspiration. What other inspirations do
you have? Not even just Shabba Ranks. I like dancehall because I’m an 80s baby! We created dancehall music and that is what influenced me.
What was the story behind your third album Contagious?
It was just me wanting to spread my music, spread my wings and explore a different type of music. I spread my wings, do a little dance but I never change my message. The message is always positive; I want it to be contagious - for people to catch it like a flu.
Were any of the songs written from your personal experience?
It’s always personal. You see lot of girls going through a lot of things and you just talk about it. I don’t try to look to far or outside of reality.
How has being a performer changed your life?
Music didn’t change my life because I have always done music all of my life. I don’t know any other life, so I can’t say my life has changed.
What is the state of reggae music today?
Reggae music is a treasure. Reggae music is like a priceless jewel, higher than platinum! It is for the people made by the people. Reggae music is very much growing and vibrant.
What can the audience expect from your performance at O2 with David Rodigan?
Expect me to come and entertain you because we are very mindful that people spend a lot to come to the concert. Women get their hair done, nails, and get all the country to come to the show!
Don’t want them to feel like they’ve wasted money. At the same time they can expect to hear something that sounds like church. I classify my songs as a healing music. I respect people’s money,
especially in this so-called recession.
How does your UK fan base compare to your Jamaican fan base?
We are all one Jamaican people. We all live under the sun and we are one. We love all fans.
David Rodigan credits you as being one of few reggae artist that still pioneer traditional reggae. Is it important to you to produce true reggae music?
Anywhere you see David Rodigan tell him say thank you because for him to say that it is a big compliment and I don’t want it to go in vain. There is still more to be achieved and I want to be remembered as a class act.
What else do you want to achieve?
A long term contribution in terms of reggae music.
Tarrus Riley and David Rodigan appear at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire on November 8


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