Tarrus Riley has been a force to be reckoned with in the music industry, both locally and internationally. The superstar comes from a musical background, as his father, the late Jimmy Riley, was a well-respected entertainer. Having grown up in a musical household, Tarrus Riley was almost destined to follow in his father’s footsteps. Since he broke on to the music scene, the She’s Royal singer has managed to build a very successful career. In this week’s Five Questions With feature, readers will get to know a little more about the man behind the music.
Did you ever see yourself doing anything other than music?
No, nuh really, innu. Reason being, me never have nothing else doing other than music. Long before it was even a job, music was like my hobby – it was always a part of my life. Me is a man weh even to this day, if me a cook, me a build lyrics, me just love music – a my little thing dat. It’s my number one passion for sure, anything with music, I’m there.
What’s one of the things you appreciate most about the set-up of Jamaica’s music industry?
Jamaica’s music, on a whole, is very up-close and personal – a lot of the musicians and bands are like family. A lot of the producers and artistes have family connection – like bredda, and dem kinda way deh. For example, man like Mr Frazer (Dean Frazer) is like a father to me, Chimney man dem, Jordan is like me bredda dem, and so forth. Dem say business not supposed to be personal, but a lot of people in the industry in Jamaica move like family.
It depends on the situation, but him always want me fi be rough. Him always say the world rough, so yuh caan be no ‘safas’. Him always want me to deal with problems without stressing out myself. Him always believe that man is great and man can do great things. Him have a saying weh him say, ‘Man a get gunshot and live’, meaning one man get a gunshot and him live, and a next man hear a gunshot and him dead; because hi coward and fraid; so him always a push strength.
What’s your favourite getaway spot in Jamaica?
I shouldn’t really tell yuh; next thing it can’t be a getaway spot again (laughs). I won’t tell you the exact spot cause I don’t want too much crowd, but me is a man weh love rivers. I love to be next to rivers, especially in my parish of St Thomas. One of my spot is a spring outta east weh buss outta the riverside right next to the sea, right after you leave White Horses, me love da spring deh.
Who are some of your greatest musical inspirations?
Is not a ‘who’, is probably ‘what’ or ‘how’ am I musically inspired. I’m inspired by history, culture, art, people, nature and ‘in your spirit action’. A lot of things me medz pan and den get inna me spirit and mi write a song about it.