Through the years, Tarrus Riley’s brand of music has remained consistently conscious, clear and clean despite his range, which continues to expand. Still, the lesser told story of the legend Tarrus, is that of his courage. Change, if we are honest, is a most difficult thing that requires sturdy character and great courage, something that Tarrus manages to make look easy. His fearless approach to the real and true passion he possesses for music is evidenced in his consistently growing range and diversity. His latest smash single Ez Nuh, out on Chimney’s new juggling, is buzzing and accompanied by a fire new video.
DancehallMag caught up with the She’s Royal singer recently to get his thoughts on the new release and his consistent innovation within Jamaican music.
The new song EZ Nuh produced by Chimney is a serious vibes, fulla style.
Yeah, this is the music industry and I like what you call quality. So if I’m watching an action movie I need it to be the best quality, and if I’m giving you an action song I have to give you that same vibes. If it’s a love song I have to give you the same vibes. I, as a rasta yute, keep my music clean but I have to be able to express myself just like anyone else. So when I say Lion Paw, it’s from the heart, when I say Shaka Zulu Pickney, it’s from the heart. So if mi say Ez Nuh man, and mi a show style, you fi just know say I have style also.
I think more people could learn more if Rasta get more involved in the conversations. Music go with fashion, Capleton have a way how him deal with fashion, Beenie Man also, and we grow looking up to dem man deh. So how mi fi leave out fashion. I remember when I say, the Rasta yute inna the eyeglass; I was the only one wearing glasses [laugh]
Now everyman blind. So it’s just cool– and a dat we a deal with bro, we are giving you more.
The video is fresh, it’s well shot, well styled, just well done.
To say the least[laugh]. Well, big it up then nuh. Xtreme shot it, Tribe 9 studios styled it with some African gears. Omar Riley also helped style Tarrus Riley and it’s fun vibes, you know I’ve been working out alot, I need workout music, need high energy music. Music is my passion; I have a song for every mood.
Let’s get into music then, because the whole thing Jamaica has the fastest evolving music space in the world. We’ve really been a country for a lifetime or less and to have created so many different types of music really speaks to the fact of how much the music changes and the diversity in the sound. It almost stands to reason that as someone who loves music you’d want to explore that diversity in full.
It’s not just love for music you know, it’s love for people. So I want to have a song for every type of person in the world, mi have all some spanish songs mi a work on. Just to show, I don’t want to be limited from the people, I want to be the people’s singer. That’s why I sing different kinds of songs with different riddims. One of the greatest things to happen to me is to be able to tour and do shows alongside my band. When you go certain places they like a different kind of rhythm, some people like it hot, some like it cold, some like it nine days old. So I have to make sure that when I’m here, and they use pepper, I have to add that, mi deh somewhere else maybe they use a different flavor. So I don’t want to be a plumber and only able to work on one thing. I can’t be a car person and only work on transmission, unless I’m a specialist. So if I’m doing music, I have to do all of it and it’s people–my love for people inspires me to do that.
My father[Jimmy Riley], rest in zion, he sung like a bird, but one of the compliments he gave me face to face before he left; was that he loved how I was fearless enough to do different things. Like him would say, ‘You, you nuh easy enuh. You see da style deh.” Him did love it, so that was something where, if he gave me the stamp of approval to do things and try things; nobody really can stop me. Because, a mi fada dat, him mek mi deh yah. Seen? So it’s not really like an overthought thing again as you said it[music] changes. So people just need to know say mi nuh changed enuh. I’m just giving you more, because the music is still clean and I’m still conscious in what I’m doing. We’re just doing way more.
Why do you think there is that kind of apprehension between the audience and the artist when it comes to change?
A few natural reasons. In my opinion, because mi nuh really know much–but in my opinion I feel like the idea of new things, but they don’t like new things. They get comfortable, comfort is a nice thing–
And change is a difficult thing.
Exactly, change is hard. Even if you look at doing 5 push ups and you have to do ten now, it’s hard. Some people can’t bother with that, they will stick with the five and say what happen to you, mi feel nice. Growing is something that takes a lot, so most people can’t bother. And then a lot of artists, to me–some of them lazy which is on the other side of comfort. So you have two sides.
The audience and the creators.
Yeah so it’s just a natural thing, but that’s not something for me to overly focus on because I’m interested in the vibes. Music haffi have vibes.
The Healing EP, I think it’s in the running for one of the best releases last year for me personally. In general, of course it was huge in the reggae space but certainly, I think because of the timing and the message so many people outside of the typical reggae audience felt the same. How have you felt about it given some of the feedback you’ve gotten on a more personal level.
Well if I’m to be honest with you right here on camera, Healing changed my life. It really gave even me healing, it kind refocused my whole career and my vision for myself. It was a passtime where I could just not worry about what was going on because the world is very stressful. But because I had music to heal me and to experiment with, it helped me to not focus so much on the world.
I was able to work with so many great talents, Dean Fraser, Dexta Daps, Konshens, Teejay, Shenseea–here comes Lighter. So the vibes was nice and it really gave me that healing. A lot of great thing happened with Healing and it was for the time, it was for now. I didn’t want history to pass and I don’t get to talk about it because the great people I respect, they talk about what’s going on. So healing really gave me healing and looking forward to the future I know what to do and what not to do. Who fi deal with, and who not to deal with. Healing really just reset my life personally.
It’s so many good songs on that EP, and I wanted to touch on something you said which is the fact that all the people you admire speak about their time and what’s happening. It’s like a duty in some sense of the artist, but not everyone chooses that duty but you are definitely one of those artists we can look to for that story.
Yeah because it’s art and everyone have a way that they paint. I’m a special artist. Even the word inspiration is a serious word, in spirit action. So I see things, I talk to people, I live in the world and I’m inspired by what’s going on around me and here comes Healing. For example my bredrin name Dexta Daps, him make a album name VENT because him have some things on him chest he needs to get off. He has to Vent. So we Venting, fi get Healing, it’s music for a reason. We not just singing for no reason. Yeah right now, life nice and we’re looking forward to the future, I swear. We just want health and strength.