TARRUS RILEY was just another struggling singer looking for his big break five years ago when he entered the Tuff Gong recording studio to cut Challenges, his debut album. Still riding high on the success of Parables, his second set, Riley has teamed with VP Records to give Challenges a new lease on life.
VP will re-release Challenges on July 1, to capitalise on Riley’s popularity, which peaked with the wildly popular Parables, which was released in 2006.
Riley, 28, told The Gleaner that he is pleased that Challenges is being given a second chance.
“It never got major distribution because it was independently produced, but now dat mi become more popular VP come forward and sey ‘Yo, mek wi do it’,” Riley said.
Challenges was released on the now defunct Ya Man label out of South Florida, which was owned by Dennis ‘Blemmo’ Crichton. It was produced by saxophonist Dean Fraser, who handled similar duties for Parables.
Challenges is not entirely unknown locally. It contains the songs Larger Than Life and Barber Chair, which got favourable airplay in the months leading up to Parables’ release.
Riley said he was currently working on his third album. He is not concerned about being over-exposed with the release of three albums in as many years.
“The people waan hear the music so mi jus’ gi it to dem,” he said.
The son of veteran lovers rock singer Jimmy Riley, Tarrus Riley spent several years living in South Florida. Some of his early recordings were done for Heavy Beat Records, owned by producer Willie Lindo, a stalwart of the Sunshine State’s reggae scene.
It was Parables, however, that did the trick for the Rastafarian vocalist. It produced a flow of hit songs, including the horn-hooked ballad She’s Royal and I Will Stay With You, a song originally done by American neo-soul singer John Legend.
The album has opened new doors for Riley who recently returned from dates in Japan and France where he performed alongside Luciano and Jah Cure. He has shows scheduled for Great Britain and Germany in July.