Tarrus serves up his BLEM

BY AALIYAH CUNNINGHAM
Observer writer
aaliyahc@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, August 15, 2019

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Tarrus Riley gave specially invited guests a taste of his latest set, Blending Life's Experiences Musically (BLEM), at the Jangas Soundbar in New Kingston on Tuesday evening.

“In Jamaica, we don't say 'blend' we say 'blem'; it's a mixture, it's a variety. We make music buffet style, it's an Ital buffet so you can just pick up anything yuh want but remember it's Ital. As a creative person, mi get bored fast so mi always a try find different ways, but mi never change mi message,” he told Jamaica Observer.

The seven-track EP, BLEM, was released digitally in June.

The singer performed a few of the tracks and, in true Tarrus Riley fashion, he left the audience wanting more.

“Me and Izy Beats, the genius, mek a project. It wasn't any hard work, still we put in the real work and we love it. It's not something to talk about its something to listen me speaking about it and someone writing about it doesn't do it any justice, you have to hear it,” he said.

“You have to observe it with your ears,” he continued.

BLEM features collaborations with Ghanaian artiste Stonebwoy on the song GYAL He said the singer brings a touch of the Afro sound which is beautiful when combined with the reggae/dancehall.

For the project, he also worked with breakthrough artiste Lila Ike on Dangerous Waters. Riley lauds her for her work ethic and believes there is a sense of magic in her vocal abilities.

Riley, son of late reggae singer Jimmy Riley, said his father would be proud of this particular project.

“Something like this, he'd really love it. He always seh to me: 'You see you, yuh nuh know wah yaa gwaan wid yet enuh. Yuh nuh start give dem nuh style yet, enuh. . .Yuh bad enuh yute! Write two chune fi mi',” Riley chuckled.

“Mi know him woulda love this kinda a vibe and just me doing different things. From my fada give me dah go ahead deh, mi nuh really come fi compromise 'cause mi know seh mi a mek my father proud,” he continued.

The elder Riley — known for songs including Love & Devotion and My Woman's Love — passed away on March 23, 2016.

BLEM is Riley's first EP, but he is confident that he has only scratched the surface of his full potential, as there is lots more in store.

“Me jus a learn how fi use mi voice, and mi jus a work pon it and mi give thanks fi everything wah we do wah people seh deh pon a level and is legendary, but mi nuh deh pon a legendary thing yet, mi up-and-coming, a whole heap a tings wah me nuh do yet,” he said.


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