Not even ten chariots with horses can stop this new Reggae voice on the scene… no, its not a novelty act, but one that is destined for legendary status. A 'natural' man of superb talent has risen like a Phoenix…some would say, its Jah will. Coming from the combination of a Nurse and a Singer, "healing music" is how he appropriately describes his music. Tarrus Riley has thrown his hat in the race, with a no-doubt approach that says, "I'm here to stay".
The singer who gave us "Larger than Life" and "Barber Chair" on his first album Challenges on the Yaman Label, is back at it, and even better than before. His sophomore album Parables, is currently being distributed by VP Records. Parables is 'a simple story illustrating a moral or religious lesson'. The album is suitably titled, as each song is a lesson from the book of life. With analytical lyrics embracing Rasta teachings and his heart felt romantic delivery, the compelling voice of Tarrus Riley has been winning fans over. Boasting 14 original tracks out of 15, produced by the multi-faceted Dean Fraser, Parables is a respectable achievement for this young artiste.
His mother, Lavern, has been a strong supporter of his music from day one. He was originally produced by his father, Singer Jimmy Riley, on his label 'Love & Promotion'. Tarrus also gained experience from Heavy Beat and Main Street, while teaching himself how to play the keyboard and percussion instruments…Kette, Congo and Bongo. He views his cooking similar to his music. He says every man seasons his pot different, and for him, each instrument that makes up a song, is the same as each seasoning that makes up the pot. No wonder Tarrus' music is always a potpourri of musical progressions, melodies and not to mention the soulful voice that he has become known for.
The title track, Parables, written by Tarrus on Max Romeo's Three Blind Mice rhythm, cautions us to 'read between the lines'. Tarrus's first cover song of John Legend's, "Stay With You", will prove to be one of the perpetual classics from Tarrus Riley. "She's Royal" is the kind of song that creeps up on you, with an excellent arrangement. The anthemic "Lion Paw" offers a stamp of approval, with rhythm. And then Della Manley helps to bring us home to "Family", a real groove-finder capped off by a melodious chorus. Sold! Tarrus Riley, young, gifted and bold!
Like a bolt of lightening from the sky, Rasta messenger Warrior King has burst upon the scene, utilizing his gift of song to spread Jah truth throughout the land. 23-year old Warrior King was born on the 27th of July, 1979, in Kingston's Jubilee Hospital, soon moving to Clarendon, then settling in the growing city of Portmore at age eleven. "From birth I've always loved music, but it was not until I attended high school at the age of thirteen that I thought about it as something I could do myself," Warrior King explains. "At that time I followed Bounty Killer's style, but then my friend Warrior Mark, him said, 'You have the potential. You have the talent.' From there I started increasing my own thing, and with encouragement from my peers and inspiration and t'ing, the music started to flow."
Like many successful Jamaican entertainers, Warrior King gained his earliest stage experience in talent shows. "I started out with school concerts at first," he says. "At the time when I just came inna music, I used to do some combinations with a yout' named Likkle Blacks, Marlon Stewart. We used to do Tastee's Talent Show together, so we could really start getting exposed and gain experience." When he first started out Warrior King chatted in a hardcore deejay style, like his original hero, Bounty. A switch to the more holistic "singjay" sound came gradually. "It's a natural thing what just grow inside of me, even without me realizing," the singer reasons. "People started telling me they hear I can sing now. So, really and truly it's just a natural change." Even his name is an extension of this evolution. "I changed my name from 'Junior King' to 'Warrior King' because it have a more spiritual feel to it. Fighting against oppression, fighting against wrong. I'm Jah warrior, yuh know, fighting a war of rootical love.
Warrior King's 2001 debut single, "Virtuous Woman," was an international smash, its righteous lyrics prompting the Jamaica Observer to declare the singer "one of the artistes who made a difference in 2001." Since that auspicious beginning, Warrior King's compositions have consistently charted not only in his native Jamaica, but throughout the entire Caribbean, as well as New York, London, Tokyo and beyond. "A Friend Indeed" is currently getting heavy rotation in Jamaica, while "Jah Is Always There" was a recent summer smash on Atlanta's More Fire chart. The inclusion of "Never Go Where Pagans Go" on VP Records' compilation set "Reggae Gold 2002" further raised the artist's profile. Also included are "Virtuous Woman," "Never Go Where the Pagans Go" and other compositions that have built Warrior King's reputation.
Now the conscious singer has released his first full-length album. His VP Records debut, Virtuous Woman, features production by such heavy hitters as Sheldon 'Calibud' Stewart, Richard "Chabano" Brown, Lion Paw and Penthouse as well as guest appearances by Jahmali and dub poet, DYCR. With titles like "Love Jah and Live" and "Boast Not Myself," the CD's seventeen tracks are designed, says Warrior King, to "uplift people's heart, mind and soul in a positive way. All of the songs are written by me, through inspiration of the Father. Everybody can relate to a song on the album, I'm sure of that." The album opens up with "Power To Chant," a spiritual invocation of Jah that neatly sets the tone for what's to follow. Each song featured on the cd has a different style, but the message emphasizes purity and truth.
Warrior King believes that education is the key to betterment and hopes that his music will serve to convey the teachings of His Imperial Majesty, Hailie Selassie I. "As a Rastafarian you just don't sing music, you sing music with a purpose and a mission. To the four corners of the Earth," says Warrior King, "I carry my music, and the message of the King. And the message of love, to all people of all races."
Mystic Roots Band
Serving up an original style based in reggae, hip-hop, and dancehall (with overtones of rock, funk, and ska), a Mystic Roots Band live concert guarantees not just at music for your ears, but also a high-energy show and powerful experience you'll never forget. This Chico-born, now San Diego-based group brings a brand new sound while embracing the nature of roots reggae wholeheartedly and performing it with smooth vocals/harmonies, energetic freestyles and beat-boxing, all over a solid groove. The music and lyrics are catchy and upbeat, yet with a powerful, positive message. The musicianship of the players is top notch and arrangements are often complex and always interesting. The band tours the U.S. full-time, playing shows with some of the biggest names in reggae, hip hop, and rock. MRB promotes positivity and spreads a conscious message while still having a good time and keeping the party going. Fans describe MRB's music as a refreshing, energetic, and cutting-edge sound that people are immediately drawn to. As a result, MRB has developed an ever-growing legion of loyal fans. This fan base exists not only in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, but also in Europe, Latin America, Australia, and even several regions of Asia.
Over the years, Mystic Roots Band has made some stellar achievements. Here are just a few examples:
-Winning the LA Music Award for Best Reggae/Pop Album, "Constant Struggle," which includes the underground hit song, "Pass the Marijuana."
- Being signed to Cornerstone R.A.S., which in the past has included bands like: Sublime, Slightly Stoopid, Pepper, Shapeshifters, Public Enemy.. and many more.
- Starring in their own one-hour episode of reality TV, which aired nationwide on The Learning Channel (T.L.C.).
- Touring all over North America for 2 ½ years as reggae legend Pato Banton's official band, playing some of the best amphitheaters, clubs, and festivals around.
In sum, with over 1,200 shows played in some of the finest venues across the land, a rapidly growing fan base, and scheduled release of the long-anticipated 2nd full-length album Cali-HI (Oct 5th, 2010 - BE ON THE LOOKOUT!), the Mystic Roots Band is working and touring harder than ever and are on a mission to take their road-tested, fresh, new sound to audiences worldwide.