Tarrus Riley's latest project, 'Mecoustic' is set to be released in the Caribbean on September 25. The 15-track album will be a welcome treat to the palette of his established fans and will certainly 'whet' the appetite of those who have not yet fallen under his spell. Mecoustic is raw, soulful and skilfully works the artiste's sweet, nuance tenor with the pure and authentic sounds of instruments like the acoustic guitar, keyboards and Dean Fraser's unforgettable saxophone. Considered one of the most promising of second-generation Jamaican roots-reggae singers, Tarrus Riley's foray into the industry was inevitable. The talented singer and songwriter was always surrounded by music from an early age with veteran reggae singer Jimmy Riley as his father. Riley has learnt a lot by merely being in the environment of the music business. He caught on very quickly and made his recording debut as a teenager.
"I've always loved music. I used to deejay but everyone used to encourage me to sing. They used to call me 'Singy Singy' because I was always singing," Riley commented.
In 2004, Tarrus released his debut album, Challenges, followed by his sophomore album, Parables, in 2006, to widespread acclaim and spawned hit singles - Stay With You, Beware, She's Royal, Lion Paw, among others.
Mecoustic is again a partnership with the venerable Dean Fraser. Mecoustic is a daring and original bet which Tarrus is making as he seeks to successfully develop a new style closer to gospel music and keeping thematic what he has defended all his life.
In other news, Tarrus Riley and friends recently donated school items to Morant Bay students.
The initiative, which was spearheaded by Riley and friends, was held at the Morant Bay Park.
Children from various communities within the parish were entertained with various attractions including bounce-a-bout, refreshment and music.
In a release to the media, Riley pointed out that the initiative wasn't something that was planned, but more of a corporate responsibility to the community.
'This wasn't something that I had planned. It's something I did coming from my heart because I felt it was the right thing to do. We gave the children school supplies, provided some music for them to enjoy themselves like a little fun-day vibe. We did a very simple but important community effort," said Riley.
Among the entertainers who came out to support the venture was dancehall star Bugle, up-and-coming sensation Vybrant, reggae singer Natty King, veteran reggae crooner Jimmy Riley, saxophonist Dean Fraser and up and coming artistes from the area.
"We had no sponsor for this initiative and we are not trying to make any money from it. All of us just pulled together and made it happen," added Riley, who resides in the parish of St Thomas.
The back-to-school initiative executed by Riley and friends is in its second year. This isn't the first venture that Riley has been a part of that has targeted school children.
His annual Freedom Writers competition allows students to expose their writing skills.
Before he became famous, Riley was instrumental in a talent show held in Leith Hall in St Thomas, which afforded exposure to up-and- coming talent from the parish.
He recently returned to the island after delivering knockout performances in Tobago, the Montreal International Reggae Festival in Canada, as well as at the Jamaica 50 celebrations in the UK. The singer's annual free Christmas concert is expected to unfold in December at Emancipation Park in New Kingston.