In the Mix

Tarrus Riley ready for Hawaii

August 10th, 2011

Tarrus Riley. (Courtesy photo)

After planting the seeds in March with an appearance at the "Spring Break 2011 Party of the Year" at Wet 'N' Wild Hawaii, international reggae recording artist Tarrus Riley is ready to enjoy a bountiful harvest of new fans when he returns to Honolulu this week.

"It's nice to come back so soon," he said via telephone from Jamaica on Tuesday. "I got a lot of good vibes last time."

While Riley wasn't the headliner at the watermark during Spring Break — that honor went to MTV's "Jersey Shore" stars Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino and Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi — this time he's front and center on the flier for "Hawaii's Most Wanted" tomorrow night at Aloha Tower Marketplace. He'll be joined by local openers Jah Maoli, Kimie, Micah G, Rootikal Riddim, Common Kings and Spawnbreezie, along with his backing players from Jamaica, the Blak Soil Band.

Ever since his last visit, Riley's music has steadily gotten more and more airplay on local radio stations, with one track in particular ("Love's Contagious") scoring him a ton of fans after he recorded a remix for 93.1 Da Pa'ina that's as much an ode to Hawaii as it is a promotional tool for the radio station.

"Not because I'm doing an interview with you now, but I'm really looking forward to Hawaii," he said. "It's a big deal."

What some of Riley's fans may not realize, however, is that all of the songs getting played on the radio these days are actually from albums released years ago. 2006's "Parables" and 2009's "Contagious" are the source of hits like "She's Royal," "Superman" and the aforementioned "Love's Contagious." Ever since his last album was released, Riley said he's been touring relentlessly in the United States and elsewhere to gain new fans outside of Jamaica.

I'm bringing this music to the people," he explained. "After you record, you've got to go out and perform.

"I've been everywhere in Europe, and I'm looking forward to going to Africa. I personally want to get all the ears I can get. That's my goal with the music."

All the touring doesn't mean Riley has stayed out of the studio completely. Without revealing too much, he confirmed enough material exists to release an acoustic album near the end of the year or early in 2012. He's also featured on Shaggy's latest album as a guest on "Just Another Girl," an experience Riley was more than happy to talk about.

"Shaggy, my bredren! Big him up! That's was a big deal for me, doing a song with him. He's got so many accomplishments. It was a good look," he said.

Fans at the Waterfront on Thursday can expect to hear some of the new material, but the majority of the concert will focus on sharing the good vibes off his first three albums. With his own band making the trip this time, more critical ears should be satisfied with the overall sound he's set to bring back to Hawaii.

"It's clean, it's positive, it's live and it's colorful," said Riley. "I want everyone to come to the concert. I really want to thank everyone. Thank you for supporting the music."


Jason Genegabus is Entertainment Editor/Online at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at

'Hawaii's Most Wanted'

Featuring Tarrus Riley

Presented by HI Rise Entertainment, EKM Records, Rusty Inc. and Hawaii's Finest

» Where: The Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace

» When: 6:30 p.m. Aug. 11

» Cost: $35

» Info:

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4 Responses to “Tarrus Riley ready for Hawaii”

  1. Honolulu Pedicab:

    Honolulu Pedicab will be at the "Hawaii's Most Wanted" show featuring Tarrus Riley. We're looking forward to a great show! Thank you Jason @HonoluluPulse for a great article.

  2. Anonymous:

    Hi Rise Entertainment should be ashamed of this production... fans waited over 4 hours for Tarrus Riley, the venue had an overdriven and distorted sound system that failed completely once Tarrus Riley came on stage, and a complete lack of security to manage the fights which ultimately ended the concert. I'm willing to bet this is the last time Tarrus Riley makes the trip to Hawaii.

  3. Anonymous:

    That was not the venue's sound system.  Promoters bring in their own sound.  Blame HiRise ent!!

  4. Anonymous:

    blame the sound company for the sound and the security and sheriffs for the fights... did you see all the sherriffs cruising in the back watching the show? crazy.

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