Tarrus to make dad proud at Sumfest

June 22, 2016
Tarrus Riley

This will be the first time that Tarrus Riley will be performing at Reggae Sumfest without his dad being around.

Tarrus's dad, legendary reggae performer Jimmy Riley, who was also a member of the Sensations and Uniques, took a young Tarrus to the very first Reggae Sumfest back in 1993. It was an experience that would help to shape Tarrus' life.

Years later when Tarrus performed at the annual reggae festival, Jimmy would always be waiting in the wings, but the elder Riley won't make the trip this year. He died in March from cancer, but Tarrus knows his dad will be there in spirit.

"Every time I have gone on stage, I have represented my whole family. The last time he was at Sumfest, he was there with me. At Sumfest we would always be there together, only now he won't physically be there, but I know he will be watching," Riley told THE STAR.

This is why, he said, he is planning to deliver a special performance. Something his dad would be proud of, something like the performances that inspired him when his dad first took him to Sumfest, where he saw the likes of Garnet Silk and Buju Banton perform.

"That experience and others like it changed my life. To know that at one time I went to stage shows to see them perform, and to know that years later people want to come to see me, it is a dream come true," he said. "To be performing on the same stage where I once watched Garnet Silk perform, these are the things that motivate me."

Reggae Sumfest is set for July 17-23 in St James.

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