Musician Tarrus Riley officially kicked off his Start Anew campaign last Tuesday at the Seaforth High School in St Thomas. The singer is planning a month-long, non-violence tour with plans to visit 10 schools throughout March.
Coming off the popularity of his hit song Start Anew, which speaks to domestic violence, Riley has officially started his tour, where he speaks to the youth about issues surrounding violence. The Start Anew initiative is organised by the Blak Soil Outreach, the charitable arm of Blak Soil Limited which is headed by Riley. The Start Anew campaign falls under the umbrella of the National Peace Campaign, which is coordinated by the Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA).
Riley, alongside former Miss Jamaica World and Rising Stars host Yendi Phillipps, musician Dean Fraser and singer Duane Stephenson journeyed to Seaforth High School to hold a lengthy discussion with the high schoolers from first to fifth form. The discussion included a testimonial, a presentation by the Ministry of Health, a skit by the Area Youth Foundation from Denham Town, as well as talks given by Riley and Yendi Phillipps (who was the lead female in the Start Anew music video).
Giving them strength
Riley said, “It was really nice, I really feel like I’m connecting with the yutes, giving them strength. It was better than I thought it would be, the yutes from Denham Town did their skit and we discussed what it was about. I sang a few songs, meet and greeted. I’m looking forward to doing the rest.”
The tour takes place every Tuesday and Wednesday throughout March with plans to visit Clan Carthy High, Donald Quarrie High, Haile Selassie High, Kingston High, Trench Town High, Yallahs Comprehensive High, Vauxhall High, Denham Town High and Edith Dalton James. There are also plans for a number of other artistes to come and give talks as well.
In the meantime, Riley is coming away elated from the CVM Awards, where he took home the ‘most admired reggae song in the last 15 years’ for She’s Royal. “I want to thank the Jamaican people for that award, it was a people’s choice and it’s an honour,” he said.
Riley also has a number of singles out, including collaborations Good Girls Gone Bad with Konshens and Forever More with Alaine. He is also gearing up for the release of his third album Contagious. “The next album is called Contagious, cause I just want everyone to get contagious to my music,” he said.