New Video: Tarrus Riley is ‘Shaka Zulu Pickney’

February 10, 2011

Words and photos by Martei Korley, video by Storm Saulter/New Caribbean Cinema


TOK’s Bay-C launched his Nyabinghi riddim this Sunday gone, providing an antidote to the cookie-cutter releases of the day. That’s doubly powerful during Black History Month, when something as grounded as a Nyabinghi riddim connects on a deep emotional level. Among the artists in the juggling is the late JOE, who tragically passed away from a brain aneurysm a few hours after performing his song “Rasta Chant” at the riddim release party. RIP, JOE – you definitely went out on a high note. Other artists on the compilation include TOK, Shane-O and the man called Singy-Singy: Tarrus Riley.

Never one to back down from a cultural theme, Tarrus joined forces with Storm Saulter and New Caribbean Cinema for an epic video shoot. The video juxtaposes costumed ancestors with ordinary Jamaicans in everyday situations, resulting in some unforgettable imagery of a type that is very rare in modern Jamaica, where roots reggae has long since been eclipsed by dancehall in informing the visual language of the day. It invites Jamaicans to explore and embrace their heritage in a very tangible way. The video premiered, not surprisingly,ย  to thunderous applause at Kingston’s Studio 38 venue…maybe in part because it doesn’t seem too farfetched that Marcus Garvey or Shaka Zulu could actually be spotted somewhere down on Orange Street. So in the spirit of Black History Month and just because we love anything which uplifts and improves,ย  we plugged the behind the scenes footage about the project and a pictorial as well.


At the Shaka Zulu shoot on Wikki Wakki beach, 7 Miles.


Storm and Nile Saulter of New Caribbean Cinema hard at work.