It was a well-supported premiere for Tarrus Riley’s Storm Saulter-directed video for ‘Shaka Zulu Pickney’.
Fittingly released during Black History Month, Riley premiered his video at Studio 38 on Trafalgar Road among many friends and well-wishers in the entertainment business on Tuesday night.
Produced by T.O.K’s Roshaun ‘Bay-C’ Clarke on his ‘Nyabinghi’ rhythm, Shaka Zulu Pickney is a very Afrocentric song and video that had persons cheering at the premiere. Emceed by Roots FM’s Denise ‘Isis’ Miller, a short fashion show was provided from ‘Shades of Africa’ which later heralded the appearance of Mutabaruka.
Muta gave a history on ‘Shaka de Zulu’ but also commented on how proud he was of Riley’s achievements and conscious attitude. According to Mutaburaka, Shaka of the Zulu tribe in Africa was one of the most influential leaders in the Zulu kingdom who revolted against the British. For Muta, Riley’s choice of making the ‘Shaka Zulu’ image a positive one, where in the past it had negative connotations, was much need in the music business of today. Clips were also shown of Saulter, Bay-C and Riley talking behind the scenes about the video.
Saulter directed the movie Better Mus Come as well as Wayne Marshall’s My Heart video. Riley explained in the clip that he had watched Saulter’s Better Mus Come numerous times and was thrilled to work with the director on this project. Saulter too expressed his excitement as he said, “this is my first project since the movie and I had to come hard, I love the song, it’s naturally dramatic.” He later added when he took to the podium, “artistes like Tarrus Riley, and music like this, we really need to encourage.”
The video was then premiered and featured images of a number of prominent black leaders, with the African images being incorporated in modern-day Kingston, Jamaica. Riley closed the night by talking about his ‘Tarrus Riley Freedom Fighters Competition’ that he will be doing this month. According to Riley, it’s a songwriting/poetry competition for children ages 13-17 who are asked to write 150 words about either Africa, the African-Jamaican connection or who is their favourite freedom fighter. The winner of the competition will get to record a song with saxophonist Dean Fraser.