Riley was born in Bronx, New York and raised in Jamaica. His father is veteran reggae singer Jimmy Riley. He made his recording debut as a teenager. In 2004, Tarrus released his debut album, Challenges. Riley has consistently racked up awards for his work. Among his accolades are Best Singer, Male Vocalist, Cultural Artiste, Song of the Year, and Best Song. Some of the awards institutions which have rewarded Riley include the Youth View Awards, The Star People’s Choice Awards, EME Awards, and the Reggae Academy awards. Tarrus is the holder of Jamaica's CVM TV's 15th Anniversary Award, held in February 2009, for the ‘Most Admired Song in the Past 15 Years’ for the hit, "She’s Royal".