“I have always been intrigued by Jamaica, it’s people and their culture,” Empress Riley told the Jamaica Observer.
Empress Riley, whose given name is Cynthia Riley, said she yearned to be part of that musical family.
“The music and message are so powerful. Reggae music has always spoken to me like no other music… mind, body and soul. I can’t even say that I chose reggae music, I think reggae music chose me. I just follow where God leads me… and this is it, she said.”
Since the start of the year, Empress Riley has released a 12-track CD entitled Like Candy. The tracks include Hurry, Closer To You, Full Hundred, Calling, Hold On, Groove Me, Jah People, Raggamuffin Love, Straight to You and Blame It On The Music.
The South Florida-based artiste said she had pursued a career in the insurance industry. However, she soon got bored.
“I wanted to be free to sing. I wanted to do what made me happy versus what made me wealthy, with the hopes that I would find the middle ground. I still believe that being an educated woman has helped me to understand the back side of the business. I have my own label, I publish my own music, I write my own lyrics and I can count money,” she said.
The reggae singer confessed that dancehall music has gotten a little too X-rated for her liking.
“I actually blush when I hear some of the music… It’s almost like pornography for the ears. But with there are artistes who are dedicated to bringing back the message to the music,” she said.
She is confident she is among them.