A Barbadian treasure and a perfect ambassador for our Island, Empress Roli...... Bajan Reggae Queen Empress Roli Rocked the Digicel Reggae on The Hill 2013, winner of The People’s Choice and nominated for The Best Reggae Artist of The Year for The Barbados Music Awards 2013.
Humanitarian Roli Empress Roli Roachford is a Swedish born Barbadian who lives in Barbados. Empress Roli is fluent in both Swedish and English. Our very own Humanitarian who owns Jahworks Equestrian Centre where she assists Special Needs Children with free therapy on Horse back and also rescues abused and neglected animals, mainly horses and dogs. At the tender age of three, Roli had her first mounted lesson in her birth city Stockholm and she never looked back .Her Mother Elisabeth Roachford was an Equestrian Coach in Sweden and when she moved to Barbados she became a National Dressage Judge.
Empress Roli was introduced to Dressage at age seven, entered her first Dressage Show at age nine in Sweden, became an International competitor at age twelve, she has represented Barbados on many occasions in Show jumping and Dressage since 1989 and at the moment is the only Barbadian Hippo Therapist on the island. Roli has provided Special Needs Equestrian Classes and recovery Therapy for Accident Victims since 1999.The Founder and elected President of The Barbados Equestrian Association for Riders with Disabilities, Roli’s vision is to be able to assist more Special Needs persons with therapy as well as to build an Olympic team for the Equestrian sport, which will be the first of its kind ever in Barbadian history.
Future plans at Jahworks are to provide the Special Needs Community and their families in Barbados with a Sports and Recreational Centre. As the first Rastafarian woman in the world to compete and represent her country in Equestrian Dressage, Roli’s passion and skills with horses is one of her gifts as she has a unique way with animals. Roli trains and rides in all levels to Grand Prix and have produced more than one Prix St.George horse. Roli has won the title of Ranked #1 in the region in many FEI competitions and is one of the best Certified Coaches and Trainers Barbados has to offer.
Music is only one of Roli’s many passions. Empress Roli is now The 2012 People’s Choice Winner and was nominated for The Best Reggae Artist of The Year 2012 at The 2013 Barbados Music Awards, earning her the honor of being the first Female Reggae Artist to do so. Empress Roli was born into a family of music; her father John Roachford was a Barbadian artiste who toured the world with his band. In 2005 Roli, released her first Single in Barbados called Happy Days which is a fusion of Swedish Folk and alternative music. Empress RoIi now has three albums, with the fourth album being recently completed this year, 2013.
Empress Roli has graced the stage with many great artists including Grammy Award Winner Shaggy, Admiral Tibet, Pop Caan, Taurus Riley, Bush Man, Spice, Courtney Melody, Busy Signal and Pinchers. Empress Roli has also been featured and performed for The Miss Humanity International Pageant for the past four years where she is featured as a Barbadian Humanitarian. Empress Roli has also performed live at various venues throughout the island including; Kensington Oval, Farley Hill National Park, The Prime Minister’s Residence at Illaro Court, The BTI Car park, The Reggae Lounge, Israel Lovell Foundation, The Barbados Hip-Hop Festival at PRIVA ,Queens Park and The Plantation Theater.
Empress Roli’s live performances are very unique and special and she has been backed by well-known first class bands such as The Fully Loaded Band, Revalayshun, High Grade and Strategy. A Crowned I-Queen in Barbados she is featured annually at The Royal I Queen Show on Canvas. Empress Roli has a tone which is most unique and cannot be compared with anyone else’s sound. Empress Roli is called The Golden Voice by her fellow sisters and brothers through the reggae music world here in Barbados.
Empress Roli’s music has an international appeal and she has been asked by fans in Sweden, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany to come to their countries and perform. A representative from Columbia Records liked her music and wanted Empress Roli to audition for the label but a lack of finances prevented her from doing so.
The Ninth Annual Barbados Music Awards nominated Empress Roli for Best Female Entertainer of the year, People’s Choice, Best Gospel Artist of the year and for the second consecutive year, for Best Reggae Artist of the year. The event is scheduled for January 12th, 2014 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Center in Barbados at 8:00 pm. However because of some controversy, Empress Roli declined all nominations.
In her role as a music promoter/producer, Empress Roli produced a show featuring iconic Jamaican reggae artist Courtney Melody as well as local reggae artist at the famed Reggae Lounge in Barbados, on Sunday September 1st, 2013. The show was a result of Courtney Melody’s desire to collaborate with Empress Roli in the studio.
Empress Roli’s mission is clear; to empower victims of domestic violence, to continue to provide therapeutic services for persons with disabilities and their families and to provide a safe haven for abused and neglected animals. As a promoter, Empress Roli hosts a number of festivals, events and parties which she uses as a means to raise funds for her charitable works. Empress RoIi is like a breath of fresh air that expresses and advocates freedom through her music.