Ziggy Marley: Interview with Ziggy Marley

Ziggy MarleyCultural leader, rasta child, roots music practitioner, spiritual elevator, and a direct descendant of the musical divinity, the musical works and message of Ziggy Marley have been anything but coincidental.

Making his musical debut in 1985 with his Melody Makers, Ziggy Marley resides as the first-born son of Rastafarian reggae prophet Bob Marley and the natural heir to the reggae throne.

Over the course of the past two decades, Ziggy Marley has recorded 12 albums and has recently launched a solo career which debuted with the 2003 release of Dragonfly, on RCA Records.

Vowing to stay true to a musical livelihood shy of the major media giants and out of the hands of marketing antichrists, Marley is bringing an indigenous groove from the soul of his kindred spirit straight to the hearts of the musical congregation.

“It is about playing the live show and letting audiences see what you do,” says Marley. “It is not about media exposure. It is about going out and taking this thing called music straight to the people.”

Growing up by his father’s side yielded a musical foundation of artistic significance and spiritual transcendence.

“Music was something that never was not a part of me,” says Marley in a thick Jamaican accent. From an early age, the first-born son can recall his father’s recording sessions with The Wailers, which has a profound impact on his own musical vision.

“When I speak to you about my father, I speak to you as a musician,” shares Marley. “Even if I wasn’t his son I would still be inspired by his music. I admired his hard work. When he rehearsed, he rehearsed and played music until he was tired. It is about putting everything you have into what you are doing, with a purpose. For me, music is a mission. I think that I get that from being around my father.”

The musical grooves that were originating from Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston during the ’70s would influence the social and political climate of the entire world, elevating the popularity and spiritual relevance of reggae music to a religious level.

“Tuff Gong is in the streets brotha,” explains Marley. “It is surrounded by the ’hood. It is not some kind of paradise, but that is the vibe of where the music came from. The vibe of being surrounded by the streets and creating music for the people.

“The younger generations in Jamaica are growing up without the guidance of past generations. There is not a lot of work, which leads to violence. It is difficult for the children there now,” reveals Marley. “But still, Jamaica is a place with many vibes and a place that will forever inspire.”

Combining these cultural experiences with his musical influences, Ziggy Marley continues his pilgrimage of earthy grooves inspired by the message of love in a world still dominated by war.

On May 23 Marley released Love Is My Religion, his sophomore solo LP. The tracks were recorded at Lion Head Studios, a one-bedroom apartment in California.

“We packed in all of our equipment and just started jamming,” says Marley. “So instead of having to travel back and forth to the studio, we just lived there.”