Ziggy Marley talks family and Reggae's universal appeal Image

by Biko Kennedy

More than 30 years after he sat in on his first recording session with Bob Marley and the Wailers, Ziggy Marley hasn't lost his drive to succeed as he preps for his upcoming album.

Marley, now 44, recently spoke with Mike Devlin of the Times Colonist, while on a tour stop in Calgary on varying topics from becoming somewhat of a mentor to his younger siblings after his father's death when he was 13 to exposing his children to different corners and cultures of the world in hopes of instilling a sense of wonder in them. Check out the excerpts below:

On his hopes that his music will inspire audiences:

"I let it unfold naturally. But part of me wishes I could find a place, a true place, in the world where the influence of it is seen in a practical way. We sing about peace, and I wish I could sing peace and love and there would be peace and love in this world. We still have a lot of work to do"

On Reggae being in a difficult place at the moment, in terms of its mainstream appeal:

"Music is a very influential tool, but because of how the industry [works] — radio and all the other media — it is not always easy to get across the music that we do, our ideas, our messages, to the popular media. That's why we're touring. Touring and being on stage is a real way to get our message across."

On becoming somewhat of a mentor to his younger siblings after his father's death:

"It was in a very natural way, I think it goes beyond [me] being a father figure and me as a human being who acts a certain way. Maybe there are things or traits that my own family see as a good trait, an example by action, an example by how you live. I don't have a big, convoluted idea of being a father figure, but I am who I am and my personality was influenced by my father and my mother, and they see how I live my life. If that influences them in a positive way, that's good."

On raising his children:

"Family is the beginning of society, know what I mean? Have a good family structure, ideas and philosophies within the kids, everything starts from that. I want them to have a good education, good morals, good manners and good discipline about how to treat people."

On writing in a more conversational tone as oppose to other Reggae artistes:

"You have a couple different styles of writing. There's one that is commenting on a situation in the world, and there is one that comes from experiences and thoughts. I am coming from what I have experienced myself in life — things I think about, and less a commentary point of view. … It's about overcoming adversity, problems we face in life. That's what it's really about."

You can read the entire interview here.

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