A Minute With: Ziggy Marley on music, maintaining Bob's legacy

Fri May 9, 2014 5:34am EDT
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By Matilda Egere-Cooper

LONDON (Reuters) - It is 35 years since the Grammy-winning musician Ziggy Marley started following in the footsteps of his famous father Bob. The eclectic style on his new album "Fly Rasta" shows that at 45, Marley is now keen to forge his own path.

“I wanted to create what I call ‘epic reggae’, with a little futuristic tinge to it,” Marley said, speaking to Reuters ahead of a headline show in London. “I wanted to do it with a standard of quality that is not compromised in any way.”

He only breaks reggae tradition on the album's lead single, “I Don’t Want to Live on Mars”, where his distinctive vocal is placed over a rock-influenced pop production.

Other parts of the release are classic, upbeat reggae, making it clear that representing his father comes naturally to Marley's first born. “I am his son and we share a certain way of life; the foundation of Rasta. We share a philosophy of what this music is,” he said.

However, he admits to being conservative when it comes to the business of being a Marley. As an independent artist on his own label, Tuff Gong Worldwide, he says he is more concerned with making an impact with his music than making money.

“We’re lucky because my father left us with some money and we can sustain. But we still have to pay bills; we still have to work, obviously. We grew up with a mindset that money wasn’t the first, primary thing and that is what makes our music different.”

It is also the reason why he has mixed views about how his father’s legacy has been handled in the past.

“The business side of it is something we have to be very careful with; the profiting off of his name and likeness and things like that,” he said.   Continued...

Musician Ziggy Marley poses for a portrait ahead of his headline show in London, in support of his 5th album Fly Rasta, April 23, 2014.   REUTERS/Matilda Egere-Cooper