By McCray Sutherlin
Fresh off the release of his latest album, Fly Rasta, Ziggy Marley spreads the love with tours spanning from Europe to the United States. Marley is the oldest son of Rita Marley and reggae legend Bob Marley, and has been hailed as one of the great Reggae artists of our time.
Fly Rasta, is a testament to his versatility as both a multi-instrumentalist and as a song-writer. The ten-track record features U-Roy as well as the Melody Makers and includes Cedella Marley, Sharon Marley, and Rica Newell. By incorporating different elements of rock, folk, and funk, Marley displays a more diverse sound than his earlier releases.
“You want to explore,” Marley told ReggaeVille.com in a recent interview.
“You want excitement. You want to create new things. You want new. You want fresh. When I’m making music, that’s what I want; the excitement of something new. It has creativity. It has inspiration. You’re expanding your mind.”
It seems that throughout this process of growth as a musician, Marley has expanded his sound and brought it to new heights.
“For years I’ve been searching, I’m still searching, for this sound,” Marley said. “Every time on record I’ve tried to get closer to this thing, this thing that gets to the real purpose of music, the effect music can have on people. Besides from being entertainment. There is a fine art to it. I read a lot of books. I study. I kind of think about music on a higher level. I try and understand music more. For years I’ve been thinking about this type of sound that resonates beyond what we know today. We keep looking for that thing. This is just another way to try and see. I feel I’m getting closer, but still have a ways to go.”
Like his father, Ziggy Marley practices what he preaches. Most notably, he is the Founder of Unlimited Resources Giving Enlightenment (URGE).
“URGE is a grassroots charity,” Marley said.
“We organized to get some incubators to give to the hospital for the kids. We donate money to orphanages.”
In 2007, he also became a sponsor of Little Kids Rock, a non-profit that provides musical instruments and free lessons to children in public schools across the US.
Marley has accumulated six Grammy’s throughout his enduring career – the most recent, a Best Reggae Album nod for Ziggy Marley in Concert, coming this year
“It’s not really me that wins the award,” Marley said. “It’s the music, the musicians, and I am a part of that. It’s recognition for the musicianship, for the engineer, and the people that play on it. It’s recognition from some people for something they like. It’s positive, but a Grammy win is not something that will make you or break you. We want to make good music no matter what. You have to make good music!”