Ziggy Marley believes in, ‘spreading the undying message of love’
Artist will perform Friday at Vina Robles Amphitheatre
– Reggae legend Bob Marley believed that music could transcend race, language, culture, and creed. He toured the world and lifted people’s spirits and joined them together with song. His eldest son, Ziggy, is now continuing his father’s legacy. Although his style is different, and his sound unique, his music and writing carries the same message: that what the world really needs is love.
Ziggy was born David Nesta Marley in 1968, to Bob and Rita Marley, and was later given the nickname Ziggy by his father. Ziggy said that for him, music is a, “spiritual thing,” and that he was “given a gift.” He has, in his career, sought to use his gift to help to spread a message of global compassion and cooperation.
Ziggy has released twelve albums. His early immersion in music came at age ten when he sat in on recording sessions with his father. Ziggy formed The Melody Makers when he was just 11 years old as a collaboration with his siblings and with help from his father. The group released eight best-selling albums that garnered three Grammys, with such hits as “Look Who’s Dancing,” “Tomorrow People” and “Tumbling Down.”
His first solo album, “Dragonfly” was released in 2003. His second solo release, “Love is My Religion” won a Grammy in 2006 for Best Reggae Album. His third solo album, “Family Time,” scored him a 5th Grammy award for “Best Children’s Album.” In 2011, he released “Wild And Free,” which also earned him a Grammy nomination.
His latest album, “Fly Rasta,” features background vocals from Cedella Marley, Sharon Marley, Rica Newell, Tracy Hazzard, Ian “Beezy” Coleman, Vincent Brantley, Sean Dancy, and Tim Fowlles. Songs like “I Don’t Wanna Live on Mars” and “Sunshine,” carry that same message of love, respect, compassion and optimism. The album gained the artist another Grammy for Best Reggae Album.
Marley is married to Orly Agai, and together they have three children: Judah Victoria, Gideon Robert Nesta and Abraham Selassie Robert Nesta. To coincide with the release of his latest album “Fly Rasta,” Marley released his debut children’s book “I Love You Too.”
The multicultural picture book is based on the song, “Family Time,” which explores a child’s relationship with parents, nature and the “unstoppable force of love.”
In recent years, Ziggy has expressed his passion for compassion in a variety of new ways. “I give myself to a lot of charities,” he said. Marley also leads his own, URGE (Unlimited Resources Giving Enlightenment) a non-profit organization that benefits efforts in Jamaica, Ethiopia and other developing nations. “I want to educate the children in poor countries to help alleviate poverty and social problems,” he said. The charity’s missions range from building new schools to operating health clinics to supporting charities like Mary’s Child, a center for abused and neglected girls.
Ziggy Marley Organics, a GMO-free product line including flavored coconut oils and hemp seed snacks, was started in 2012. The products are distributed throughout the U.S. and are available in over 1000 stores nationwide. “Hemp seeds and coconut oils are very nourishing,” said Ziggy, saying that growing up in Jamaica, these foods were widely enjoyed and provided an array of health benefits. “There is a stigma in the nutritional food world,” he said, referring to the consumption of hemp. “But it needs to be embraced.”
Moving forward, Ziggy says that he is working on another album. “I want it to be different,” he said. “It will be new songs and new rhythms.” Ziggy said that he thinks it’s important that music represents, “The truth of who you are as an artist.” He said that he is also in the process of penning another children’s book.
“My mission is love; to spread that undying message,” he said. “Love needs to be a continuous message.”
Ziggy will be performing at the Vina Robles Amphitheatre on Friday, August 14. He said that the show will be a mix of classics, as well as works of of his latest album. For more information about Ziggy Marley, go to ziggymarley.com.
“Love if My Religion,” off of the 2006 solo album of the same name:
“I Don’t Wanna Live on Mars,” off of his most recent album, “Fly Rasta.”