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Music and Reagae Artist Ziggy Marley

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A native of Kingston, Jamaica Ziggy Marley first sat in on recording sessions with his father and band, Bob Marley and the Wailers when he was ten years old. After performing with his own band, The Melody Makers, Ziggy went solo and produced his first album, Dragonfly. In 2006, Ziggy produced his second solo album writing all the songs himself and playing most of the musical instruments.

"It was you know, like, for years I’ve been into music and I kinda gained it as a knowledge, and so had the confidence to pursue all different elements to make a record on my own.”
Ziggy says the title track for his second album came to him during a conversation with a friend.

"When we started making the album, it didn’t have a name or anything and that song, when I started doing the album, that song wasn’t even written yet. That song was written probably midway through the process of making the record. So the title came from and the song came from a conversation I was having with a lady and it was just a simple question, ‘What religion are you?’ and I asked her and she told me she was a Catholic and she asked me that and I kinda think for a second and I said, ‘Love is my religion,’ and that is where the song came about and that title and the world concept. I think I was always looking for the perfect answer to that question, ‘Ziggy, what is your religion?’ ‘What do you believe in?’ and I think I found the perfect answer. Love is my religion.”

Most of Ziggy’s songs tend to have a message.

"One main component of what we do which may not have anything to do with the title ‘Reggae,’ but it has more to do with who we are, is that our music continuously carries a message. From my father reggae is known to carry a message, but not every artist or musician carries a message. So it is, it is a generalization which is positive but is incorrect to say that every reggae is songs of message and love. It’s not everybody that does that. But for us that has been a common theme throughout from my father to me and all of my siblings and a lot of other reggae musicians has been the notion that reggae music is a music that carries a meaning to people.”

After his tour of Africa in 2005 celebrating what would have been his father’s 60th birthday, Ziggy made educating people about the continent one of his goals.

“Africa holds a special place in my heart because of what Africa has been through. The struggle of Africa and also because Africa is the birthplace of mankind. We all are from Africa. All of our ancestors, our first ancestor is from Africa, so all of us are related in that way.” It does have a special place and a special need to focus some of my energy in highlighting not only the negativity of what’s happened there, but the possibility of Africa.”

I’m Larry London for VOA News.