WASHINGTON — Even though Bob Marley has been gone 33 years, the reggae pioneer remains legendary within the genre. His influence lives on through his children and fans around the world.
One of his sons, Ziggy Marley, continues to make a stylistic imprint in the reggae realm and beyond. He’s won six Grammy Awards – three with The Melody makers, a group that included brother Stephen and sister Cedella, and three for solo projects, including his 2009 children’s album, “Family Time,” and for last year’s live album, “Ziggy Marley in Concert.”
He has also won an Emmy for “I Love You Too,” a children’s tune featured on the Disney Channel series “3rd & Bird.”
Ziggy Marley loves making music and likens his in-studio musical experiments to a college experience. But unlike academia’s regimented class schedules, Marley doesn’t set hard times for creative flow. Whenever the mood strikes, so does he.
“It’s exciting to me,” he says. “When I make music in my studios … it’s a lab where we can experiment with anything.”
Marley says he feels free to experiment in this environment.
“It’s fun because I’m … trying stuff that is not based upon any rules or anything,” he says. “I’m just doing it because I have that time, have that freedom.”
Marley focused on expanding the reggae genre while crafting his latest project. That led him to blend reggae with hints of psychedelia, rock, funk, soul and pop. He also pushed his personal envelope by adding instruments such as sitar, tabla and taiko drums.
His latest offering, “Fly Rasta,” is the 10-track result of that free-flowing creativity.
Even though he’s had favorite tunes on past projects, Ziggy says this one is different.
“On this album, I really like all of the songs,” he says.
Marley’s other ventures take him outside of music, but never far from his roots.
He’s the face of Ziggy Marley Organics, a line of organic flavored coconut oils and roasted, flavored hemp seeds.
“Food is always a kinda big idea with us,” he says.
“From when we were children in Jamaica growing up, it was important what we ate [and] use lots of herbs, lots of trees, lots of bushes. Our family, you know, we eat very naturally, very organically.”
So when he was approached with the idea of Ziggy Marley Organics, it felt like a natural fit.
“I like being part of the food world, being able to talk about organic food, non- GMO,” he says.
“I just believe that food is the first medicine. Nature created the perfect food for us. Once we start to manipulate it, it becomes something that is not natural to our bodies.”
The “Fly Rasta” tour is well under way and includes a stop in the D.C. area. Marley will perform at The Fillmore in Silver Spring July 26. Click here for ticket info.
Listen: Chatting with Ziggy Marley
WTOP’s Liz Anderson chats with Ziggy Marley about his children’s book, and his number one rule for life.
Listen: More with Ziggy Marley
WTOP’s Liz Anderson talks to Ziggy Marley about his foray into the organic foods market. The food line includes flavored coconut oils, and roasted and flavored hemp seeds. They are available locally at some Whole Foods and Yes! Organic Markets.