We had the chance to catch up with ZIGGY MARLEY, who just released a new, self-titled album last Friday. He’ll be playing at the Melody Tent on June 19 – enter our True Fan Trivia contest for your chance to win a pair of tickets, along with a special prize pack!
Your last album, 2014’s ‘Fly Rasta’, won the 2015 Grammy award for Best Reggae Album. Did you feel pressure to top that album in your new work, or is it completely independent?
Well we’re always trying to grow and improve, and I think this album is certainly an evolution of Fly Rasta and all the albums I’ve made from ever since, but it’s not a competition. Each album, each song, is its own thing with its own spirit and its own vibe and its own message. And we hope each record have its own purpose for those listening. But me wouldn’t want to think of any album as better than any other. It’s just growth, and where I am right now as a human being.
Your new album came out earlier this month on May 20th – why did you decide to let this creation be self-titled?
There was a lot of back and forth on what the album should be called before we landed on the self title. First it was going to be “Love Is A Rebel”, then “Amen”, then “We Are The People”, then back to “Love Is A Rebel”, then “Weekend’s Long”…. What I think we decided in the end was that this album isn’t about any one thing or one theme. It talks on how I feel about a lot of things, and so we didn’t want to define the record by any one song. Also, reflecting on it later I think this is the album I was probably most involved in making, from beginning to end, so maybe had something to do with it. But really we just couldn’t decide, and I’d never done it before, so we went with the self-title.
You’ll be on tour this summer – kicking off with Coachella and passing through our venue, the Cape Cod Melody Tent on June 19. What’s your favorite part of playing live?
We love play live, because music is about making a connection with the people, and there’s no better way to do that than to be right there with them. Going into the studio, making the record, that is the creation part of it. But then live is the fulfillment of that creation, the expression of those creative ideas going directly to the fans. The vibes, the energy, seeing how the music affects the people you’re making it for, it’s a blessed experience. We love play live, and we can’t wait to see you all out on the road.
Facebook fan Ashley F. asked, “How has your dad influenced you musically?”
Well, my mother and my father are the foundation of everything I am as a human being, and is that which have influence me as an artist. Who I am and what I think, how I feel, that is what comes out in the music, and I am that person because of them. Musically, sure the music they made was the music I hear growing up, and that have some impact on the sounds in my head. But the lessons they taught me about life have a much greater influence.
Another fan, Michael A. asked, “If you could pick just one song you wrote, what would be your favorite?”
I don’t have favorites, just like I don’t have a favorite daughter or son. But the foundation of everything is love. That is the answer to all of my music, and so whichever them songs make people feel love and want to express love to others, those are my favorites. But you’d have to ask the people which songs are their favorites. If I absolutely had to pick though – Love Is My Religion.
Finally, in addition to your music you work on a lot of side projects – your own organic food company (Ziggy Marley Organics), you’ve written a children’s book ‘I Love You Too’ and more. Where do you find the inspiration to work across so many areas?
As I said, my music is an expression of who I am as a human being, but me not just a musician. I love comic books, so me made a comic book called Marijuanaman, a super hero who uses hemp to save the earth. And I’m very passionate about hemp, because not just on the recreational side but on the industrial side hemp has a lot of benefits that can help save our planet and its natural resources. And hemp is very nutritious too, and I care about my body a lot, you know. Our body is the temple of our mind and all a that. So that’s how Ziggy Marley Organics came about, and we make hemp seeds and coconut oils, which is another plant that has a lot of benefits for our bodies. So whether its music, or comics, or organics or children’s books, these are all just different reflections of who Ziggy Marley is as a person.
Thanks so much for Ziggy for taking the time to chat with us!