Future Rebels: Exclusive Ziggy Marley interview

Ziggy Marley

Q: You’ve been a Father yourself for quite a while now, how old is your oldest child?

A: 21.

Q: Would you say partly what lead you that way is that making a children’s album allowed you to talk about more positive things than the adult market is looking for nowadays?

A: It allow me to…to speak to where the change is going to happen from.  I mean the change in the world, all the great things we want to see: peace, love, harmony. These things can’t be translated for adults because adult’s minds are set. It’s hard to change an adult’s mind because an adult knows everything already, or we think we know everything. That’s the reason why I did this and why I talk about being guided by a spirit–whether we call it god or…whatever. Whichever name we call it, now I’m just using the word spirit and the message of the spirit is for the children. The children must receive the message, this is where the revolution is going to happen. And I’m not talking about no violent t’ing, I’m talking about the revolution of positive change that we want to see. If we do not speak to the children we do not have a chance. We communicate with the children, because the children are responding. The open-mindedness of children allow us to influence them so that is why the spirit lead us to do this record. The evolution of humankind is going to take place because the message reach the open minds and who have open minds? Children, they haven’t been manipulated yet or brainwashed, so to speak, yunno?

Q: Which leads me to ask how do you feel about the world in 2010? Some people are very positive about Obama and changes that are happening, some people are very upset and scared. What’s your take?

A: Where the world is in 2010 (sighs). The world is where world is, we don’t know! Because we not tryin fi change the world, yunno. We try fi change people, and then people change the world. The world is another monster, yuh know me a say? But we speak out to the human beings, the human spirit. We not speakin to the world, because the world have so many different layers to it; economic system, a political system, a social class system, there’s a racial class system. The right question is where is humanity in 2010? And the answer would be: to me, there’s always a chance there’s always hope. The thing we talk about; children—there’s always hope in children, the future’s in children. If we can give them the right message, if we can influence them to shun ideologies that cause war, materialism, vanity and these things; this is what we trying to do. Talk to me abut the human spirit, because the world—me don’t know too much about the world. The world deh pon its own thing. Political thing. The people that run the world is not the regular human beings, it’s a different—they’re mostly lawyers I think (laughs). Yunno, is a different ting. I speak to a different segment of this universe.

Q: Touching on who you’re trying to speak to, where do you think Tuff Gong and what you’re doing fits into the Jamaican music industry?

A: We don’t t’ink about Jamaican, we make music. We don’t t’ink about a specific industry or whatever, our music is for the entire world, the entire universe, all the people of the planet earth. So we don’t think about our music is in a certain scene or in a certain segment because the whole earth is our country.

Q: Part of the reason I ask is that Tuff Gong just put out a dancehall compilation (Dancehall Originators) a throwback thing. I think people might not necessarily associate you or the Marley name with dancehall, so I’m wondering how that fits into your philosophy?

A: Ya, mon! So this is the idea behind it, now. That album in particular is a part of the history of the music and in Jamaica, unlike other places, we do not keep our heritage very well. In my thinking, not well enough as we should. So our intention is to use these records as a way to keep the heritage and to teach a history lesson on the music, to make the younger generation, for Jamaica and the world, have some knowledge of their past–to have some respec’ and value it. So we’re planning a series of these types of records that goes back in time for the kids of today so they can understand the history of the music and not just forget about it. Yunno, I think we don’t know enough about our own culture in Jamaica, really. There’s so much influence and we don’t value or teach it. I was telling someone in Jamaica that its time we start teaching the history of reggae in school in Jamaica because the music is our biggest resource, our most valuable resource. So to not respect it and handle it that way is a disservice to the culture. So this is a effort that we’re putting forward, the type of concept of revering the music. Let it be something that is common knowledge in the new generation, so when you ask, Who is Dennis Brown, they will know. Who is Toots, who is Alton Ellis? Oh yeah, these guys were our founding fathers in reggae. Like George Washington? Something like that.

Q: I like that.

A: Yeh.

Q: So what else is on your plate this year?

A: We have a few projects we’re working on, we’re trying to push forward for this year a solo record by my older sister Cedella Marley, who was with us in the Melody Makers. She’ s a great singer and we want to expose her talent and her voice to the world, so were hoping to do that next. Also along the veins of what I just spoke about we’re hoping to do a projec’ that my younger brother Stephen is spearheading, that will expose the next generation of reggae artists. T’will be like reggae, the next generation; compile music of young artists that we believe will carry the music, dignified and respectfully, into the future. And for me personally yunno, I’m thinking about the next record which will probably come out in 2011. Also I have finished a script for a movie with some writers that I asked to take an idea I had and make it into a film. So we’re trying to get that done, hopefully that will come out also next year.

Q: What can you tell us about the movie idea?

A: I want to keep it for now, but it’s, it’s, it’s…nice. (laughs).