Words by Jesse Serwer
Right now reggae is witnessing a change of the guards. A torch is being based between generations, and many of the new artists who are carrying it are following in the footsteps of their own parents. Of the key players in the s0-called reggae revival, many, such as Chronixx (Chronicle), Protoje (Lorna Bennett) and Addis Pablo (Augustus Pablo), have parents with noted reggae careers. And there’s a new generation of Marleys establishing themselves, with the grandchildren of Bob and Rita Marley, such as Daniel Bambaata Marley (eldest son of Ziggy) and Jo Mersa, Stephen’s oldest son, embarking on carers.
The change is also occurring behind the scenes. Daniel Bambaata Marley’s “Maintain” is a collaboration with producer Giark, the son of Bobby “Digital” Dixon. It is Giark who is now carrying the name Digital B (the record label behind such landmark recordings as Shabba Ranks’ “Dem Bow”) forward with releases such as the Islababad riddim, a 2013 release which spawned Chronixx’s “Iyah Walk.” “Maintain’ epitomizes the notion of next-generation reggae, providing an introduction to the next wave of Marley music, as well as the new direction for one of dancehall’s most noted labels. It’s got at a different sound than you might expect yet one that makes perfect sense, with urgent, passionate vocals over a melodic, roots riddim.