Thu | Dec 5, 2019

Children follow in dad's musical footsteps

Published:Sunday | June 19, 2016 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle
Musician and educator Ibo Cooper
DJ Arif Cooper
From left: Ky-Mani, Damian and Julian Marley onstage at the Bob Marley 70th Redemption Live Concert at the Waterfront, downtown Kingston.

When it comes to celebrating Father's Day and highlighting the tremendous work that fathers do, the fanfare and the elaborate celebrations are scaled down dramatically. It is a common belief worldwide that most fathers don't pull their weight, and as such, they are often forgotten when their special day rolls around. Today, as the world celebrates Father's Day, The Sunday Gleaner salutes fathers in the entertainment industry whose lives were such an example to their children that they decided to follow in their father's footsteps and cement their own place in the music industry.

The late Bob Marley, Jimmy Riley, Garnett Silk, and Peter Tosh are just a few of the musical legends whose children have opted to follow them into music. All of them are now deceased, but their memories and musical legacies live on through their children, who have sought to continue the musical journey.

Almost all of Marley's children have gone on to become individual artistes, from Ziggy to Cedella to Junior Gong. Many of them have credited their success to the foundation set by the Gong himself, as they say, had it not been for him, they wouldn't have been where they are today.

Some of their own children - the grandchildren of the reggae legend - have also opted to trod the musical path, saying that music is part of their DNA and just could not be avoided.




Jimmy Riley passed away in March, and at his funeral service, it was clear that his spirit and his music were still very much alive through his son, Tarrus Riley. Tarrus, who is an entertainer himself, paid tribute to his father, describing the type of relationship he had with him. He said his father always encouraged his musical career and often took him to the studios to learn more about the business.

Minister of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sports Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, also spoke at the farewell service and shared similar sentiments. In her message, the minister spoke highly of Riley, whom she described as more than the ordinary musician, stating that his work would transcend time because of his son's own involvement in the industry.

"Nothing gave Jimmy more joy than to see his son, Omar Tarrus Riley, follow in his footsteps. It's no secret the influence Jimmy had on the career of Tarrus, and Jimmy will not only live through his own creativity, but through that of his son as well," Grange said.

In an interview with The Sunday Gleaner, Garnett Silk Jr, also know as JahLij, revealed that his father's music not only helped him to grow musically, but also mentally.

"At an early stage, I didn't gravitate towards my father's music as much as I do now," he said. "Music for me is an inborn talent, but as I grew older his (Garnett Silk's) music started to inspire me more and more both musically and personally. It had a lot to do with my mental growth."

Silk Jr also said that had his father been alive today, he would have been very proud to see him walk a similar career path.

"I think he would be very happy, and I would be very happy to learn as much as he can teach. I'm certain he'd be as supportive as my mother is now," he said, revealing that for this Father's Day, the family would be remembering the great Garnett Silk by sitting at home watching home videos of the late icon.

"I celebrate my father's legacy every day. He still lives spiritually (let Reuben live and never die). On Father's Day, like any other day, we will play home videos of him as a family."

Cat Coore of reggae band Third World told The Sunday Gleaner that it gives him great joy to know that his two sons, Shiah and Steve, followed him into music and are now two great musicians themselves.

"It's an absolute joy for me to know that my two sons are musicians," he said. "One plays with Chronixx and the other with Damian Marley, and it's absolutely fabulous to know that they have followed in my footsteps. My two sons were encouraged to go into music by the fact that their dad was a high-profile person in Third World, so that was their encouragement growing up. Coming to concerts with us and learning the music business was a part of their lives, and they had a love for music, so I just encouraged them. I know they are dedicated, hard workers and I'm extremely proud of them, and I wish them all that is good in life."




Coore also took the time to not only congratulate the fathers in the music fraternity for the outstanding work they have done with their children, but to all fathers globally, who have been a positive influence on their children.

"To all the fathers out there, one love, one heart. Love your kids, continue to take care of them, and just celebrate the life of your children."

Freddie McGregor (father of Stephen Di Genius and Chino McGregor), Gramps Morgan (father of Jemere Morgan), Ibo Cooper (father of DJ Arif Cooper), Sugar Minott (father of recording artiste Pashon Minott), Beres Hammond (father of popular female producer the Wizard and DJ Inferno) are among the many fathers whose children have followed them into the music industry in some way or the other. They all admit to being influenced by the work of their fathers and have credited some of their success to the knowledge they've acquired from these great men at some point.