Sat | Sep 22, 2018

Stephen Marley talks US Tour and Marley reunion

Published:Thursday | August 23, 2018 | 12:00 AMKimberely Small/ Gleaner Writer
Stephen Marley performing on stage with brothers Julian (centre) and Damian.
Stephen Marley
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Stephen 'Ragga' Marley is in the midst of his penultimate US tour across the middle of the country, and the Grammy-winning artiste is prepping for another round of touring on the east coast. As busy as touring gets, Stephen still manages to get work done - writing more songs.

With the other Marley brothers (Ziggy, Julian, Ky-Mani, Damian) having equally busy schedules, it makes it difficult for them to get together. But with the establishment of Kaya Festival, Stephen may have fortuitously come up with a solution.

"Adult life kinda carry you on it own little journey sometimes," Stephen told The Gleaner, explaining the difficulty of them getting together.

But whenever they do, Stephen says the energy is full of joy.

"Bare smiling and laughing and joking. All a we just a laugh. It's a wonderful vibes. We're close - especially from The Gong passed. As Gong's sons, we always uphold the brotherhood in that sense." According to Stephen, Kaya Festival has the potential to become a space in which they create a reunion tradition. "It's nice to reconnect, especially on stage. Hopefully, that will be 'the' concert each year," he said.

The festival, whose goal is to educate, inspire and encourage positive public awareness of the vast medical and industrial potential of cannabis, was held in April in California, and all five Marley boys converged on the stage of the second annual staging, presented by Stephen's Fruit of Life Productions.

 

Marley, The Next Generation

 

Until the next staging, Stephen will be kept busy on his tour making stops in Idaho, Utah, Colorado, California, New Mexico, and Arizona. October and November will find him back on the east coast at the helm of an acoustic tour. "Mi a look forward fi go inna the studio later on, knock out some ting weh inside ah me. You have a whole heap of long drive, and I personally always have a little studio on the road," Stephen revealed.

As the third Marley generation begins to emerge, some of them, including Skip and Jo-Mersa, (Stephen's son) are becoming full-fledged musicians. But Stephen says that though his mentorship in the music industry began at an early age, he did not deliberately influence his children to enter the fraternity.

 

International Opportunities

 

"For myself, as a parent, education comes first. It is important for all of the youth dem to get educated as best as they can. Music wasn't anything that I was pushing on any of my kids dem. At the same time, naturally, you support the youth dem passion. Mi support them 100 per cent."

But as it pertains to his music, the second-eldest Marley son is very selective of his collaborations in his own career. Despite the success of his current hit - Options with Pitbull Ragga is not preoccupied with nailing down any more collaborations. Rather, he is patient for the moment he 'catches a vibe'. "Tell yuh truth, a nuh like mi think 'bout it. It just come to me - the opportunity come. When me listen to di ting, mi like di vibe and do my part. Is not something weh me think about in that sense," he told The Gleaner.

"Opportunities arise. Some of them we take, and some of them we don't take. There are a lot of opportunities weh come, and it nuh fit."