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Stabroek News

Bunny's daughter and her Wailer genes
published: Sunday | February 10, 2008

Adrian Frater, News Editor

Ngeri Livingstone, daughter of Bunny Wailer, performs at the 16th Bob Marley Bash in Negril recently. - Photo by Adrian Frater

Western Bureau:

With several Grammy-winning efforts under their belts, Junior Gong, Ziggy and Kymani, the sons of reggae's king and original 'Wailer', Bob Marley, are all household names in reggae music.

So is Andrew Tosh, the singing son of the musically astute and revolutionary Peter Tosh, another foundation member of the original Wailers, reggae's first super-star outfit.

However, while Bob Marley's children, (some of whom started out as the Melody Makers on his instruction) and Peter Tosh's son, Andrew, have been out and about making their names, nothing has been heard of the children of Bunny Wailer, the third and sole surviving member of the original Wailers cast.

Bunny's secret

It was, therefore, a major surprise to patrons, who turned out for the '16th Bob Marley Bash' at MXIII, in Negril, on Ash Wednesday, when they discovered what must have one of reggae's best-kept secrets: Bunny Wailer has a singing daughter, who is now on a musical mission to exploit the Wailers genes she inherited.

The singer in question is the attractive Atlanta-based singer, Ngeri Livingston, who sings under the moniker Sensi Love and has been singing professionally, especially in the United States, for the past three years.

"I started singing professionally about three years ago, but it has been mostly in the United States, especially in California and Atlanta, where I am based," said Ms Livingstone. "I have now launched my recording career ... in fact, I have just released a single entitled, A Little More Time.

While Ms Livingston's presence on stage took the Negril audience by surprise, she was quick to point out that the 'Bob Marley Bash' was her second major performance in Jamaica as she had previously performed on Ritchie's Spice's 'All Spice Showcase.'

"My singing was a secret even to my father," said the smiling singer. "But now that my dad knows I am a singer, he is very supportive of my career."

Being the daughter of a legend is not intimidating to Ms Livingston, who is no to the family's Revolutionary Entertainment label and is managed by her cousin, Dennis Livingstone - Bunny's nephew.

"I don't feel pressured in any way to succeed and for me, it is all about doing my own thing," the articulate singer said. "I just want to be the best that I can be."

Although her father is a gifted and prolific songwriter and has, arguably, the largest personal catalogue in reggae music, the petite Ms Livingston was embarrassed to admit that she is yet to record a song penned by her famous father.

"I know that will come in time because he is currently offering me all the help and guidance I need at this time," said Ms Livingstone. "While I am a songwriter myself, I know it will only be a matter of time before I sing one of his compositions."

Another generation

"I currently write all my songs, so think I have got the singer/songwriter genes from daddy; my songs are really his songs too," she said philosophically. "I am another generation of Wailers."

While Ms Livingstone is based in the United States, in the same manner as the original Wailers, she is ready to take her brand of reggae to all the corners of the Earth because according to her, in addition to her talent, she knows she will have the full backing of her father.

Although she is currently the only one in Bunny Wailers' immediate family who is following his footsteps into the world of reggae music, it would appear that other siblings might be in the wings waiting for their opportunity to come forward.

"Let us say I am the first one out of the blocks," said Ms. Livingston. "We are a musically talented family, so I believe others will come forward in their own time."

In addition to her desire to become a successful artiste, Ms Livingston said she is fully cognisant of the important musical tradition she is walking into and the importance of honouring the legacy of her father and his Wailers brothers Bob and Peter in her own music.

"I am a chip off the 'Wailers' block so my music must reflect and honour the foundation that I have emerged from," said Ms Livingstone. "I want the world to know that my plan is to be here, there and everywhere like the wind, spreading the music."

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