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Ziggy Marley gets candid on his father's legacy in Africa and the use of holograms

2020-03-04 12:59
 
Ziggy Marley


David Nesta 'Ziggy' Marley was born on 17 October 1968 in Kingston, Jamaica. He's the son of reggae icon Bob Marley and Rita Marley.

The musician is the leader of the band Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers and spends a considerable amount of time doing philanthropic work throughout the world.

He founded Unlimited Resources Giving Enlightenment (URGE), which works to help children (especially in Jamaica and Ethiopia) and in 2007, he signed on as an official supporter of Little Kids Rock, a non-profit organisation that provides free musical instruments and free lessons to children in public schools throughout America.

For his most recent project, the 51-year-old is remembering his famous father in the year that would have marked his seventy-fifth birth.

Bob died when he was 36 years old of skin cancer (melanoma). To embark on this project Ziggy is on a journey with other members of the large family, including his brother Stephen, to release new content centred on Bob.

Channel24's Alex Isaacs spoke to Ziggy, on a crackling line on the other side of the world in New York while they sat in Cape Town.

In the candid chat Ziggy talks about his father' legacy in Africa, his own time in South Africa and the growing use of holograms in the music industry.

CHECK OUT CHANNEL24'S INTERVIEW WITH ZIGGY MARLEY HERE:

Musician Ziggy Marley

(LOOKING BACK: Musician Ziggy Marley, son of Bob Marley attends The Grammy Museum Debut Of The New Exhibit Bob Marley, Messenger Celebrating the life and Music of Bob Marley at The GRAMMY Museum on 11 May, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Beck Starr/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

About him and the rest of the family's plan to remember Bob, Ziggy said: "As a form of celebration, we're going to be doing some shows, me and Stephen together. We're going to be singing our father's songs. In terms of new music, we released a version of Redemption Song recently. As we go along this year, we will be putting more content out there. To give people the chance to learn more and more about Bob. We, as a family, are working together to express our gratitude to the fans of Bob."

WATCH THE NEW MUSIC VIDEO FOR REDEMPTION SONG THAT THE MARLEY FAMILY RELEASED TO MARK BOB'S BIRTHDAY:


Ziggy added adamantly about his aim for this year: "The most important thing is to put him out there more, especially with the books and the interview series on YouTube. In the series, I interview people who knew Bob, people who don't regularly get interviewed. I wanted to do interviews in a different way because I feel like doing this will help to continue exposing who Bob was as a person to the public. That was one of the things we really wanted to do. To expose him more as a human being to his fans."

WATCH THE FIRST EPISODE OF BOB MARLEY – LEGACY: 75 YEARS A LEGEND HERE:


Bob's ties to Africa were famously strong, and he travelled to Africa many times. The reggae icon also famously wrote the song, Africa Unite.

The song included the lyrics: "How good and how pleasant it would be/Before God and man, yeah/To see the unification of all Africans, yeah."

LISTEN TO AFRICA UNITE HERE:


In a fantastic overview of Bob's connection to Africa, Okay Africa writes: "Throughout his years, the reggae legend wrote numerous songs against European imperialism and spoke out in support of the movement for Zimbabwean independence and against South African apartheid."

The One Love singer also famously performed at Zimbabwe's Independence Day celebration in April 1980.

WATCH THAT PERFORMANCE HERE:


About these ties to the continent, Ziggy said: "I've been to a bunch of different countries within Africa - Ethiopia, South Africa, Senegal – and wherever I've been; the main thing people tell me is that his music was the soundtrack to when they were fighting for freedom. Or when they were fighting against apartheid in South Africa. "

He went on to list another example: "When they were fighting to liberate Ethiopia from communists [they were listening to my father's music]."

He added: "My father's music played a big role through various struggles for the people in Africa. That is his legacy, that is his connection with Africa. Bob felt as an African, that's the first thing he thought of himself as. A man from Africa, with African roots. He's a part of the people, a part of the struggles, a part of the victories. Through the inspiration of his music. That's a legacy right there!"

Ziggy Marley

(PORTRAIT: Ziggy has been to South Africa, as well as other African states and can't wait to come back. Photo: Getty Images)

As mentioned earlier in our conversation, Ziggy has been to various African countries with his brothers. He reflected on his fondest memories of being in Southern Africa, saying: "When I first came to South Africa, I was on my way to Namibia and we stopped off in South Africa. It was during the time of The World Cup (2010)."

When he reflected on his biggest takeaway from that trip, Ziggy said: "I remember before we came to South Africa, you know people were like 'be careful', they were trying to scare us. But when I was there, I saw a lot of loving people. The youths were very loving. It was very beautiful. I love South Africa; I love coming there, so hopefully, I will come back soon and spend some more time. Africa is our home, you know."

HERE'S ZIGGY PERFORMING REDEMPTION SONG WITH LAURYN HILL ON STAGE:


In recent times there has been boom in touring holograms of long-gone music icons. From Roy Orbison to Buddy Holly to Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse and more.

When I ask Ziggy about this, he takes a moment to pause and then starts off slowly saying: "Everyone can be remembered in a different way. If they put holograms, that's a choice, but I'm not a hologram guy. They're trying to take you through time, but you can't travel time."

He adds, with a certainty, tinged with personal experience: "The best way to remember an icon is to play their music. They should be remembered through their music. It has really nothing to do with looking at the person. Whether it be a hologram or whatever; music carries the spirit of the individual. If you can see them through the music, then you don't need a hologram. That is what music is, is it about feeling it's not about seeing. You know, seeing is not music. Music is a hearing thing too, seeing is not a part of that."

Bob Marley performing on stage

(AN ICON: Bob Marley would have been 75 this year. Photo: Getty Images)
Read more on:    bob marley  |  ziggy marley  |  music

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