Reggae legend Ziggy Marley in The 570
Marley performs at Mt. Laurel, June 15
Five-time Grammy winner, singer, songwriter and Reggae icon Ziggy Marley has so many ideas bouncing around his head, he plans on sitting down after his long summer tour and letting them all out. The son of the legendary Bob Marley will perform June 15, at the Mt. Laurel Pocono Mountains Performing Arts Center in Tamiment. As frontman of The Melody Makers, the group released eight albums before Ziggy went on to release several solo records. Marley not only racked up awards in the world of reggae music, but has also released a children’s album (Family Time), founded an international children’s charity (URGE), and has created his own comic book series (Marijuanaman), which was released by Image Comics in 2011. We spoke with Marley about creating music with a meaning, carrying the family torch and his wild imagination.
You’ll be touring from June all the way to September. What are you looking forward to most this summer?
I’m looking forward to having a very special time. Not just another concert. Not just another tour, but an experience that we will remember for the rest of our lives.
Will you be mostly playing songs from your catalogue as well as featuring some of your fathers work on the tour?
I’ll do some of my father’s work. I never ever do a show without his songs. His songs are a part of me.
How does it make you feel to know that you and your brothers and sisters are carrying on the Marley legacy?
There’s a lot of us in this world, beyond the Marley’s name, carrying on the legacy of speaking to the people. Trying to change something within people. This is the family that we speak about. The wider family. The spiritual family more than the physical family. We are happy to be a part of that workforce. We are trying to do something positive in this world and try to tell the truth to the people.
So not only is your physical family large, but your spiritual family is massive as well.
Yeah man. There are a lot of us. There are a lot of us who seek enlightenment, who seek love, who seek truth, who want to share love with the world. There are plenty of us out there.
With all of your accomplishments and awards, how does it feel to look back at your career knowing that you are still going strong, still making people happy and spreading love?
I feel blessed and happy that the people still are willing to come and see us and hear us play this music. It’s a privilege. This is our work. This is our job. Not in the sense of business, but in the sense of we get inspiration to write songs and songs of meaning. We are happy we are still part of this journey
What are your plans for the future?
Make some more music. I want to try expanding beyond music and get into some other things. Some other crazy idea inside of my head that I might indulge in when I get off of this tour. I like to jump into different things. I have so many things in my head going on.
You’ve done an extensive amount of work with children. How important is it to you to keep investing in future generations?
Yeah. I think it’s important. I want to do something and I want to get through to that world. Everything is so commercial in music and TV. There are a lot of things that get missed. How much are we missing? I think we are missing quite a few things and I want to fill that space.
Talk about the comic book you conceived.
Marijuanaman is something that I’m trying. I love comics. I have a strong imagination from the time I was a very small child. I spent times just in my own world and imagination in the bush with the animals and the ocean. I spend a lot of time by myself. My mind is what engages. This comic book is something I’ve been interested in doing. Then the whole issue of hemp and marijuana was on my mind because I believe that the plant is a hero, not a villain. I believe it’s portrayed in such a whimsical, stereotypical, hypocritical way. I felt like I wanted to say something and I wanted to put something in this light and use this medium. I want to entertain, but I also want to message with it. The message is that the plant is a superhero for this planet. Again, the ideas are just rolling in my head and I’m just waiting for time. Just waiting to get off the road and jump into some other thing.
So not only is your last record titled Wild and Free, it’s the way your mind functions as well.
Yeah I guess so. If you think about in that terms. Yeah. That’s true.
— tom graham
Ziggy Marley is set to perform at the Mt. Laurel Pocono Mountains Performing Arts Center in Tamiment on June 15. Opening act Headshine kicks off the show at 7 p.m. with Ziggy Marley to follow at 8:15 p.m. Music on the festival stage starts at 6 p.m.. Tickets are $42.50-$72.50 and can be purchased by calling 588-2522 and 588-2520 or by visiting www.mountlaurelpac.com. For more information, visit www.ziggymarley.com and www.marjuanamancomic.com.