An eight-time GRAMMY winner, Emmy winner, author, philanthropist, and reggae icon, Ziggy Marley has released thirteen albums to much critical acclaim. Now with his own label, Tuff Gong Worldwide, and publishing company, Ishti Music, Marley has complete control of his master recordings and publishing. His early immersion in music came at age ten when he sat in on recording sessions with his father, Bob Marley. As front man to Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, the group released eight best-selling albums that garnered three GRAMMYs, Ziggy’s first solo album, Dragonfly (RCA Records), was released in 2003. His second solo release, Love is My Religion (Tuff Gong Worldwide), won a GRAMMYin 2006 for “Best Reggae Album.” His third solo studio album, Family Time (Tuff Gong Worldwide), scored a 5th GRAMMY award for “Best Children’s Album. Ziggy’s fifth solo studio album, Fly Rasta was released to mass critical acclaim in 2015, and earned his 7th GRAMMY for “Best Reggae Album”. 2016 marked the release of Marley’s self-titled album, which garnered his 8th GRAMMY, as well as The Ziggy Marley and Family Cookbook, via Akashic Books.
The second son of Bob and Rita Marley, eight time Grammy winning musician and producer Stephen was born on April 20, 1972; he began his career as a precocious six-year old singing, dancing and playing percussion with his siblings in the group The Melody Makers whose first single “Children Playing in The Streets” was produced by their father in 1979 and released on Tuff Gong, the label founded by Bob in the late 60s. While still a teenager he assisted in the production of The Melody Makers’ albums including their three Best Reggae Album Grammy winners “Conscious Party” (Virgin Records, 1989) “One Bright Day” (Virgin Records, 1990) and “Fallen Is Babylon” (Elektra Entertainment, 1998).
In 1993 Ziggy and Stephen founded Ghetto Youths International as a means of controlling their own music and helping upcoming artists. Stephen’s earliest solo production efforts for Ghetto Youths International includes his late grandmother’s (Cedella Booker) album “My Altar”, followed in 1995 by the Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers single “Works To Do” and younger brother Damian’s “10,000 Chariots”. In 1996 Damian released his debut album “Mr. Marley”, on the Ghetto Youths imprint, on which Stephen played several instruments and wrote most of the songs, as well as producing the album.
The first project that brought Stephen’s production capabilities widespread attention was “Chant Down Babylon”, where he audaciously manipulated his father’s original vocal outtakes from the 1970s Island Records’ sessions, splicing them into duets with hip-hop and R&B artists, while updating the Wailers’ richly textured one-drop rhythms with an assortment of samples, loops and overdubs. “Chant Down Babylon” achieved its objective of bringing Bob’s music to a new generation of fans, earned a Grammy nomination, was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America and has sold more than one million copies worldwide.
Stephen’s hip-hop infused dancehall beats were far more fluid and complex on Damian’s 2001 album “Half Way Tree” (Ghetto Youths/Motown), demonstrating Stephen’s equal dexterity in creating rugged roots reggae rhythms, which supported the well-crafted, substantial lyrics and Damian’s vocal flow. “Half Way Tree” yielded several hits in Jamaica, and internationally, including “More Justice” and “It Was Written” (featuring Capleton) and won the 2002 Grammy for Best Reggae album.
Stephen produced and contributed vocals to Damian’s single “Welcome to Jamrock”, the biggest reggae song of 2005 and still very popular today. Released in September 2005, “Welcome To Jamrock” (Tuff Gong/Ghetto Youths/Universal Republic) entered the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart at No. 7, a record setting opening week for a reggae artist; it was certified Gold and won the 2006 Reggae Album Grammy while the single was honored for the Best Alternative Hip Hop performance, another first for a Jamaican artist.
The success of “Welcome to Jamrock” increased the anticipation surrounding the release of Stephen’s first solo effort- “Mind Control” –which won a Grammy for Best Reggae Album in 2007. In 2008, Marley released a refreshing version of the hit album with an acoustic version that gained the artist another Grammy for Best Reggae Album.
In 2011 Stephen released his third solo album- “The Revelation, Pt.1: The Root of Life” that reconfirmed Stephen’s expansive capabilities as an affecting vocalist, a versatile lyricist and an accomplished instrumentalist while furthering his renown as an ingenious producer.
Stephen continued to showcase his talent for navigating between genres by effortlessly blending reggae with soul, hip hop and electronic beats on his fourth solo album; “Revelation Part II: The Fruit of Life,” released in 2016. A robust reflection of his work, the album features songs with notable artists including; Rakim, Dead Prez, Wyclef Jean, Black Thought, Shaggy, Pitbull, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and more.
For the past two years, Stephen and his team worked on the development production and promotion of the annual Kaya Fest. Now in its third year, the Kaya Fest is a music and awareness festival intended to educate the public on the many benefits of Cannabis. In 2019 the festival will expand with showcases in both Florida and Southern California.
Born in London, England on June 4, 1975, Julian Marley is the son of reggae legend Bob Marley and Barbados-born Lucy Pounder. Growing up as a youth in a musical atmosphere, the Grammy Award Nominated roots-reggae musician, singer-songwriter, producer and humanitarian quickly adopted a musical lifestyle, and at an early age and became a skillful, self-taught musician mastering the bass, drums, guitar and keyboards.
During Julian’s formative years in Jamaica, he began to study under legendary reggae veterans such as Aston “Family Man” Barrett, Carlton Barrett, Earl “Wire” Lindo, Tyrone Downie and Earl “Chinna” Smith, all of whom inspired the then fledgling song-bird. In 1996, Julian released his debut entitled, Lion in the Morning, which launched him into the public eye. The album was a conscious effort and culmination of his musical development to date and reflected Julian’s growing maturity and musical sophistication. Recorded at Tuff Gong studios in Jamaica, Lion in the Morning is Julian’s own testament that clearly reflects his roots and heritage. The record was followed by a successful International tour with The Uprising, which included performances in Jamaica, New York City, Japan, Brazil and Mexico.
In 1998, Julian contributed a vast range of musical elements to singer Lauryn Hill’s Grammy Award winning album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, including playing guitar on the single, “Forgive Them Father”. In 2003, Julian joined his siblings Stephen, Cedella, Damian, and Kymani to contribute a version of the single, ‘Master Blaster’ for Stevie Wonder’s tribute album entitled, Conception: An Interpretation of Stevie Wonder Songs. That same year, Julian also recorded his sophomore effort entitled, A Time and Place at the Lion’s Den in Miami. An organic fusion of rootical reggae and jazz, A Time and Place was produced by his brother Stephen Marley, and the album cemented Julian’s next milestone on his artistic path.
In 2005, along with the Marley family, Julian embarked on a series of ‘Africa Unite’ performances which began in Ethiopia and included Ghana in 2006 and Jamaica in 2008. At the invitation of the Jamaican government, Julian Marley and The Uprising performed during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, and celebrated along-side Jamaica’s Gold medal-winning runner, Usain Bolt.
In 2009, Julian Marley’s career rose to new heights with the success of his Grammy Award Nominated release entitled, Awake released on Ghetto Youths / Universal Music Group. The thought-provoking album was co-produced with his brothers Stephen Marley and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and recorded at the Lion’s Den in Miami and the Tuff Gong studio’s in Jamaica. Julian’s ‘Awake’ world tour with The Uprising flourished in 2009, and stemmed into a major North American, Caribbean and European run that included the Raggamuffin 2010 tour of Australia and New Zealand. In May 2010, Awake took home the award for ‘Best Album of the Year’ at the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) in New York City. Marley’s tour with The Uprising continually expanded in 2010, and performance dates found Marley circling Europe, and scheduling back to back headlining performances in the UK, Greece and South America.
Julian Marley ranks higher in the consciousness movement of music than most reggae artists recognized today. In the same tradition as his father, Julian is a devout Rastafarian whose music is inspired by life and spirituality. And while Julian has built a formidable reputation by transcending musical genres, we can be sure that all future endeavors that the music visionary embarks on will remain spiritual, moral and with a global mission. Julian notes, “I don’t plan the next step, I just continue on with Jah Works and somehow things seem to just come together naturally that way.”
Ky-Mani was born in Falmouth, Jamaica, but at the age of nine, he relocated to the inner-city of Miami. During his youth, Ky-Mani was unaware of his musical abilities, sports being his first love. With his mother’s direction, he took piano and guitar lessons and played trumpet in his high school band. In addition to tapping into his musical talents, Ky-Mani was an athlete, competing in soccer and American football. As a teenager, Ky-Mani started rapping and deejaying; his first single was “Unnecessary Badness”. He became inspired as a singer after being asked to sing a hook to a song during a recording session at a studio in Miami. Ky-Mani soon began experimenting with laying tracks, at times with his brothers, Stephen, Julian and Damian.
Ky-Mani signed to Shang Records where he recorded his debut album in 1996 titled Like Father Like Son, and several singles: “Judge Not” with Patra, followed by “Dear Dad” (which topped the British reggae charts), “Who The Cap Fit (remix)”, and “Sensimelia”, all of which added to his growing reputation as a master in the new generation of reggae musicians. In 1997, Ky-Mani joined forces with Praswell (Fugees) on a hit cover of Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue”. Marley appeared at Midem (international music showcase), when it was held in Miami for the first time. In the Cameo Theatre, Marley performed a set which was aired live by the Caribbean News Agency to 36 countries.
Marley became the subject of a bidding war. He signed with Gee Street/V2 Records in 1997 where he completed a collaboration with label mate P.M. Dawn on the single “Gotta Be Movin’ On Up”.
Marley’s next recording was the 2000 release, The Journey. In 2001, he released his third studio album Many More Roads. He then went on tour and in 2004 and released his fourth studio album, Milestone. In 2007, he released Radio.
Marley played the lead role in the number one underground movie coming out of Jamaica, Shottas, directed by Cess Silvera, co-starring Spragga Benz and Paul Campbell. He went on to play the lead, Kassa, with co-star Cherine Anderson in One Love, a romantic comedy.
DAMIAN “JR GONG” MARLEY
Damian “Jr Gong” Marley, once known as the “The Youngest Veteran” by his fellow artists, is now an elder in the game who’s not afraid to speak his mind out of respect for the music and culture he loves—and for the divine spirit of humanity in all of us. His highly-anticipated 18-track studio album, Stony Hill is set to drop on his birthday, July 21, 2017 – 11 years since his last solo album Welcome To Jamrock. The lyrically profound and largely self-produced Stony Hill maintains the element of hardness from “Jam-Rock” to “Stony,” arriving at a moment when the rhythms of the Caribbean are all over the pop charts—with mostly light-hearted lyrical content. Stony Hill’s timing couldn’t be better.
“No punk can finish where Bob Marley started…we have to stand for the integrity of the music,” Marley says of the inspiration of his album. “It’s good to get some music out there that points to the foundation, the spirituality of it,” says Jr. Gong. “You don’t have to turn into a clown to sell the music,” Damian continues, chastising those whose appeal is based on stunts and gimmicks.
The album Stony Hill takes its title from the Kingston neighborhood where Damian grew up, a relatively well-to-do residential neighborhood just a short drive away from Half Way Tree, the city crossroads that marks the dividing line between uptown and downtown. The young Gong grew up seeing every side of life. “Some people were critics of a song like Jamrock,” he admits. “They say ‘Well, you didn’t come from the ghetto.’ But it’s not about where you come from. Coming from uptown doesn’t mean you can’t care about people who don’t live where you live. Furthermore, Jamaica is so small that nowhere is far.”
“It’s definitely not just a collection of songs,” Damian says of the new album, “where like we just grab a bunch of singles and we’re finished. It’s a body of work that we focused on. But then again it wasn’t too super-premeditated either. It just so happens that this is how I’m feeling right now and what I feel like saying right now.” Though a handful of tracks date all the way back to 2008, Damian says he locked in on the album last October and has been working nonstop since then to complete the project, which ranks as his strongest album to date. So much has changed in his life and in the world since he first began.
“It’s easier to be a critic than to be a visionary,” Damian continues. “It’s easier to criticize the path that we’re on, and much harder to try to carve out a new path to follow. When it come to conscious reggae music, a lot of the songs that you listen to tell you to Bash Babylon! But not a lot of them tell you what to do after you’re finished bashing Babylon. Bashing Babylon—how would I say now?—that don’t make you successful. Where to go after there?”
Jr Gong, the youngest son of Reggae legend Bob Marley, garnered his own place in music history when he became the first ever Reggae artist to win a GRAMMY outside of the “Reggae” category, taking home an award for “Best Urban/Alternative” performance for his title single, “Welcome To Jamrock”. The acclaimed 2005 breakthrough album Welcome To Jamrock, also won a GRAMMY for “Best Reggae” Album. Marley has been shaking up stages all over the world for the past few years, first in collaboration with Nas on their Distant Relatives project, and then when he went on to partner with Skrillex for their groundbreaking track “Make It Bun Dem,” which Rolling Stone called “a monster mash up of dubstep and dancehall.” Damian recently toured for the first time ever in Africa – making stops in Kenya, Durban, Johannesburg and Ethiopia; in addition to his European tour, visiting over 10 countries. This fall, he will hit the road again in the US in support of his new album. For tour dates and more information visit www.damianmarleymusic.com
New videos recently released from the upcoming album Stony Hill:
Watch “Medication” ft Stephen Marley
Watch “Nail Pon Cross”
For tour dates and more information visit www.damianmarleymusic.com
VEVO Tidal: http://tidal.com/us/damianmarley