Marlon Asher, more than a ganja farmer

Marlon Asher, more than a ganja farmer

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Thursday, September 24, 2020

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THE lighters come out at dances and in the clubs when Marlon Asher's Ganja Farmer is played. Recorded in 2005, the Trinidadian singer is synonymous with that weed anthem but refuses to let it define him.

“I've been making a lot of songs and they've been doing great, so there was no pressure (duplicating the success of Ganja Farmer) because making music comes naturally to me,” the 46-year-old artiste said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.

One of Asher's latest songs is Use Me, produced by fellow Trinidadian Cliff Manswell for The Message, a seven-song EP scheduled for release on October 9 by CKM Infinity Studio.

Like most of the songs he has recorded in the last 15 years, Use Me is message-driven.

“By the grace of Jah, I am totally committed to changing the way people think about themselves and others. In life's journey, there is great inspiration in all walks of life,” Asher theorised.

From the town of Enterprise in central Trinidad, Marlon Asher (real name Marlon Sobers) grew up listening to Bob Marley, Dennis Brown and Israel Vibration, as well as calypso legends Lord Kitchener, the Mighty Sparrow and Black Stalin.

Fifteen years ago, he hit reggae charts around the world with Ganja Farmer which he said was inspired by a “weed-eating programme” in his hometown.

“I took the initiative to add some of the things that was going on to my song,” he explained. Ganja Farmer is a favourite with hardcore dancehall fans and clubbers. It helped introduce Asher to acts like Californian reggae and punk/reggae bands, Fortunate Youth and Slightly Stoopid.

2 AM Ganja Farmer, his collaboration with Slightly Stoopid, is a spin on Ganja Farmer. Marlon Asher has also worked with Sizzla and Pressure Buss Pipe.

The Message also contains songs by Anthony B, Lutan Fyah and Jamaican newcomer Trudii Harrison. A bass player who has worked with Black Uhuru, The Itals and Tanya Stephens, Manswell, who is from Santa Cruz in southern Trinidad, is based in Marysville, a city in northern California.

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