Ziggy plays for the children

Ziggy plays for the children

Observer senior reporter

Sunday, October 25, 2020

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For international reggae artiste Ziggy Marley, not enough attention is being paid to the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of the younger members of society.

The eldest son of reggae legend Bob Marley noted that the lion's share of the attention is being paid to the effect of the pandemic on adults and the economy, but the children are being left out of the equation and they are suffering just like everything and everyone else.

He explained that this was his reasoning behind the release of his second children's album titled More Family Time.

“There are so many things happening in the world right now that provides great topics for me to write music. There is COVID. Then in America we have the whole political climate and the Black Lives Matter Movement. I really had no intention of doing another children's album, but I was inspired by my four- year-old son Isaiah to write the track Goo goo gag a and that just opened my mind and started me thinking. What's happening to these kids at this time? They must be going through a lot with lockdown and quarantine and being away from their friends and family… nobody's is really thinking about that,” he told the Jamaica Observer during a telephone interview from his base is California.

With one track down Marley got to writing and called in a favour from some of his friends and family including Ben Harper, Sheryl Crow, Lisa Loeb, Tom Morello, Busta Rhymes, Angelique Kidjo, Alanis Morissette, Stephen Marley, and Jamie Lee Curtis reading her new book. His children Judah, Gideon, Abraham and Isaiah also made special appearances, along with his puppy Romeo.

The result is 10 tracks. What he called great duets aimed at relieving stress, and supporting the lives of the younger ones in the family.

“The big difference with writing for this project is that I had to open myself and my imagination. As you know children's imagination is boundless. So I had to create a space where there were no limits and just have crazy fun. It was such a freeing experience,” Marley shared.

In addition to the entertainment value, Marley wanted to also include teachable moments on More Family Time. For this, he reflected on his own upbringing, the influence of his famous parents as well as the 'village' which helped to make him who he is.

“There had to be lessons, while having fun. I wanted to teach life principles. Things like please, excuse me and thank you… what I call the magic words had to be included. So I just thought of dem time deh, when we growing up in Jamaica and our mother would leave us with her aunt and you hear 'manners will tek you through this worl'. I just had to share some of that with this generation.”

A portion of proceeds from the album will benefit Ziggy's charity URGE, which supports the education, social development and overall well-being of the Chepstow Primary School and the One Love Youth Camp, here in Jamaica.

Never one to only rest on his laurels, Marley is currently working on two more children's books . The first will be released in early 2021 and is the story of the John Crow, the popular name for the Jamaican vulture. He, along with his brothers Stephen, Julian, Ky-Mani and Damian are in the final stages of preparing to release the remix of their father's track Head Cornerstone. This song is part of the tribute to their father's 75th birthday which is being observed this year.

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