Julian Marley upbeat about new set

RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter

Friday, December 07, 2018

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On Monday night, the upper deck of the cruise liner Independence of the Seas rocked to the music of the sons of reggae superstar Bob Marley.

Siblings Ziggy, Stephen, Ky-Mani and Damian were joined by Julian, Bob Marley's ninth child and fifth son. The Britain-born Julian is currently deep into preparations for the release of his fourth studio album.

“It's called As I Am and it's coming out this January. It's upful, it's an upbeat album Every song is different. Hip hop feel, roots feel, and we have some funk, a little dancehall and we have couple features, Beenie Man, Spragga Benz and more. We did two videos, including Hey Jack which is coming up soon, it's a new single and I'm excited about that one. Cool In Jamaica will be another one coming up soon. So all the tracks are exciting,” the 42-year-old told the Jamaica Observer following the performance with his brothers.

This album comes 10 years after the the release of his last project, the Grammy-nominated Awake released in 2009. Marley said the new project represents more of what and who he is today.

“It's a new day; a new age. Basically, everything is just brand new. Brand new sound; just true inspiration day by day. For me, more upbeat, more tempo, and you have to listen it to feel it. It's called As I Am, which is saying that each song represents something with me. Each song is different which shows my love for different genres of music and different sounds.”

Speaking of the performance on board the vessel. Marley agreed that it was something special for the siblings and explained a bit of the process involved in putting it together.

“It was electrifying for me; easygoing and relaxing too because I've got my brothers singing so you get more time fi dance, more time fi rock and come een, so it was nice. It's always fun with our brothers and a powerful thing too. We rehearse a few things but most of it is feeling. We all know the songs so it's like 'you... you sing then me sing next' and so it depends on the flow so it's a natural flow.”

This Marley sibling also weighed in on last Thursday's announcement that UNESCO had granted reggae a coveted spot on the United Nations' list of global cultural treasures.

“That is a reality that we know that we should respect our heritage. Sometimes we are home and we don't respect our own and the whole world respects it. So we give thanks for the appreciation and for showing that reggae music is still the people's music right around the globe.”

Marley had to cut the cruise short, leaving the vessel immediately following the performance on Monday night in order to meet contractual performance obligations in Mexico, where he is set to perform with the Uprising Band this weekend. Once that is out the way, it's straight into promotions for the album, getting all the singles and videos out and starting a tour of the United States in February.

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