Ziggy Marley is a four-time Grammy Award-winning musician, philanthropist, and founder of the independent record label, Tuff Gong Worldwide. Known for his international work with children, Ziggy is the founder of U.R.G.E. (Unlimited Resources Giving Enlightenment), a designer for the Fashion Against AIDS Campaign and a supporter of Little Kids Rock. When not on tour, he divides his time between California, the Bahamas and Jamaica.
Question: Are you a political musician?
Ziggy Marley: Not anymore, I used to. It used to be a part of me but now, I'm a spiritual musician, I think there has been enough political musicians and I think everything that can be said has been said about political, social things, you know, and there's still some more to be said but not much. A few years ago, I decided to change direction, I was inspired to change directions just by searching and reading and trying to understand what's my purpose here on earth in this music business. I decided to focus more on the spiritual side of our lives in music so that's why the last record, it was "Love is my Religion." I think... I think if I'm serious about affecting people with music, I have to affect people on a human to human level, not on a grand social idea or political idea, it has to be a human being idea so it has to be what's inside a human being. Each of us has some change within us, we cannot change the political or the social system of the world unless we change inside of us as individuals and that's the direction I am in now which I call spiritual, you know?
Question: Is Rastafarianism your religion?
Ziggy Marley: Love is my religion, that's... you know, that's after years of research, you know what I'm saying? Years of research and years of thinking and actually, that song and that idea just came within a flash of a second. It was a conversation, you know, I had a lady working for me in my house and I was like, "What type of religion are you?" and she said she was Catholic and then she asked me the same question and I go, "I'm not Catholic, I'm not Orthodox..." and I wouldn't even say Rastafarian, that still divides people, I don't want to divide people so anything that I say is something that must be so big and great that it did encompass everyone and it's love. So that's why I put it and I think that that's the ultimate concept or idea that we can have in terms of what we think God is about, you know, our... whichever name you want to call it, you know, these other things like these are the... Judaism, Christianity, Islam, all of these are branches, the root is love and that's where I went. I went straight to the root, I forgot the branches and I went straight to the root so that is how I see it, that is after I said of research and study and going through different phases of mental evolution, mental and consciousness evolution, not just believing in a book, believing in a certain idea, being willing to think for yourself and formulate your own ideas, not... you know? The other stuffs are good fundamentals but it's not... we still have to evolve, that's how we're created, we're created to evolve so you can believe in that the answer is in this book or in this one idea that the masses most believe in, each individual must evolve themselves, spiritually and consciously.
Question: How important was Rastafarianism in the Marley family?
Ziggy Marley: Very serious, I mean, you know, we... I grew up in it. My father and mother, I grew up in a... we moved around a lot but I went to schools that were just for Rastafarian kids, you know? I grew up in communities that was just Rastafarian and I went to ceremonies and stuff like that and my father... I learned from my father and that's where it all begun but I must say that what I am saying is not... is not to put down other misconcepts, of what... whether it be... what do you call it Rastafarian, Judaism or Christianity, whatever. What I'm saying is to complete it, to complete the concepts, those concepts are unfinished, love is a completion of the concept and that's what I'm saying as to not put them down but to complete them, to fulfill them and make them grow into this love which is a real... which is the truth, you know, we grew up pretty thick in our culture.
Question: Why does religion continue to divide us?
Ziggy Marley: Yeah, things like lack of leadership and a lack of the willingness to evolve, they're so used to keeping people within the constraints of the idea that has been the same idea for a thousand years. They believe that there's no room for change, there's no room to grow and if we're talking about this idea of God which is the infinite then there's no way that there's no room to grow because infinity is endless. So there must be more room to understand more and to evolve the way we think about this idea. So that's... it's a lack of leadership in this world of religion and in this world of idea of God, where it is very stagnant. And it can't be that way. We're... You know, it's so well-made in the image of God and one must be able to evolve and grow. But, you know, I don't want to get to much into...
Recorded on: May 7, 2009