Ziggy Marley Reflects on Reggae

Question: How is reggae evolving?

Ziggy Marley: Well, I think... I think, just as we speak of roots, I think the basic foundation of it will always be there, which is what I do, you know. Everything I do, it is... the foundation is reggae. But as a free thinker and as an artist, I must not be constrained to anyone's idea of what reggae is because as an artist, I keep the right to make the music, not to... not to fit, what I call, the status quo of what it should be but the right to do what I want to do with the music. And if you... You know, guys... people... they're listening want to call it a reggae or not, that's their problem. I call it reggae because I made it and I know what's... I know what's underneath it, you know I'm saying?

So the progression of reggae will be something that will remain in the individual's... the individual artist's hand. I don't see it been... I don't want to see the foundation of it changing. That cannot change. And I don't see it ever being a move where the whole... the whole music change and everybody doing this, this is reggae now and that's what everybody is doing. That's not going to help. Again, the foundation has already been set. All we can to know is put in our individual creativity over that. And that's... that's going to be up to each individual.  You know, then we can talk more... "Ziggy, what you're doing with the reggae and..." "I did some African things and I'm doing this and that's my reggae." "Hey, mister, whatever, what are you doing with reggae?" "I'm doing this. This is my reggae."  You know, that's what it's going to be. You know I'm saying? But it will be... Reggae music will be significant as long as it keeps its soul, which is what I call roots. That's very important. A lot of things happening now in the music industry has no soul. It has good beats and it has a lot of excitement but it has no soul. And it cannot live without soul. You need a soul to live. And so, I think, that's part of my job, to keep the soul but not to be stagnant. As long as the soul is there, I can be creative and I can be free enough to do other things on that road, on that foundation. You know I mean? 

Question: Who are you listening to now?

Ziggy Marley: What have I been listening?  I haven't been listening to anything much lately but I have some few that's been a... has been my favorite for awhile, you know, and friends of mine too, you know. Ben, Oprah, Michael Franti and I like Beyonce's last... which was what "Put A Ring On It" I like that.  I like... That's a good message for the women, for the girls, you know. That's the type of stuff I would like to hear more from that side of the music world, something that mean something more than the entertainment but giving the kids a good message, you know, for the younger... the women and that... you know, marriage and, you know, being respected in things that is very important. So I like that. And every now and then there is one song that I like, you know, from the artist but I listen to African music, you know. And I still listen to my father. I love my father's music, you know. 

Recorded on: May 7, 2009

 

 

Reggae offers a firm foundation in roots.

Related Articles

Why Japan's hikikomori isolate themselves from others for years

These modern-day hermits can sometimes spend decades without ever leaving their apartments.

700,000 Japanese people are thought to be hikikomori, modern-day hermits who never leave their apartments (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images).
Mind & Brain
  • A hikikomori is a type of person in Japan who locks themselves away in their bedrooms, sometimes for years.
  • This is a relatively new phenomenon in Japan, likely due to rigid social customs and high expectations for academic and business success.
  • Many believe hikikomori to be a result of how Japan interprets and handles mental health issues.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists discover what caused the worst mass extinction ever

How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.

Credit: Ron Miller
Surprising Science

While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.

Keep reading Show less

Why we're so self-critical of ourselves after meeting someone new

A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.

New acquaintances probably like you more than you think. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)
Surprising Science

We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.

Keep reading Show less