Skip Marley not chained to traditional reggae

February 27, 2018
Skip Marley
Skip Marley

Skip Marley, a third generation Marley and the 21-year-old grandson of reggae icon Bob Marley, is not necessarily chained to the rhythm of the genre.

Some of Skip Marley's music, like Calm Down, released in May of last year, has been defined as reggae-pop based on the combination of his lyric style (that is reggae), electronic synths and heavy bass that creates a modern twist to vintage pop. Another track that may have introduced the Florida-raised Marley to a whole new fan base is his feature on pop superstar Katy Perry's chart-topping track, Chained to the Rhythm.

Lately, similar music produced by non-Jamaicans have been accused of stealing the style of reggae. But according to Skip Marley, reggae music and the culture of the music can never be stolen.

In an interview with THE STAR at Tuff Gong International in Kingston last Friday, Skip Marley said: "Reggae is whatever reggae is. You can have reggae fusions reggae this and reggae that but it is not losing anything really, it is growing."

The assumption that Bob Marley is his number one influence in music is true, but Skip Marley said that many other recording artistes and musicians have impacted his music. He lists American rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix, Nas, Mos Def and John Mayer and Jamaican roots reggae singer and musician Burning Spear, as well as his own family members, as his major influences.


"I like conscious music and love when music can be conscious but people can be attracted to it at the same time," Skip Marley said.

He continued: "Right now, I am listening to Kendrick Lamar, Chronixx, and my uncles, not to mention a lot of my own productions because I am working on a lot of my own music."

Skip Marley's debut album is expected to come together by summer, and as he sings in Chained to the Rhythm it is truly his desire for it to "break down the walls to connect, inspire."

In addition, the young Marley will be performing at the Coachella Valley Art and Music Festival in April. He said that it will be his first time overall at Coachella, but as the only Jamaica-born reggae artiste on the line-up, he plans to add to the entertainment package and reggae music.

"It is different, but it is the same. Remember, it is about the messages through different sounds. [My music] is unique in its own way, so I look forward to spreading what I have to offer, not only to the continuation of my grandfather, but what I have to offer."

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