Stephen Marley lauds young Jamaican talent, defends father’s brand

by Jodee Brown

Internationally-acclaimed Reggae superstar, Stephen Marley doesn’t see a bright outlook for the local music industry. But the prominent singer believes said industry has great talent that he’d like to collaborate with.

Marley recently gave an interview on TVJ’s Entertainment Report where he talked about his recent Grammy Awards victory for Best Reggae Album as well as the state of the local music scene. While downplaying his Grammy victory, Marley intimated that the industry’s been negatively affected by the slew of bad news that’s surfaced in recent times.

In part two of his Entertainment Report interview, Marley repeated his sentiment; blaming promotional direction, or lack thereof, for offering repetitive musical messages to the masses.

“Is what is being pushed and promoted to the people and if the people dem hear dese ting every day and this becomes the fashion and the fad, then naturally yuh a go tek to it,” he said.

We just pointing out to our peers and to the others that have this great responsibility that we see wah gwaan inna our country…we nuh have nutten good fi report.”

Despite the local music industry’s perceived decline, Marley lauded the younger talent within Dancehall and Reggae while insisting that he’s open to future collaborations with said artistes.

“Most a the ones weh we hear and kinda gravitate to the music that they’re making, we’re friends, we’re acquainted with them…I and I open. If you want it, den yuh come get it and if yuh serious then yeah, that’s fine,” he said.

“There’s a lot of talent here in Jamaica. Is a little underground movement goin’ on…I like it.”

Meanwhile, Marley has defended his iconic father, Bob Marley’s brand following recent criticisms and lawsuits regarding merchandizing and trademarks of the Reggae superstar’s image. Recently, Bob Marley’s half-brother, Richard Booker was issued a lawsuit by the Reggae icon’s widow, Rita Marley and her children for allegedly promoting concerts and products under the Mama Marley brand. Booker later counter-sued, claiming that he’s used the late singer’s name with the authorization of his half-brother and mother, Cedella Marley Booker.

However, Stephen Marley believes that that his father’s name isn’t tarnished by any of the controversy surrounding the use of Bob Marley’s image.

“Bob Marley have a record shop, pressing plant. Bob Marley is a businessman…all these things is a part of it; he’d be proud of seeing most of the things that has his image and such,” he said

“I couldn’t tell yuh she everything we do right but we know she most a di tings, di integrity is there…Everyone deserves Bob.”


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