Wednesday, February 14, 2007

2006 Reggae Grammy Winner Ziggy Marley - Citizen of Earth

Michael A Edwards - Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Grammy winner Ziggy Marley

As happy as he is about the result, Ziggy Marley is n't all that hung up on the Grammys or on awards in general.

"I try not to get excited or put too much emphasis on the whole award ting," he said, speaking by phone to the Observer in the wake of his announcement as the winner of what for many is still music's cherished recognition.

"If people ask, is Love Is My Religion that win the Grammy. This give me another platform to get the message out, that's what is most important" he said, in reference to the title of the album and the lead-off single, a modest hit. And what exactly is the message?

"I'm really trying to make an evolution within the song, within the music to try to get us to being better people. If you really check it, the concept of God was never meant to divide people. Its really been about love from the beginning, that is what I read in the Bible and what Yeshua teach - love one another."

As even the Grammy winner will acknowledge, love another is a hard sell in an era increasingly fraught with conflicts motivated by divergent religious beliefs. "Yeah," he says. "It a get worse."
Initially hesitant, Ziggy offers this perspective on why inter-faith conflicts now seems intractable. "Well is generation after generation keep educating their children the wrong way, everybody pushing their own political view of the thing under the guise of religion and keep people divided. It jus keep the passin' on from one to the next, and each generation it get worse."

There are, of course, other things to reflect on, and one of the album's other interesting tunes, On A Beach In Hawaii, (writtenon an actual visit to the Pacific island group some years ago), provides a neat vehicle for introspection. Against a somewhat plaintively strummed guitar, he manages to pull past, present and future together, reflecting on what it means to be a Marley and the inherent tension that poses vis-a-viz the search for a personal identity. "Is really a love song," he says, in an almost self-deprecatory manner, " but it have a whole heap a different layers to it."

Ziggy Marley confides that such distance from his native land is not merely welcome but occasionally necessary. "Even though I born in Jamaica, and I love Jamaica, still, it's good to experience Earth, because that's the one thing we all have in common, we are from Earth. So, as a human being and as an artiste, it's part of my journey and my development."
The journey takes him next to China, virgin territory in more than one respect. "It's my first trip. I know the people and I know about the culture, but this is my first time actually going there and that's the thing that really excite me - being able to get dis message to a lot of different people."

And a timely trip it is, as only recently Universal Music China (As reported in the Sunday Observer, February 11), is making a significant promotional push behind a Chinese-language verison of Legend, the disc that cemented his father's standing as a global icon, though the same reports have it that the name Bob Marley has little cachet-as yet-among the average Chinese.
It is, however, recognised by Grammy voters. This win marks the third time in five years that a Marley scion has taken the Reggae Grammy, and with brother Stephen's solo debut, Mind Control, now on the streets, there could well be a repeat next year. Dynasty? As he said, Ziggy's not too hung up on awards, but the win does beg the question, "Does he believe that the panel chose his album based on his lineage?

"Listen to the music," he answers, " and then you can judge for yourself."

1 comment:

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