Photograph by Johnny Black
Got a minute? Tuff Gong descendant Ziggy Marley opens up about protecting his father's legacy, working with Willie Nelson on Family Time (out May 5), and why he's a Shaggy fan.
Q: People have called you a member of the reggae royal family. Does that mean anything to you?
A: Well, people call me all types of things. Whether it's good or bad, I don't really think about it too much. I don't believe in other people's ideas. I have my own ideas.
Q: You've voiced concern about your father becoming a product, like Kurt Cobain or Che Guevara. How do you stop that?
A: Listen, everything is a lesson. We know what is right and what is wrong and what would hurt our father and what would not. We understand what we are doing—so you don't have to worry.
Q: Do you feel like you and your family are protecting his image?
A: We are. We understand there's more to this than money, you know?
Q: Do you have a favorite Bob Marley & the Wailers song?
A: Not really. I never did. I like different songs sometimes. Which songs do I like? One my father doesn't do the lead vocals on—"Pass It On," it's called. "Pass It On." I love that song.
Q: On your latest album, you work with Willie Nelson. How was that?
A: Willie is like a godfather to me. He's family. He was one of those preachers for me when I was young.
Q: The idea of music for children and families is not exclusive to this album. Your music has been featured in kid-friendly films before, including Muppet Treasure Island. Who is your favorite Muppet?
A: Miss Piggy, I would say. I think she's . . . I like her. I like her style.
Q: Of the current reggae powerhouses, who's your man: Shaggy or Wyclef?
A: Shaggy. I would go with Shaggy. I know Shaggy more than I know Wyclef. I just finished touring with Shaggy, so I have a human-to-human relationship. Wyclef and I don't have a human-to-human relationship. Vanessa Rothschild