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Skip Marley and the Future of Reggae

The resemblance is astonishing, almost as much as the vocal and instrumental talent of 19 year old, Skip Marley. If you haven’t put two and two together, he is the grandson to the father of Reggae music, Bob Marley. Skip exudes positive energy, flashing a smile that radiates any room he walks into, and his musical skill is undeniable. He is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriting genius, producing all his own lyrics in minimal time, sometimes as short as a week, and allowing the lessons embedded in Reggae music to become truths in his own life.

For him, family is everything, and watching him talk about his upcoming tour, Catch A Fire, with uncle’s Damian and Stephen, it is all fun, little nerves, and the importance of connecting with the crowd. His latest single, Cry To Me, dives into the events, both positive and negative, that occur in his daily life, evolving into opportunities to learn and grow, and ultimately turning into a beautiful song. Skip is only just getting started and there is a lot more of him to come for the future, and that’s a WILD promise.

What’s behind the name Skip?

It came from my grandfather [Bob Marley], it was his nickname.

What went through your head before going on stage for the first time performing “Cry To Me” at the Get Together concert in Miami?

Don’t mess up, don’t mess up, don’t mess up. Nah, I was psyched. Once I get up there, it’s just me and the stage.

You kill it on the guitar. Is there an instrument you gravitate toward most?

Probably the guitar, I play the piano and some others, but guitar is my favorite. I think I have five…actually…wait let me count…nope, six – ha!

Did “Cry to Me” come together all at once or evolve with time?

It evolved, but it was very short, it was like a week. It was short but it was a process. I was dealing with some things and seeing some things that were going on in the world around me, so I was like, hmm…so I just started writing and you know it came together. Definitely changed up some parts throughout.

What’s the concept behind the music video?

I don’t know how to do any of that kind of stuff, so I just left it in the hands of the person who was handling the video, the director. His name was AJ, he was very cool and looked like Lenny Kravitz.

Music, specifically, reggae music, practically runs through your bloodstream. How has it shaped you as a person and into the young adult you are today?

Reggae has a lot of great lessons in the music itself, so I take those lessons in and then when they seem to happen to me, I’m like, oh yeah, I heard this in a song and then the song becomes truth. That’s how reggae music influences my life besides being born into it.

From where do you draw inspiration?

Anywhere, but I’m always writing. Actually, there is a spot in my room, it’s kind of a weird spot. There’s a light that shines in around 4 or 5pm-ish, the light comes in through my window, and there’s a stool in the corner where I sit and write songs. Cool spot, me and my guitar.

Choice of a female artist collaborations:

Oh my gosh, that’s a dangerous question. Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Lauryn Hill, she’s awesome, theres so many I can’t even choose.

Choice of a male artist collaborations:

Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Drake, John Mayer, Maroon 5, that would be cool.

How do you spend your free time, outside of music?

I love playing soccer. I play striker, center. I take it very seriously, I’m competitive, I take it dead serious when I play [laughs]. I’m in a different mode and everything. I play with my uncles, my family, and friends. Actually, there’s a field at my uncles house, Stephen, he has a full sized field. It’s a family sport. Family competition. Family first.

Tell me about your upcoming tour, Catch A Fire, with uncle’s Damian and Stephen Marley.

Well I have a song coming out called, Life, This Is Life, by a well known reggae group called Sly & Robbie. They sent me a rhythm that they wanted me to sing on, but I also have a song called Chrystal Clear that’s coming out, its about girls and stuff [laughs]. I’m excited but nervous, a little bit, because its my first big tour, so many people and you don’t want to mess up but when you get on stage its different. When you’re standing side stage you’re like, oh man theres a lot of people, but when you get on stage, they become your friends. Its an experience. I’ll be on stage by myself with a band, with a lot of good noise. I’ll be in new york, summer stage, the 30th of August.

What is your WILD Wish?

World Peace.

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Check out his latest single, Cry To Me

Photography courtesy of Camilo Fuentealba

text by: Jamie Eddy

photography by: Camilo Fuentealba

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