Sunday, July 3, 2022

Allison Interviews Podcast: Skip Marley Talks Katy Perry, Bob Marley, Weed, ‘Change’ Tour… | WATCH

“I would ask him which books to read.” – Skip Marley on what he would ask his late grandfather, reggae music legend Bob Marley

*Reggae hitmaker Skip Marley, born to the late Bob Marley’s daughter, Cedella Marley and David Minto, was thrown into the deep end of the Marley music legacy when, at thirteen, his Uncle Stephen Marley brought him up on stage to sing his grandfather’s iconic hit, One Love in front of tens of thousands of fans. From that moment on, music wasn’t an option, but a family imperative for the now twenty-five-year-old singer-songwriter. The Marley family dynasty crowned its new prince in Skip Marley.

By 2017 Skip was collaborating with multi-award-winning and multiplatinum-selling pop artist, Katy Perry, when she featured him on her hit single Chained to the Rhythm, bringing him mainstream attention. The year 2020 led to another high-profile collaboration when Marley featured Grammy-nominated R&B artist H.E.R. on the remix of his single, Slow Down.

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In spring 2020, Slow Down, with over 185 million global streams, became the quickest and biggest-streaming song in Marley family history, and elevated Skip to over 417 million total global artist streams, also making Skip the first Jamaican-born artist to reach the #1 spot on the Billboard Adult R&B chart. At the same time, Skip became the first Jamaican-born artist inside the Top 15 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart in nearly a decade and a half.

The year 2022 shows no signs of slowing down, with Skip’s latest single Vibe featuring Jamaican deejay Popcaan, and Marley’s first U.S. headlining twenty city tour, Change.

Skip Marley - Courtesy of Oleg Sharov
Skip Marley – Courtesy of Oleg Sharov

The following are excerpts from the latest episode of the Allison Interviews podcast with host and entertainment journalist, Allison Kugel, interviewing Skip Marley. Marley talks about being discovered by Katy Perry, collaborating with his Uncle Damian Marley, what he learned from mom Cedella, what he would ask his late grandfather, Bob Marley, his thoughts on monogamy and marriage, the benefits of marijuana, his sole purpose in life and his rejection of material things, and his upcoming Change tour. The full podcast episode is available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, and the video episode of the podcast is available on YouTube. This interview is also available to publish in its entirety for print, as well as the excerpts below.

On being discovered in the studio by Katy Perry:
“It’s a funny story. At the time, around 2016 or 2017, that whole time I was actually working with the whole MXM camp, which was Max Martin and all those guys, top producers. He was playing my song, Lions in the studio when Katy [Perry] walked in and said, ‘Who is that?’  He said, ‘Oh, that’s Skip Marley.’ She said, ‘I need him on my next single.’ So he calls me and says, ‘Katy Perry needs you in her next single.’ I said, ‘Katy Perry?!’ He said, ‘Yeah, boom!’  I gave him a verse and she came in when I was finishing. I met her for the first time, and everything took off from there; the Grammys, Brits, I Heart Radio. It was all a beautiful journey and I’m glad Katy reached out to me and I got to spread the message to such a big platform and audience.”

On what he’s learned from his grandmother, Rita Marley:
“Yeah mon, I’m very close with my grandmother. From her, I learned that when all odds are against you, don’t give up. When the whole world turns against you, my grandmother never gave up. My grandmother built Tuff Gong to where it is now, [she built] my grandfather’s legacy to where it is now, and her humanitarian efforts as well. She’s also a doctor, Doctor Alpharita Marley, so I have a lot to aspire to and a lot to look up to. She took on the world. And my mother (Cedella Marley), they are both my examples in that sense, of work ethic and discipline, and selflessness. It is rare nowadays, but selflessness is very important.”

On why he titled his first U.S. headlining tour Change:
“We have to make a change in this world so we can see that it’s not impossible. You’re free to do whatever you want and free to be whoever you want to be. The whole concept of the album, Change, and the name of the tour, is because people are always waiting on things to change, when people can be the change they want to see.”

On rejecting material things:
“That is not my priority. My family is my main priority, my first priority. For me, possessions are not. I can have nothing as long as my family has something. That is how I am, personally. Those things are only for a while. It’s momentary. It doesn’t really have use. But to each their own. I’m not going to tell people how to live.”

He does not subscribe to Rastafarianism like his grandfather, or any organized religion:
“No, it’s a way of life, of living. God is within and God is all around us. Where there is light, there is hope. Especially in these times, now, there is a lot of everybody against everybody and that’s not what we need or what we want. All it’s doing is causing more headaches, suffering, and all of these things. How about we make a change as a people?  How about we decide, because the people change things. It is not some guy telling you he is going to do something for you. It’s really the people.”

Skip Marley - 2020 Press Image
Skip Marley – 2020 Press Image

On marriage and monogamy:
“Well, to tell you the truth I think marriage is still there, if it’s really real.  It doesn’t have to be real nowadays, because everything is so wishy-washy, but if it’s really real then marriage is great and it’s a Godly thing. But as of right now, me personally, I don’t need to know about marriage right now (laugh). I mean, marriage is good. Marriage is a Godly thing.  It’s supposed to be a Godly connection, so it speaks for itself.”

On his single, Vibe:
“I was doing that song during the whole Covid time and people just want to free up, feel good, be with each other, and dance. All of those things were missing. The human experience, the connection, and the good vibes. So, ‘(He begins to sing) She wanna catch a vibe, she wanna spend some time, into the liiiight…’ It was just a light party kind of a song. Then [Jamaican deejay] Popcaan, who is featured on the song, was the perfect [collaborator].”

On the safety issues that caused Bob Marley to flee Jamaica for London in 1976:
“That is in the past, but [we have] security for sure, always. Jamaica is our home and a place that we love, and we take care of. That is also part of my responsibility as the next generation.”

His thoughts on the use of weed:
“Yes, herb opens up inspirations, opens up higher heights, for sure. Herb is beneficial.  I’m not saying you have to use it, but I don’t see why not. You don’t have to smoke it. You can eat it, drink it, boil it, apply it as lotion. So, it benefits. I don’t see why not and I’m glad to see America is slowly taking those steps forward in terms of the plant, and the plant can save this place, you know? The more the merrier (laugh).”

On what he would ask his grandfather, late reggae music legend, Bob Marley:
“I would ask him which books to read. I have a lot of questions, but I would love to hear what kinds of books to read, too. I mean, [I know he read] The Bible, some books about His Imperial Majesty (referring to Haile Selassie, the founder of Rastafarianism), The Wise Mind of Emperor Haile Selassie, and things like that. [He] definitely read a lot of African books. There are a lot of things I would love to ask him, but that is the first thing that comes to my mind.”

On his life’s purpose:
“What I came here to learn is purpose. Once you find your purpose, like for me, personally, it is to spread love. These messages are just within me from the connection of my grandfather, to my mother, to me. I feel there is a responsibility, and these words and messages need to be spoken and things need to be said. I would say I’m God’s soldier; a music warrior. I’ve come to fight with music. I’ve come to take on the world with music, and come shape the world with music. That is my thing, music, the consciousness, and the collective community of mankind; and restoring that kind of connection.”

The music speaks to him:
“The music is a message. Music is a vehicle and a tool. Music is used to unify people and spread messages of upliftment. For me, personally, I think we should use music as a benefit and try spreading messages of love, equality, and freedom. All of these things, for me, are important. I try to always make sure the music speaks.”

“Whatever inspiration comes to me; I always try to write about. Not saying there haven’t been times I’ve had to go back and adjust things, but I try to feel what the music is saying. I don’t really try to sit down and think too much.  I kind of feel it, because music talks to you if you listen. It can talk to you, so you can kind of hear what the music wants, in a sense.”

Allison Kugel
Allison Kugel

About Journalist and Podcast Host Allison Kugel
Allison Kugel is a veteran entertainment journalist with more than three hundred long form celebrity and newsmaker interviews published and syndicated, worldwide. She is author of the memoir, Journaling Fame: A memoir of a life unhinged and on the record, and host of the new podcast, Allison Interviews, where listeners can tune in to hear the full conversations behind Allison’s print interviews. Watch and embed the entire interview video with Skip Marley @YouTube. Listen to and share the audio podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Follow Allison Kugel on Instagram @theallisonkugel and at AllisonInterviews.com.
source: Allison Kugel and the Allison Interviews podcast

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