By Shelah Moody
So, you are Ziggy Marley and you are on tour promoting your new album, “Rebellion Rises.” You sing, you dance and bring joy to the masses. You work hard and find time for a bit of fun and moments of reflection in each city. There are endless sound checks and meet and greets and you share constantly on social media. You take action on one of your current humanitarian efforts, such as ending plastic pollution. You honor your mother on her earth day. You savor a Mediterranean sunset. When you come home from the European leg of the tour, you embrace your four young children, Judah, Gideon, Abraham and Isaiah in the sweetest group hug ever!
This summer, the multiple Grammy winner gave Island Stage a peek into his Dread and Fabulous life and a glimpse of the North American leg of his “Rebellion Rises” tour.
Island Stage: First of all, because of you, Ziggy, Kenny Chesney is following me on Instagram! Ha! Tell us about your collaboration with the country western singer on his song “Love for Love City.”
Ziggy Marley: Yeah, well, Kenny reached out to me. We’ve been communicating for a while now. The island he lives on in the Virgin Islands was affected by the storm, Hurricane Irma last season. He reached out to me to do a song with him to benefit the relief effort. We did the song in LA. It was good to be with him and actually meet him for the first time because we’ve always communicated through emails.
IS: Last year, you collaborated with blues, rock and New Orleans funk artists on your Bob Marley tribute, “Exodus 40Live” in LA. What do you like about country western music?
ZM: The story telling.
IS: You are also promoting another project on this part of the tour: the Kachula Adventure Blanket.
ZM: Yeah, it’s a partnership where every blanket we sell proceeds go to help the homeless. It’s a partnership that works for us; we get to do something good while creating something. It’s always good to have something to add to what you are doing besides self -promotion or making money. It’s always good to give something back.
IS: For people who have been following you and embracing your new album, can you explain the concept of “Rebellion Rises” and this tour?
ZM: Well, the concept is to have a voice for humanity; and a voice that also encourages humanity to find the better side of who we are, which will be the rebellion. The world seems to be going backwards instead of forwards. I know that there are a lot of us who want to see the world become a better place. We need a rebellion for that because we cannot keep the status quo as it is because the leadership that we currently have does not do a good job in making this world a better place. That is what the rebellion is really about; to wake up humanity.
IS: I’m really digging your animated video for “Rebellion Rises,” set in 2084!
IS: By the way, what’s the significance of the little brown ball?
ZM: The brown ball (laughs). It’s a football (soccer ball), you know? Things that we love, you know! Imagination, mon!
IS: Speaking on the concept of rebel music, you’ve been sharing the bill for a few years with Steel Pulse at a few summer tour dates.
ZM: Yes, it’s always cool to see David (Hinds) and the crew! Their inspiration is from way back when, from the early days when I first started listening to Steel Pulse. Yeah, mon, they were very influential in their uniqueness and their message. They have inspired me from long time.
IS: Name three of your favorite Steel Pulse songs.
ZM: “Chant A Psalm,” “Not King James Version” and “Blues Dance Raid.”
IS: Since we are discussing your 2018 U.S. North American tour, I’m going to call out some cities on the tour and I’m want you to tell me what you are looking forward to in each city. The first is Boulder, CO, 8/22.
ZM: Well, in Boulder, we have a great reggae music fans and conscious fans, too. We really have a high time over there!
IS: Philadelphia, PA, 9/6.
ZM: Philly…Well, Philly is a very rebellious place, too. I grew up close to Philly, I spent some years in Delaware as a child. Philadelphia always has a rebellious, energetic vibe to it, so I am looking forward to that.
IS: How about Portland, ME, (9/8) a place I’ve never been to but look forward to visiting.
ZM: Portland, Maine…The first thing that comes to mind when you say it is like, the nature up there, I think. I don’t recall it fully, but I feel like you have some very conscious people up there, too.
IS: Stephen King, the author, is from Maine
ZM: (Laughs). Stephen King…
IS: You are wrapping up the “Rebellion Rises” tour at the Opera House in Ontario, Canada, 9/20.
ZM: Yeah, we have one show inna Toronto deh. We always love fi go a Canada. Canada is a special place, too, it’s part of North America, but it has a very different vibe to it. We always look forward to going there.
IS: After the North American summer/fall “Rebellion Rises” tour, what projects will you be working on?
ZM: Well, we’ll take a break and then we’ll continue the “Rebellion Rises” tour again; next year, we will go to South America and then we will go back to Europe and hopefully do some more shows in America on the east coast, and continue getting this message out to the people.
ZIGGY MARLEY “REBELLION RISES” TOUR DATES:
9/4/18 Ridgefield, CT– The Ridgefield Playhouse
9/6/18 Philadelphia, PA –Skyline Stage at the Mann Cent
9/7/18 New York, NY –South Street Seaport
9/8/18 Portland, ME –Maine State Pier
9/9/18 East Providence, RI– Bold Point Park
9/11/18 Huber Heights, OH– Rose Music Center
9/12/18 Glen Allen, VA –Innsbrook After Hours Concert
9/14/18 Hampton Beach, NH –Casino Ballroom
9/15/18 New Haven, CT –College Street Music Hall
9/16/18 Jim Thorpe, PA– Penn’s Peak
9/18/18 Rutland, VT– The Paramount Theatre
9/19/18 Montreal, QC Canada– Olympia Theater
9/20/18 Toronto, ON Canada –Opera House