‘We have a purpose in life’
After spending most of the past two years on the road, Ziggy Marley is ready to do something else.
"I'm winding down the traveling," he said via telephone from Los Angeles earlier this week. "After Hawaii, that's it."
Surf and Roots Fest 2007
With Ziggy Marley, Jennifer Johns, Natural Vibrations, Ooklah the Moc and Irie Souls
Place: Kualoa Ranch
Time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: $25 presale and $30 at the door; presale tickets available online at presaleticketsonline.com
Also: Marley will play the A&B Amphitheatre, Maui Arts & Cultural Center, 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $29, call 808-242-7469, or visit mauiarts.org
The oldest son of the legendary Bob Marley arrives for two shows this weekend after a Thursday performance in Colorado. He'll return to Kualoa Ranch to headline Saturday's Surf and Roots Fest 2007 before flying to Maui for a gig at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center on Sunday.
Last year's "Love Is My Religion" is just the second solo album for Marley, although his musical career dates to 1979.
His first studio session took place when he was just 11 years old, with his father writing the lyrics and playing guitar on the single "Children Playing in the Streets." It was a natural progression for Ziggy and his siblings, who had been immersed in Jamaican culture and were already performing at neighborhood functions.
"The musical part was already instilled in us before we went into the studio," he said. "I think where it really started, when it really meant something to me, was when I started writing songs."
Following his father's death in 1981, Marley came into his own with Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, penning the singles "Tomorrow People" and "Look Who's Dancing." Although the group's mainstream popularity faded somewhat during the '90s, Marley kept performing and working with other family members.
"Our music have meaning," Marley explained. "We have a purpose in life, and it don't depend on the popularity of what we're doing.
"We always could play live, no matter what's happening, no matter if we don't have a record out. That never stop."
In 2003, Marley released his solo debut, "Dragonfly," and in 2005 he contributed to the "50 First Dates" soundtrack with a cover of the Cars' "Drive."
"Love is My Religion" was re-released with three bonus tracks this week, and will be followed by a live concert DVD in February. Marley will also be featured alongside his family in "Africa Unite," a documentary filmed during their trip to Ethiopia for Bob Marley's 60th birthday celebration.
That should be the last you hear from him until 2009, if everything goes according to plan.
"My creativity has been wanting to branch outside of music," said Marley. "So I've been writing a script, and I've been developing a children's educational program."
As the father of a 2-year-old daughter and infant son (he also has three children from previous relationships), Marley admits to watching a lot of kids' TV lately. His role in the animated movie "Shark Tale" in 2004 also helped to open his mind to new opportunities.
"I wasn't always this way," he said. "I've grown to be more open, and the more experiences I have, the more I can relate with other people ... it's important to get out there with other human beings, not just my own group.
"I'm really excited about how I'm approaching the messages I want to get across to the kids. My point of view is missing ... (so) there's a gap that I want to fill there."