Jamaica inspires reggae icon’s son
As the son of Bob and Rita Marley, Ziggy Marley grew up in Jamaica surrounded by music. “Jamaica is the root of my music,” says the Grammy Award-winning musician. “I was born there, I was raised there and Jamaica is always inside of me. It’s an impactful place in general for many people. For example, Ian Fleming wrote several James Bond novels in Jamaica at Goldeneye near Ocho Rios.” Marley’s latest series of concerts is the “Rebellion Rises” tour in support of his album of the same name.
An edited version of our conversation follows.
“The people in Hawaii are mellow and wonderful, and they love reggae music.”
Q: You live in Los Angeles now and lived in Miami for years before that. How do they compare with your hometown of Kingston?
A: Miami and Kingston are similar in weather — hot: humid, tropical. LA and Kingston are very different. Kingston is a very small city compared to LA. I think the transition from Kingston to Miami, and then Miami to Los Angeles was good in regards to easing in stages into larger, busier cities.
Q: People love going to Jamaica for the food, beaches and music. What do you miss most about Jamaica?
A: Exactly what (everyone) loves about it; I miss the vibes, and I miss the countryside. It is very inspirational.
Q: Are there any — Ziggy Marley places that you loved playing at so much that you made it a point to return for a vacation?
A: Hawaii is definitely a place that I love playing at, and I make a point to vacation there. The people in Hawaii are mellow and wonderful, and they love reggae music. The island vibes are great. The weather there is fantastic, and the ocean is beautiful. It is a relaxing place. It is for sure a place where I get nice quiet time. It is a place that gives me a chance to be at peace. It reminds me of Jamaica. I actually recommend (visitors) to do nothing and just relax. Don’t make any plans. Just disconnect and chill. A vacation for me is relaxation and meditation.
Q: What untapped destination should people know about?
A: Hellshire Beach in St. Catherine, Jamaica. It is not a typical tourist area. It is beautiful with whitesand beaches. You can get amazing fried fish there. I would tell everyone to go check it out.
Q: What was the first trip you took as a child?
A: It was when my mom and dad would take us on a road trip to the countryside in Jamaica to visit family. We played in the country hills. I loved it a lot!
Q: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your travels?
A: Not to have any preconceived ideas or stereotypes of places or people until you get there and discover it for yourself. It is always a nice surprise to find nice people in different places.
Q: Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A: A weekend staycation in Malibu or a weekend at El Capitan.
Q: Which trip stands out as a favorite memory?
A: One of my best trips was spending the summer in Israel. I was on tour in Europe, which ended in Israel, and I stayed to explore. I really enjoyed the history and learning about the ancient lands and its people.
Q: Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?
A: I would like to go to Fiji.
For more from the reporter, visit www.jaehakim.com.