Ja­maica in­spires reg­gae icon’s son

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Travel - By Jae-Ha Kim

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.

TIM CADIENTE PHOTO

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