Bob Marley believed in socially conscious music, says son


The son of reggae legend Bob Marley has called for more social consciousness in music, saying his father believed songs should have strong messages.

Stephen, 44, was still a child when his father died in 1981, but said his father instilled in him a strong understanding about the power of music.

Stephen Marley
Stephen Marley (Yui Mok/PA)

He told the Press Association: "When I was younger I definitely wondered what he would think all the time.

"The values we were taught are a part of me and I don't think about that now.

"My morals are instilled and it comes out of me. I had great mentors and I know he knows what is going on. He wouldn't agree with everything, but most things."

He added: "I remember when I was younger he said to me I was singing too many songs about girls. He thought the message was more important. I always remember that.

Bob Marley on stage
Bob Marley on stage (PA)

"I was eight years old then but I was aware I can't just sing anything, it has to have a message.

"He was very intricate and serious about the power and influence of music.

"As a young man making music, he watched the integrity and advocacy of our lives. The older we got, the less disagreements we had."

The Grammy-winning singer and producer called on artists such as Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift to think of the social messages they could include in their own offerings, saying: "We need more conscious music, our society needs an influx of consciousness, music has such a big influence, it comes with a responsibility.

Justin Bieber performs on the Virgin Media Stage during the V Festival at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, Essex.
Justin Bieber (Ian West/PA)

"The point of music is it brings people together. Know the responsibility that comes with this talent, the impact you have on the masses.

"That's what I would say to the younger ones to use their gift for a positive way."

Stephen recently released a new album - Revelation Part II: The Fruit Of Life, which features collaborations with his brother Damian, Pitbull, Iggy Azalea, DJ Khaled, Busta Rhymes and Wyclef Jean, to name a few.

On his diverse partnerships, he said: "It was just about cross-pollinating the music, growing hands together with other genres.

"Some have influenced reggae and others reggae has influenced, like hip hop.

"With some of the people where I like their music, it happened organically.

"Some people I aspired to do some work with, like Pitbull. I met him before he became an international star. It was a great vibe, he came with his heart.

Pitbull performs on stage during Capital FM's Summertime Ball at Wembley Stadium, London.
Pitbull (Yui Mok/PA)

"With Iggy, I wasn't familiar with her, we wanted a female on the track and she stepped up. I was honoured and started listening to her stuff after someone suggested her. When we got back I said 'wow' and learnt more about her."

Damian said he hopes his collaboration with Damian is a precursor to a wider collaboration with his many siblings.

He said: "He's the youngest of the family and we have watched him grow. Working together is beautiful and natural.

Bob Marley's sons, (left-right) Julian, Stephen and Damian Marley collect the Mojo Classcis Album award for the father record 'Exodus' at the Mojo Honours List award ceremony at The Brewery, east London.
Stephen with brothers Julian (left) and Damian (right) (Yui Mok/PA)

"As brothers we have been dancing around the idea of all making an album together because we have so many songs together."

Revelation Part II: The Fruit Of Life is out now.