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Getting to Know Daniel Bambaata Marley

Getting to Know Daniel Bambaata Marley

Maliika Walker- Island Stage

Daniel Bambaata Marley, grandson of Bob Marley and first son of Ziggy Marley, is scheduled to perform with his live band at two reggae festivals on the West Coast (U.S.) this summer including, Utah Reggae Festival in Salt Lake City on July 13; Reggae On The Rocks at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado on August 24. He just performed a great show with his band at the Reggae In The Desert Festival in Las Vegas on June 15, 2013.

 

Daniel’s career started professionally in 2009 when he released two singles on the Marley family owned record label, Ghetto Youth’s International. ‘Live It Inna Fear’, a solo effort produced by Damian Marley and ‘My Girl’, a collaboration with cousin, Jo Mersa Marley. In 2011, Daniel contributed to his father Ziggy Marley’s Wild and Free album, on a song entitled, ‘Changes’. 2012 marked the year Daniel began performing with his live band and he also released his first independent single, 2 Feet. In 2013, Daniel Bambaata’s single, ‘Treat You Right’ was released on a Ghetto Youths International compilation album entitled, Set Up Shop. Daniel Bambaata Marley is currently working on his first full length solo project.

Daniel Bambaata Marley comments, “I choose to dedicate this life to making conscious music and I look forward to delivering positive vibes to a global audience.” This musician is ready to blaze his own path in music on his terms. Island Stage recently had a chance to speak with Daniel about his music, influences, and what audiences can expect from him as an artist and performer.

Daniel Bambaata Marley
Island Stage
I love your song on the Ghetto Youths Compilation, Set up Shop, ‘Treat You Right’. Did you write the song? What inspired you to record the single?

Daniel
I wrote that song. I was inspired by the interaction I have with the women in my life like my mom and sisters, aunt and my grandmother. It’s just a song for the ladies saying that a man should treat them right. ‘Treat You Right’ is a song for all the guys to play for their girls telling them how they are going to treat them right.

Island Stage
As a Marley I imagine you were surrounded by music growing up. At what age did you realize you wanted a career in music?

Daniel
I don’t remember how old I was. I remember I used to play the drums when I was younger. I used to play the piano also. I used to build beats and record on them, before I started recording my songs. Then when I was about 14 I decided I wanted to be a serious lyricist and wanted to get better at lyrics, so I stopped producing and making beats and started writing a lot. I used to just always write. I have a lot of stuff written down already. So it kind of took my Uncle Damian to ask me whether I wanted to be an artist or producer. My answer was an artist.

Island Stage
Who influenced you most to become an artist?

Daniel
I think my surroundings have been music for a long time. Like my mother sings and my grandmother on my mother’s side also sings. That is who I grew up with, my mom. My mom is the whole drive behind it. My mom pushed me to strive to be good at whatever it is I decided to do. If she didn’t like what I was doing then I probably wouldn’t be doing music. She is my big cosigner.

Daniel Bambaata Marley

Island Stage
Do you have an album you can say is your favorite of your grandfather, Bob Marley? If so, which one is it?

Daniel
I think I would say the original Kaya album. The original album from the Peter and Bunny days when they were harmonizing. A lot of people do not have that album and if they do some songs are missing from it. But yeah that album would classify as my favorite album.

Island Stage
Where do you get your inspiration from in terms of creating new music? What is your creative process? What vibe were you in when you wrote ‘Treat You Right’ vs. ‘2 Feet’?

Daniel
The vibe, I was alone when I wrote Treat You Right. I had the headphones on. It was a really intimate moment. Just thoughts going through my head and me having headphones on and just sitting down by myself and writing. Now for 2 Feet I didn’t write the chorus, my friend wrote the chorus and performed it on the record. It was a vibe with me and friends and everybody was listening to the track and having a good time so I would just write.

Island Stage
I viewed your channel on YouTube and noticed your music crosses multiple genre’s. How would you describe yourself as an artist?

Daniel
We are feeding off of life, what we go thru, everything around us. The artistry in that is just art, you can’t box yourself in when you say you’re saying you are an artist. It depends on what type It depends on what type of artist you are. If you love art, you love the arts. It’s not just music we love, I love painting also. If you love art you can’t just do just one thing, you want to keep growing as an artist. You want to keep building your music until you get your own sound. That is what an artist strives for. Music is freedom. You can’t limit yourself. To get other emotions out of yourself as an artist you have to try different things. All different songs evoke different emotions and if you keep expressing the same emotion you will keep writing the same songs.

Daniel Bambaata Marley

Island Stage
What was it like contributing to your father, Ziggy Marley’s, song ‘Changes’ from the Wild and Free album?

Daniel
It was good. Words can’t even explain how it feels when you get to work with your dad. Every son wants to have the approval of their father with whatever they are doing. So it was a good feeling to know that he wanted me to write a verse for his song. It really gave me some confidence as well to know that he knows a lot about music and I can do something to contribute to his song. I wrote the verse, no corrections were needed. He liked what was done. We just did it. It just flowed really simple. He asked me if I wanted to be on this album and of course I said yes. I just performed the song with him live for the first time. That was cool, a dream for sure.

Island Stage
It had to be a great feeling to perform on stage with your dad. I’m sure you did when you were younger but this was different.

Daniel
Yeah it felt good. It was a good performance. I did like 2 rehearsals with him and then we did the show. It came out really good.

Island Stage

You are performing at some reggae festivals this summer on the west coast. What would you like to tell the fans about your show?

Daniel
Expect the unexpected. The only thing you can expect is a great show. Music wise it will cover multiple genre’s. We do have some reggae songs but it will also cover my flavor which is a fusion of rap, reggae, funk, and jazz. We also have some music for people who are more into the hard rock vibe. It’s just music with a bunch of different parts to it. I think a lot of people will enjoy that.

Island Stage
If you were told you could only take one album with you on a one month sabbatical, what would that album be and why?

Daniel
That’s a rough one for me because its been a while since I listened to a whole album. I couldn’t go to an island with just one album, one type of music, because that’s just not me.

Island Stage
Laughter….I hear you. Good point. Okay name 3 albums.

Daniel
That is still hard. I will take a few mix CD’s with songs from Peter Tosh, Curtis Mayfield, Jimmy Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Bob Marley, Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers, Eminem, some classic Jay Z, 50 Cent, Ice Cube, Snoop, Mos Def, The Roots, Common, Andre 3000, Outkast, and Lauryn Hill.

Island Stage
Can you talk to us about your forthcoming debut album? Will the album be an independent release?

Daniel
The album will be independent. I have most of the songs already rough drafted. It’s just a matter of getting back into the studio and recording them. I have to pick the right amount of songs and feel out what songs should make the album and which should go on a mixtape. Ghetto Youths put out ‘Treat You Right’ but I put out ‘2 Feet’. I am looking to release another song independently before the summer is out. Hopefully I can release it before my show on July 13
in Utah. I am working on a mixtape at the same time so that will be the first body of work that is released.

Island Stage
That’s great. I can’t wait to hear the music and the vibe that jumps out at me while I listen to it.

Daniel
Cool thanks.

Island Stage
Yes because I really like the contrast between ‘Treat You Right’ and ‘2 Feet’. I like what you bring to the table and looking forward to seeing you grow as an artist. So yes, definitely looking forward to the release of the mixtape and your album.

Island Stage
Do you have a message to the fans?

Daniel
I think what everyone can look forward to from me is unity within the music, across genres. There is a lot of work to be done honestly. We are trying to merge everything together with music. Just a nice roller coaster ride we are on.

Daniel Bambaata Marley

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