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Stephen Marley Discusses His New Highly Anticipated Album

by Charis Satchell
Reggae artist, Stephen Marley is on the scene to give listeners another taste of his artistry. This highly acclaimed Grammy award winner's new album titled Revelation Part I: The Root of Life was created to give listeners the savory taste of roots reggae that some may be missing. The 14 track album gives listeners a history lesson as well as a taste of love and happiness. I had the opportunity to discuss with Stephen Marley the concept behind the album and what lies ahead in the future.

I know that you're releasing your new album Revelation Part 1: The Root of Life, how long did it take you to complete it?
Stephen Marley: About 8 months

Because I know with your previous album it took you a little bit longer
Stephen Marley: Yea, this album has a concept. Working from the concept perspective, [you] kinda know what you're looking for versus just making music and putting it together on an album.

What inspired you to make this into two parts since this is Part: 1 and the next one following is Part: 2?
Stephen Marley: Well, I mean there are two sides of a coin. A one sided penny is a counterfeit penny so I guess I wanted to show both sides of the coin. Which one side is the roots reggae music. The origin of what music came (from) and how it was introduced to the world with integrity and the sound and all of that. And the next side which is called Revelation Part 2: The Fruit of Life is the offspring of the roots. It's the evolution of reggae music from that time to today.

Which one did you enjoy making?
Stephen Marley: Well, all of it. I enjoy making music in general so it’s all exciting. It’s that creative process.

Why did you select Jah Army as the first single?
Stephen Marley:
Why not? [laughs] The first song I really wanted it to be from the grass roots, from the streets and I think Jah Army was that kind of vibe way, of the street vibe.

Now as a seven-time Grammy award winner holding the most awards in the reggae category, what role do you like best: singer, songwriter, musician, or producer?
Stephen Marley: Well, I mean I think again its two sides of the same coin. I think producing is the creative process which is such a beautiful thing because you don't know how it’s going to come out, as far as when your creative juices start flowing. So that part of it is very exciting. But then when this product is finished and all the work you put into it and now you get to deliver it to the people and perform it and see the people's reaction, that again is exciting in its own right. And I look forward to that also so I dunno. It works together. I don’t wish to choose one over the other. They’re both beautiful and exciting.

On the album I see that you worked with hip hop artist Wale and vocalist Melanie Fiona. How did that come about?
Stephen Marley: Well, the song with Wale is called Made in Africa, [and] Wale was born in Africa. So that was the motivation behind getting him on the album and also I love his work. And Melanie Fiona the track kinda developed into a track that I felt should have the ladies perspective because I was saying no cigarette smoking in my room and the things that I really don't like but still it needed to be balanced so I needed to hear her side of it.

Your collaboration with Wale titled Made in Africa and the song on the album titled Old Slaves - - what is the difference in the two songs or is it the same concept?
Stephen Marley: No, it's different. Made in Africa is basically enlightening one about ones history. In the beginning of the song there's a sample in there that the commentator says scientists have now come to terms that Africa is the origin of mankind. Not the origin of black man, but the origin of all man. So Made in Africa is like a history lesson. Whereas Old Slaves now is type of a wakeup call. Its history also because slavery is a part of history but it's kind of depicting that mental slavery. We are not free. We are still mentally enslaved and it's very much here today and the whole stigma of slavery is still here.

We commemorated the 30th anniversary of your father’s (Bob Marley) passing. From a creative perspective, what are the changes you see in the industry over the years?
Stephen Marley: Well, I mean now reggae has this great platform. The music is being delivered to the world. You have a lot of artists that's riding on that bandwagon so there is good and bad in other words. There is good because the world knows reggae music. Reggae music is one of the leading forces musically. At the same time, reggae music is music with integrity and that must be maintained as we still have a responsibility we must keep up.

What advice do you have for people looking to pursue a career in music?
Stephen Marley: Music is one of the most influential things in life. Everybody listens to music. Even an insect makes music so as young people coming into music you must realize that you bear a responsibility and music influences people whether it be negative or positive. And the responsibility is in us musicians. So don't be selfish about it. Know this, that what you wear and what you do and what you say will influence young girls and such forth. It's our responsibility. Some people don’t like that but be aware [laughs].

What future projects do you have in store?
Stephen Marley: Just fooling around with some things for Damian's new album and concentrating on getting these two bodies of work out to the people and trying to make it as powerful as it can be.

For more info on Stephen Marley and/or to purchase a CD, visit: www.vprecords.com