Ziggy Marley Talks New Music, Children’s book & More

Ziggy Marley, five-time Grammy winner and Reggae icon, is passionate about music, the environment and the unifying power of love.

“Everything is connected, and love is the foundation of it all. That is where everything comes from,” he told Elevated Existence Magazine when we caught up with him recently for an interview.

Marley’s fifth studio album “Fly Rasta” is being released, Tuesday, April 15th, along with his new children’s book, “I Love You, Too,” based on his popular song with the same name.

The new album was produced by Marley, along with additional production by Dave Cooley (J Dilla, Silversun Pickups), and includes The Melody Makers – Cedella Marley, Sharon Marley and Rica Newell. Fly Rasta is available for pre-order now exclusively at Ziggymarley.com.

The children’s book, featuring illustrations by Ag Jatkowska, is available now, and is a multi-cultural picture book exploring a child’s relationship with parents, nature and the unstoppable force of love. In 2009, Marley released an album called “Family Time,” for children and parents, and the song “I Love You, Too,” which the book is based on, was on the album. Marley is also the singer of “Believe in Yourself,” the popular theme song of the hit TV show, Arthur.

He is getting ready to launch a new U.S. tour, including a worldwide album release party at Club Nokia in Los Angeles.

When did your faith or spiritual side first begin to develop?
All of my family, my grandmother, my mother, raised us in churches, and all different types of churches from Baptist to Orthodox. That was the beginning of the journey for me – going to these churches and hearing about their ideas of God. As a teenager, I started to look outside of my circle of churches and the ideas of spiritual teachings, and started to read a lot of books on things like Buddhism. I was searching and trying to understand more.

What made it blossom more than the books was spending time in nature by myself. Being on the ocean on a boat and being in the woods. That was even more effective. That pushed my ideas forward.

Much of your music and lyrics spread the messages of love and unity. What is the ultimate message you try to convey with your music?
Not only with music, but my entire life is about the message that everything is connected, and love is the foundation of it all. That is where everything comes from.

All the songs have meaning. They all have something about them I find special.

Fly_RastaWhat was your goal with the new album, and is there an overall theme to it?The goal was to extend the boarders of the music and to explore the universe of music more – to be as creative as possible with it. I don’t say there is a theme, but a lot of the songs have to do with overcoming difficulties and obstacles, and the song “I Don’t Want to Live on Mars,” focuses on the environment.

The biggest difference is the knowledge I put into the record. The music is a natural progression taking different experiences and knowledge – everything I’ve learned in between this time and the time of the last record is expressed in this record and that includes knowledge. I’ve learned a lot more about music, songwriting and expressing myself, and have been through different experiences that the songs are based on. It’s more adventurous, progressive, and a step forward. I’m always trying to step forward, and I never want to repeat myself.

I_Love_You_Too_CoverWhat made you decide to do a children’s book, and what is the message of the book?
The book is an extension of the music and an extension of the words and the ideas. I have kids, and I read them a lot of books. When the idea came up I said why not get a book out there for children. I made a record called ‘Family Time’ for children and families and one of the songs is “I Love You, Too,” the name of the new book.

Love is the message, and I think it was a very popular song in my house with my kids and a lot of kids feel the same way about it. It was simple, about love for children, birds, bees, and love for all creation.

You also created an organic GMO-free line of products? What motivated you to do this?
It’s a business venture where business, morals and philosophy could come together and be done right. If the priority is not only money, then business is a good thing.

I’m a cook and food person. I garden and am involved in food. This was a very close thing to me and it gave me a chance to speak my mind about GMOs, organic food and the environment. It gives me a chance to speak and also create a business.

I use food as a vessel of consciousness, and both food and music are vessels of consciousness for me.

For more on Ziggy Marley, visit www.ziggymarley.com.