Strike the Balance! - Ky-Mani Marley advises artistes to find middle ground
Internationally renowned reggae artiste Ky-Mani Marley has years of musical experience under his belt. As son of reggae legend Bob Marley, the Grammy-nominated artiste knows exactly what it takes to make music timeless music, songs that will transcend geographical boundaries and positively impact society. It is with that expertise that he is urging today’s generation of artistes to try and find balance when creating new content.
In an interview with The Sunday Gleaner, Marley stated that while entertainers are writing songs based on their life experiences, he wants their music to reflect growth and maturity. “Yuh affi remember say nuff artiste sing weh dem know bout. Nuff artiste are influenced by their community, dem upbringing; and things weh take place around dem. Me is never the one to knock the artiste because me is an artiste myself. Me go inna museums and see some things a man pay millions a dollars fah, and when me look, it not even worth $100 to me, so to each its own,” he said.
“Right now, a lot of gun songs and a lot of violent songs coming out, and the only thing me can say to the artiste dem is that we need balance. If you are able to make something of yourself coming from a situation and you have now put yourself in another position, then the music should reflect that. It should reflect your growth and your journey. It shouldn’t just stay at ‘kill, kill, kill’ when you are no longer part of that environment.”
“As far as the generation now, man like the Protégé, Chronixx, Jesse Royal, dem a dweet, and we love the work. It is music that is grounded, and that’s a balance we need, but we don’t shine enough light on that sector of the music. Me love the sound, the direction, the authenticity,” he continued.
Speaking of authenticity, Marley also believes that much of the music today is lacking originality. Instead of falling in line with whatever is being produced, the entertainer wants artistes to challenge themselves more where creativity is concerned.
“My family has always been about building, creating, innovating, and that’s why we have been able to stay on the front line of the charts. We do not follow trends. What I think we (as an industry) lacking is our originality. I feel like nuff a di man dem in the genre come do a song and it hit, and a next man come do a song inna da same vein deh without creating his own,” he said.
“Where are the Burning Spears, the Bob Marleys, the Peter Toshs, the Bunny Wailers, you name them? The list goes on. We lacking creativity inna di business, and I think once we get back to that, we good. We just need to get back to being original and not worry about finding a hit or trying to pattern something so that you can be in that playlist,” he said.