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Interview:
Stephen Marley's enjoying the fruits of collaboration
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

Stephen Marley is reggae through and through. That just comes with being the second oldest son in the late Bob Marley’s first family of the genre.

But much like his father, the 44-year-old Marley -- once part of the Melody Makers band with his siblings -- feels a mission to work other influences into his music, hence the reason his upcoming album “Revelation Par II: The Fruit of Life,” due out July 22, features collaborations with rappers such as Iggy Azalea, Pitbull, Rick Ross and Wacka Flack Flame as well as younger brother Damian Marley.

“’The Fruit of LIfe’ is kind of a concept where I’m cross-pollinating the music and kind of bringing genres together with reggae, genres that influenced in reggae and genres that reggae has influenced as well,” Marley explains by phone from New Mexico. “You’ll find hip-hop in it. You’ll find jazz music in it, dance music in it -- which reggae has a big influence on.

“It’s a diverse album.”

And, Marley is confident, it’s the kind of album his father would appreciate as well.

“I don’t know if he would have made a conceptual album like this, where all of the songs are cross-pollinated, but definitely he was influenced by other genres of music and you can hear it in his songs,” Marley says. “That’s why his songs stand out so much, because he was very much like that while not losing his organic state. He was a master at that...incorporating influences by other people and using it for his own music.”

Marley says the collaborations on “Fruit of Life” occurred “organically” and started with the song first, then incorporating the guests. Even then, however, Marley says there were moments of apprehension about whether the combinations would work or not.

“There’s a limit, yes,” he says. “Sometimes you aspire to work with ones and it doesn’t work out, whether it’s schedule, whether it’s vibe. Sometimes you do have to push that (escape) button. But luckily on this record everyone was just solid. I’m really happy with it. It really works.”

• Stephen Marley, Squidly Cole, Rica Newell and more

• Saturday, June 25. Doors open at 8:30 p.m.

• Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.

• Tickets are $25.

• Call 313-961-6358 or visit saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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