At a time when the world has been asked to slow down, Skip Marley has made a name for himself with his hit single “Slow Down.” Topping the Billboard Adult R&B Songs airplay chart in May, the track featuring H.E.R., has put the 24-year-old grandson of Bob Marley at the forefront of the music industry.
“[H.E.R.] is one of the most talented young artists of all time,” Skip says as he reflects on the collaboration, adding that she can play the guitar behind her head.
When Skip was just 13 years old, his Grammy-award-winning uncle Stephen gifted him his very first guitar. While he says the guitar is his favourite instrument right now, the young musician also plays the bass, piano and drums. Asked if he’ll be able to play the guitar behind his head one day, he laughs and says, “I don’t reach there yet.”
Expected to release his debut album sometime soon, Skip reflects on the career ahead of him and his grandfather’s legacy.
Bob Marley urged the world to “Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights!” Today, Skip joins his family in continuing his legacy, echoing Bob’s lyrics, “Don’t give up the fight!” A third-generation Marley, Skip says his mission is to bring people together through love, unity and music.
Skip’s profound, expressive and soulful voice is reminiscent of his grandfather’s, add in the dreadlocks, patois and a demeanour backed by a genuine desire for peace and love, and it’s no wonder that he is often linked to his grandpa.
You don’t have to scroll long to find fan comments like “Listening to his voice, I could have sworn it was his grandfather,” a comment left by Jose Rodriguez on the music video for “Slow Down.”
Sandra Green, another fan, commented on the same video, “Bob Marley [is] smiling down on his grandson, sounds just like him.”
Born in 1996, Skip never had the chance to meet his grandfather. On the phone from his home in Miami, he says, “I know him, I know him, I didn’t have to know him personally.” At a time where Bob Marley’s message seems more relevant than ever, Skip says if his grandpa were here, he would be uniting the people and pushing for change. Soft spoken and understated, he adds, “we are all part of this movement, and we are confident in the victory of good over evil.”
Reflecting on the responsibility that comes with the Marley name, Skip says it’s both beautiful and an honour to be carrying on Bob’s legacy, adding: “I have to do my duty as a soldier.” He reminds us that he’s not in it alone, and credits his family members: cousins, aunts, uncles and of course, his mom, Cedella, for branching out the Marley legacy through music and beyond.
Skip and his mom are very close. Reflecting on his first time in the recording studio, he says, “the first time I was in the studio, it was with my mother.” Cedella, along with three of her siblings released more than ten albums as the Melody Makers in the ‘80s and ‘90s, winning three Grammys, before officially disbanding in 2002.
Bob Marley would have turned 75 years old this year, and what better way to celebrate than by creating a track with some of the music industry’s heaviest hitters to promote love and unity?
Skip and Cedella recently collaborated with 19-time Grammy Award-winning writer and producer, Emilio Estefan, The Wailers (Bob Marley’s moniker band), Shaggy and Farruko on the anthem “One World, One Prayer.” In a press release published by GlobeNewswire, Emilio says, “We are sending a message of ‘One World, One Prayer,’ realizing that we’re all the same."
In April, Billboard reported Bob Marley’s streams are up more than 23%, suggesting that the Marley mantra is just what the world needs right now.
Skip laughs as he talks about working with his mom. “She’s a perfectionist,” he chuckles adding that he’s picked up that attribute from her. “It’s always until it’s perfect, no matter how long it takes.” With over 4.4 million views on the music video on YouTube, it seems their audience appreciates the meticulous effort behind the anthem. More so, the message is an essential one as the world maneuvers through a pandemic and global civil rights movement.
As Skip reflects on everything his grandfather stood for, he says that this song perfectly embodies that, adding, “it doesn’t matter what you believe, some things have to change.”
Thinking about the current state of the world, Skip urges each and every person to really understand what’s going on and be aware, “don’t feel like because you’re not popular or a celebrity you can’t benefit your people. You are a benefit to your people,” he says. “They try and make love scarce, but love is not scarce.” Finally, he drives home “we always fight the good fight, always, keep on fighting, can’t give up.”