Stephen Robert Nesta “Raggamuffin” Marley is a Jamaican-American eight-time Grammy Award-winning, Music Producing, iconic musician serving up an acoustic vibe on his new tour. Often he answers as the son of Bob Marley and his wife Rita, but he has made a name for himself. On the heels of his new EP, One Take: Acoustic Jams, he returns to Colorado with a conscious state of mind in more ways than one.
Stephen has had success as a solo artist, as a producer, and a member of Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers. He attributes it always to have been a part of who he is. “I would not say there was an exact moment when I realized music was my calling. Music is like breathing to me. It was just natural,” Stephen says.
Marley’s music advocates for social change and brings to light issues he values: “Disparity of wealth, poverty and lack of education,” Stephen says. “I am Jamaican, so it is really important for me to start in my home country. Music sparks change and builds innovation. If I can play in any part of that process I am grateful.”
Alongside his brothers, they formed the Ghetto Youths Foundation. “It is a continuation of my family’s commitment to uplift people,” Stephen says. “We want to make sure to give back to communities in need. One initiative now is to build a homework center in Trenchtown, Jamaica, and give them free access to education and the resources they need to make an impact.”
Stephen is a mentor in more ways than that. He guides his children in the studio and assists them in creating their own rhythm. “Many of my children are musicians. From an early age, since birth, they have been exposed to a musical environment, from joining me on tour to being by my side in the studio,” Marley says. “Now, I am blessed to share the stage with many of them. They are all inclined in their own right, whether musically or in another field, so that I will support them in their journeys.”
Following in his father’s light, Stephen wants to give back what he got as a youth. “His nature and nurture are ingrained in us, so I definitely believe we are an extension of this,” Stephen says. “He made sure to instill hard work and discipline in us, so I make sure I do the same.”
What should we expect in his shows in Colorado? “If you like the acoustic vibe we are bringing on the road, this is the perfect addition,” Marley says. “Colorado is vibrant. In all of my years touring here, the fans here bring good energy. Colorado is good, especially when it came to legalizing Kaya, so I think the people are elevated in a more conscious way.”
His big festival event is the annual Kaya Fest coming up in Florida on 4.20. The objective is to raise awareness through music and education on all the benefits of this plant.