Paul Salfen interviews Ziggy Marley.
ZIGGY MARLEY OFFICIAL BIOGRAPHY
Ziggy Marley was born October 17, 1968 in Trenchtown, Jamaica. The eldest son of Bob and Rita Marley, Ziggy began his musical career playing with his father and his siblings Sharon, Cedella and Stephen on “Children Playing in the Streets” in 1979.
The siblings became known as Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, and released their debut album, “Play the Game Right” on EMI Records in 1985. While with EMI, the Melody Makers released “Hey World” in 1986, and then “The Time Has Come: The Best of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers” in 1988.
In 1988, the band moved to Virgin Records and recorded “Conscious Party” which won them their first Grammy. “Conscious Party” was produced by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, and included the hit songs “Tomorrow People” and “Tumblin’ Down.”
The Melody Makers followed up the huge success of “Conscious Party” with two other critically and popularly successful albums “One Bright Day” in 1989 (won them a second Grammy) and “Jamehka” in 1991. The 1990’s brought more albums, including “Joy and Blues” in 1993, on Virgin Records, and then “Free Like We Want to Be” in 1995, “Fallen is Babylon” in 1997 (scored them a third Grammy), and “The Spirit of Music” in 1999 all on Elektra.
Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers’ side work during this time focused many times on children, included contributing the song “Give a Little Love” to the Disney album “For Our Children” in 1991, with proceeds given to the Pediatric AIDS Foundation. That same year, Ziggy and the Melody Makers also appeared on Sesame Street, and sang a recorded version of “Small People” from the album “Jamehka,” and then in 1996, they performed and recorded the reggae-‐style theme song for the children’s television series Arthur, called “Believe in Yourself.”
Other TV work included Ziggy also appearing as himself on an episode of the sitcom “Family Matters” in 1995, and then later that same year performed his song “Rainbow in the Sky” on the hit TV series Charmed, in Season 6, Episode 14 “The Legend of Sleepy Halliwell.”
In 2001, Ziggy became more politically active, serving as a Goodwill Youth Ambassador for the United Nations, and creating a label back in Jamaica called Ghetto Youths to help kids there. As well as being active in the Bob Marley Foundation’s causes, including Africa Unite, Ziggy would later expand his ambitions to help others by creating his foundation, U.R.G.E. (Unlimited Resources Giving Enlightenment) in 2007, to help underprivileged children go to school. Ziggy would also continue his philanthropic efforts for other organizations, including Little Kids Rock, Nancy Davis Foundation to Erase Multiple Sclerosis, Room to Read Foundation, Rotary Organization, and many others.