Ziggy Marley talks new Bob Marley doc, social media and politics

Ziggy Marley talks new Bob Marley doc, social media and politics
By Damon Berger
  • Five-time Grammy award-winning artist Ziggy Marley stopped by What’s Trending speaking to Shira Lazar about the upcoming documentary about his father, titled “Marley.”

    “When the idea came up, I told the family about it,” Ziggy said. “We have this opportunity to do something definitive on Bob. And everyone was cool about that.”

    Working as an executive producer for the doc, Ziggy said he received his family’s blessing on the project after discussing it with them. He wants people to feel close to his father, and gain a better emotional connection to him. The film will be released in theaters and streamed on demand on Friday (4/20) through Bob Marley’s Facebook page to help build a larger audience. Some proceeds from the on-demand profits will go to a charity, Save the Children.

    His decision to distribute the documentary on Facebook was simple. “To give people as much access as possible, it’s good to give them different avenues to view the film,” Ziggy said. He hopes the nearly 38 million people who like Bob’s page will watch the doc online.

    While Ziggy hesitated to say his father would have been a fan of social media, he understands it’s impact among younger viewers. “I got into it a few years ago,” he said about using digital platforms. “I just talk to people. It’s not about selling records, it’s about communicating and meeting people, feeling that camaraderie. It’s not a marketing tool, it’s a way to communicate with other people and I like doing that.”

    Turning to politics, Ziggy said his father was not political in the United States, although Bob was politically active in Jamaica. Ziggy said Bob would be happy about Barack Obama being the first African-American president.

    “I think me and him have some similar thoughts,” Ziggy said, referring to his father. But he has his own thoughts about the state of American politics. “There is so much division that is deliberate, and the only way you can fool people, trick people, is by dividing them. So no matter, even if something is true, if you can divide people, it’s easy to control people that way.

    Dividing people: it’s an old tactic. It’s been used for centuries,” Ziggy said.

    “So how do we bring people together then?” Shira asked.

    Ziggy pondered for a moment before answering the question decisively. “Music,” he said smiling. “Music is the only truth. Politics and all of these things that are in the news are there to divide. Music is the only thing that has no ulterior motive.”

    Music is what brings people together. Politics is what divides people,” he said.

    A supporter of pro-marijuana legislation, he said that it’s only one aspect. He supports the freedom of the plant, such as the use of hemp, which he said could be used for clothing and building materials.

    “In my culture, we don’t drink alcohol,” he said.