Audio

Ziggy Marley On the 40th Anniversary Reissue of 'Exodus'

Exclusive: Ziggy Marley speaks about his “restatement” reissue his father, Bob Marley's, iconic album Exodus.

JAMAICA—Bob Marley & The Wailers' classic album, Exodus, turned 40 years old on Saturday.


To mark the occasion, the Marley family has released 4 special reissues of the iconic record, one of which is a “restatement” of the original album created by Ziggy Marley.

For that reissue, Ziggy revisited the original Exodus recording sessions, “uncovering unused and never-before-heard vocals, lyric phrasing and instrumentation, incorporating and transforming these various elements into brand-new session takes,” the label mentions.

We spoke with Ziggy over the phone to talk about his process behind revisiting this, nearly untouchable, album.

What sparked the idea to revisit the songs on Exodus?

I came up with the idea because I wanted to give the people that love Bob something else. I didn't want to just give them the same thing they'd heard before. I feel like it kind of refreshes the album and gives it another perspective that some people might not get from the original.

What was your process like behind revisiting these classic songs?

I love the original so I wasn't gonna compete with it, the original is still the best version. That was the first thing on my mind. The next thing was not to change it too much but still use some elements that weren't very present in the mix before.

Bob Marley. Image courtesy of Universal Music.

Did you come across any problems when working on these Exodus tracks?

Yeah, I mean, I was concerned. But I wasn't scared. I just wanted to make sure that I didn't go overboard, keep the integrity of the record, but also keep it to today and listen to it fresh. I didn't listen to the original when doing my mixes

I went through some technical problems of just transferring these tapes to digital. I wish I could've had the tapes fresh, like they were originally, but they'd been stored for so long.

What new elements does your Exodus "restatement" have?

"Natural Mystic," for example—one of the most iconic songs—originally has this very mystical way of starting, but when I listened to the track I decided not to start it the way the original did. Instead I found some pianos that I didn't hear before in the mix and some vocal harmonies that my father had used.

I was finding stuff all over the place when looking through the tapes. I found some synth parts that were really funky and I was like, ‘let’s make this be a lead.' I love that part so much, and I couldn't believe it, because in those days it was unheard of to hear stuff like that [on a synth].

Exodus reissue. Image courtesy of Universal Music.

Your father had spiritual and physical ties to Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, among other African countries. What would you say are the African influences on this album?

Most of my father's music has African elements or influences. One of them is the hand drumming, which people don't realize is part of the sound because its so subliminal. It's been a part of his music ever since.

Two years ago you selected your favorite Fela Kuti songs for the relaunch of Fela.net.

Me love Fela. I love him as a musician, as a person, as a character. Bob and Fela remind me of two very unique people, but with similarities in terms their aura, their stance and independence. The two of them are beautiful.

What are your favorite places to visit in Africa?

I love Ghana, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe... I love it all. I was there during the 2010 World Cup for the Marley Africa Roadtrip but I haven't had the chance to go back since.

Stream the Exodus 40th anniversary reissue below, which is available now.

This Is the Best Music Video You'll See All Month

Cherrie boosts up Somalia & Mogadishu in her music video for "163 För Evigt," featuring Z.E.

Cherrie is a buzzing Somali-Swedish singer whose music we've previously premiered and featured in a Songs By Somali Singers & Rappers You Should Listen to This Summer.

The R&B artist recently dropped the amazing video for "163 För Evigt" ("163 Forever") and, despite her singing in Swedish, the track's been blowing up online across both sides of the Atlantic, being posted in several Instagrams, Tweets and everything in between.

Keep reading... Show less

DJ Spinall's New Album Is A Star-Packed Afrobeats Party

DJ Spinall assembles afrobeats' biggest names for his new album, 'Dreams.'

For his third album, Dreams, DJ Spinall assembles some of afrobeats' biggest names.

The first track features Niniola, who's made house music her mainstay, keeping her fashionably out of step with whatever is on-trend. "Thinking About Your Love" might be reminiscent of Kenny Thomas' 1991 song of the same title, but save for this phrase and accompanying melody, the song is very much Niniola's particular way of grafting Yoruba and Nigerian English onto South African house.

Keep reading... Show less
Photo courtesy of Art X Lagos.

Art X Lagos: West Africa's International Art Fair Returns Bigger and Bolder

We catch up with Art X Lagos founder Tokini Peterside on what to look forward to as West Africa's international art fair returns November 3.

One of West Africa's largest art fairs, Art X Lagos, is back for its second installment with bigger and bolder offerings. The three day event running from November 3 to 5 will showcase contemporary African art from 15 countries and feature 14 galleries representing African artists on the continent and the diaspora.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.