Also believing firmly in this mantra is reggae star Ziggy Marley. The Jamaican singer and musician and eldest son of Bob Marley strongly believes some of today’s younger reggae musicians are failing to show the necessary respect to the music’s pioneers.
“There’s too much watching other people, and not enough respect for the history and the roots of the music,” Marley says of the reggae industry today.
“This is a problem in my culture. We don’t pay enough homage to our roots.
“Within the younger generation of artistes, some of them want to forget about where the music is coming from, and not use the roots as part of what they’re doing. Some of them believe that they are greater than anybody else that has come before them. But I believe you have to humble yourself and bow down to the ones who paved the way for us. That’s the only way we’re gonna move forward.
He adds: “The reggae music that is loved by people around the world is the music that the legends created. We are only riding their coat tails, and we need to remember that. We didn’t create that legendary music; we’re just continuing it.”
The 45-year-old also feels that some of his peers need to look beyond the reggae fraternity, and have a greater understanding of the music industry at large.
Having racked up his sixth Grammy Award at this year’s ceremony (he scooped the best reggae award for his album Ziggy Marley In Concert), Marley’s Grammy success has long been a bone of contention for both reggae fans and critics, many of whom feel that he has only received this continued recognition because he is a Marley, and because the Grammys has no real understanding of reggae music.