The Marley surname perpetuates Jamaican royalty, resonates worldwide recognition and represents the pioneer of a cultural, political and social revolution. Reggae icon and legend Bob Marley blessed the world with his timeless, brilliant and message-filled sound which continues to inspire and influence audiences today.
Bob Marley’s conviction and passion for music was passed to his offspring and has allowed the Marley name to remain relevant among the hierarchy of the reggae sound.
Ky-Mani is a fitting name for a charismatic artiste whose East African name means ‘adventurous traveller’.
Born on February 26, 1976, Ky-Mani Marley is the son of Bob Marley and table tennis champion Anita Belnavis. Ky-Mani is the second-youngest of Bob’s 11 children. While bearing the Marley name, Ky-Mani’s childhood told a different story. Born in Falmouth, Trelawny, Jamaica, and settling in Miami, Florida, at the age of seven, he was raised in the inner city in a two-bedroom home along with eight family members.
As a child, he had no interest in following in the footsteps of his world-famous father and was more inclined to play sports.
However, the seed that was planted by Bob’s legacy sprouted in 1997 when Ky-Mani teamed up with hip hop artiste Pras of The Fugees for a rendition of Eddy Grant’s Electric Avenue.
This would prove to be the defining moment in his journey which would lead him to pick up the torch his iconic father lit so many years ago.
Remaining true to his Jamaican culture, Ky-Mani’s fondness for all genres of music influences the work he creates. He is an artiste with no limits.
Incorporating world music, hip hop, blues, rock and a grass-roots sound into his music, the end product is the pure representation of life for Ky-Mani.
His sound is one that transcends cultural lines and prohibits him from being categorised as only a reggae artiste.
His raw, unadulterated, gruff sound captures the listener and reverberates the essence of Ky-Mani’s life story. Songs such as Dear Dad, I Pray, and Ghetto Soldier display the versatility and fiery passion he exudes when sharing his voyage through song.
Ky-Mani has four studio albums to his credit: Like Father, Like Son, produced in 1996; The Journey (Shang), in 1999, which received mass critical acclaim and peaked at No 7 on the Billboard reggae album charts; 2001’s Many More Roads (Fractal Ent/Reggae Vibes) which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album; and Radio(Vox) in 2007, which has more of a hip hop feel than his previous albums and reached No. 1 on the Billboard reggae album charts.
Ky-Mani has previously collaborated with R&B and reggae songstresses Mya, Marcia Griffiths and Tessanne Chin; dancehall giants Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Mr Vegas and Alborosie; and hip hop talents Young Buck, Afu-Ra and Ms.
Ky-Mani’s autobiography, Dear Dad, was released on February 6, 2010, what would have been Bob Marley’s 65th birthday.
Dear Dad is distributed in five languages.
With a new energy and revitalised spirit, the future is promising for Ky-Mani.
In 2009, he started the charitable Love Over All Foundation (LOAF) which caters to empowering and educating youth.
LOAF also focuses on restoring values, rebuilding schools and supplying the basic necessities for the classrooms as well as the community in Falmouth.
Jamaica Jazz and Blues line-up
THURSDAY, JANUARY 26
Shaggy, Chris Martin, George Nooks, Ky-Mani Marley, Pluto Shervington, Half Pint, AJ Brown, Assassin, Lloyd Parkes and We The People Band, Byron Lee’s Dragonaires, Marcia Griffiths, Derrick Morgan.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 27
Celine Dion, Richie Stephens and Gentleman, Nicole Henry, Jully Black, Tessanne Chin and Tami Chynn.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 28
Cee Lo Green, Temptations, Earl Klugh, Heads of State, Destra Garcia, Damian Marley.