Stephen Marley readies his new EP, Celebrating Nina: A Reggae Tribute to Nina Simone.
Bob Marley’s children have always fought to carry on his legacy, especially as it pertains to equal rights and justice. One of the glowing examples of this fight is well-established singer and producer Stephen Marley. Even with all his success, much more needs to be done, and he is now calling for more activism through music.
The eight-time Grammy Award-winning singer and producer recently spoke with the Jamaica Star and revealed that in an attempt to do his part to bring awareness through his music, he has chosen to pay homage to musician and civil rights activist Nina Simone. To achieve this, he has produced a seven-track EP titled Celebrating Nina: A Reggae Tribute to Nina Simone.
He explained that the well-known activist, who died in 2003, was an example of an artist who lent her voice to the cause of black empowerment. Something that he believes other black artists need to do.
Marley added that besides the fact that she was a brilliant musician, she was a revolutionist. The “Rock Stone” singer said that Simone used her platform to protest the injustice of black people, much like the legendary Bob Marley, whose message still resonates with many people all over the world.
“Through her music, you could hear her activism, which is something I would love to hear and see more of in our teachings. If more people spoke out directly like Nina Simone did, I think we’d be in a different position,” he continued.
Besides paying homage to the American singer, Marley said it was also a matter of educating the younger generation about the freedom fighters who came before them and who helped pave the way for equal rights.
The album has some notable names lending their voices to his cause. Some of them include covers by Queen Ifrica, Etana, and his sister Cedella Marley. Internationally, Melanie Fiona, Maya Azucena, Joss Stone, and Terri Walker also feature on the EP.
The female artists were chosen because they all have strong personalities that embody the same powerful spirit as Nina, he added. Even though he never got to meet Simone, he said that he was influenced by her music which he said was able to cross several genres, including classical, R&B, soul, jazz, pop, and gospel.
Marley thanked his grandaunt for exposing him to Simone’s music and added that he always loved the way her music made him feel.