Julian Marley, son of Lucy Pounder and Bob Marley (the latter's third youngest), was born in London UK in 1975. There he grew up before he definitely moved to Jamaica in 1992. During his London years he frequently visited Jamaica to spend time with his brothers and sisters. While being at the Marley family home, located at 56 Hope Road in Kingston, then five year old Julian "recorded" his first song to a tune of his renown father on a cassette tape. Music runs in the family with, of course, first off all grandmother Cedella Booker and father Bob Marley, and then continuing with siblings Ziggy, Cedella, Stephen, Sharon and Damian "Jr. Gong", but it's obvious that Julian's exposure at an early age to such an inspiring and impressive talented musical environment was very important for his musical education and development. When Julian was in London he took time to develop his skills as a player of instruments. It paid out as he actually became a skilled, self-taught musician who has mastered instruments such as the bass, the keyboards and the drums. Some biographies on the internet state that Julian has released an album entitled "Uprising" in 1989. However, it is most unlikely he released an album at the age of fourteen, also regarding the fact that no info about those bunch of songs has appeared anywhere. In 1992 he moved to Jamaica where he started to work with with a variety of musicians among them such renown reggae veterans as Aston "Family Man" Barrett, Earl "Wire" Lindo, Tyrone Downie and Earl "Chinna" Smith. In 1997, after some five years of learning and hard work, the international reggae massive was treated to Julian's album, "Lion in the Morning", a conscious effort that reflected his growing maturity and musical sophistication. The album was recorded at the newly renovated Marley Music studio at Hope Road in Kingston, the studio where his father created some of his most important and well-known work, and was produced by the Ghetto Youths International production team, which was founded by siblings Stephen and Ziggy.

Photos taken in Germany, 1997. Used by kind permission courtesy of MELODYMAKERS.de

Julian also displayed his musical gift to a live audience. He has performed for Jamaica's Sumfest and Sunsplash shows, as well as touring abroad in Japan, Brazil, and Mexico. He and brother Damian "Jr. Gong" were also featured as part of the "Marley Magic" North American tour in early 1996. On July 7, 1996, he performed once again with The Melody Makers at New York's Summer Stage at Central Park. In 1997 he again toured together with Damian Marley as part of the Loolapalooza US festival tour, in 1999 he performed "Rastaman Chant" with Busta Rhymes at the "One Love Marley Tribute" in Jamaica and furthermore opened for Damian Marley during the fall 2001 US tour.


Exclusively for www.MELODYMAKERS.de, Andrew McCafferty conducted an interview with Julian Marley which took place in London on 5th April 2002.


Andrew McCafferty : When can we expect your new album?

Julian Marley : Well hopefully by the end of this summer, hopefully yeah.

Andrew McCafferty : The name is Systems?

Julian Marley : No that's one of the tracks for the album. We are still working on a name for the album.

Andrew McCafferty : So you have not named the album yet.

Julian Marley : No, not yet.

Andrew McCafferty : Which label will release it ?

Julian Marley : It's going to be Tuff Gong.

Andrew McCafferty : That's something to do with your own label?

Julian Marley : Yes that's our own label.

Andrew McCafferty : Who is the producer of the album?

Julian Marley : Well Stephen Marley is the producer, we also produce... me and Damian.

Andrew McCafferty : So you and Damian also produce?

Julian Marley : Yeah, well Steve is like the head you no what I mean, he is like the captain.

Andrew McCafferty : I know what you mean it's a family thing!

Julian Marley : Yeah that's right.

Andrew McCafferty : Do you have any guest appearances on the album?

Julian Marley : Not yet.

Andrew McCafferty : Do you plan to have any guests on it?

Julian Marley : Maybe Junior Gong, I donít know. We got a lot of musician friends that might be, but not yet.

Andrew McCafferty : Maybe with Busta Rhymes? Your performance (Rastaman Chant) with Busta at the 1999 Marley Tribute-did you enjoy it? Was it a good time?

Julian Marley : Yeah it was a good time you know and well, we know him also before that and it was just normal getting together and jamming one of the songs he also knows,.. also.. do you know what I mean, because he was born in Jamaica.

Andrew McCafferty : He was born in Jamaica?

Julian Marley : Yeah, so he knows the song too.

Andrew McCafferty : Will it be more rootsy like your debut album, we are talking about your new album, or is it going to be like Damian's one which is a bit hiphop orientated?

Julian Marley : Well it got some sounds of both worlds. It got some hiphop also some of the original authentic music, Reggae, it also has a bit like Jazz and Blues.

Andrew McCafferty : So what kind of Blues do you like?

Julian Marley : Well Blues, I like some old guys, some Sam Cooke.

Andrew McCafferty : You like Fats Domino?

Julian Marley : Yeah just getting into some of his music, Nat King Cole deep guys.

Andrew McCafferty : Could you tell us some details about the songs on the album?

Julian Marley : A lot of songs on the album, well I mean each song is dealing with the spiritual, each song is a spiritual song, you know what I mean. The first album is more talking like street what's happening on the street this one is more about the spirit and judgement. So we have a song like SYSTEM which speaks about the system that was made to rule and to divide, you know what I mean, to fool you. We have songs like FATHER'S PLACE, which is speaking of Heaven, Zion, "so come with me to my Father's place were we can be in unity". So a lot of deep songs.

Andrew McCafferty : Actually deep like the words are deep?

Julian Marley : Yeah, each song is personal for each.

Andrew McCafferty : You open for Damian on the Halfway Tree tour in 2001. Did you perform any of the new songs there?

Julian Marley : Yeah, we performed one or two, we performed BUILD TOGETHER, we performed SYSTEMS that's probably it from the new. Andrew McCafferty : Yes, and what did you think were the reactions?

Julian Marley : Well, we got a lot good reactions, reaching people waiting to hear new music and when they hear it.. well.

Andrew McCafferty : Did you find that when you bring new music out it takes them a lot of time to get use to it?

Julian Marley : Well, if they have a CD they get use to it.

Andrew McCafferty : Could you give use a short sample of a song like SYSTEMS for all those that were not able to see the tour last year?

Julian Marley sings : "Working for the system year saying you can't earn no living and unemployment who the skyscrapers keep rising what's the use we wait no more oh no cos rastafari the law, saying donít you know that systems were made to rule systems were made to divide and to rule systems were made to rule."

Andrew McCafferty : Yeah, that's magic and do you have any plans for a tour?

Julian Marley : Well, we're wating for the album first you know.

Visit the MARLEY FAMILY FANPAGE MELODYMAKERS.de for the complete interview in RealAudio!

Interview by Andrew McCafferty - © www.MELODYMAKERS.de 2002.
Text : Mr. T     Source : www.melodymakers.com

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