“Anything that sounds good is good,” says Stephen Marley, paraphrasing Duke Ellington. Don’t be surprised to hear the King of Reggae’s son referencing Harlem’s master of the jazz orchestra. Never one to limit his musical horizons, Stephen has always listened without prejudice, letting his inspiration set him free as a singer, songwriter, musician, and producer—whether collaborating with his own illustrious musical family or with the likes of Lauryn Hill, Bobby Brown, Nas, or Erykah Badu.
Beginning his lifelong musical journey at the age of six, Stephen shared some historic stages with his legendary father and toured the world with his brother Ziggy and sisters Cedella and Sharon, The Melody Makers. The Tuff Gong instilled a strict work ethic and an awareness in all of his children that “music is way more than just music.”
Over the past 45 years, Stephen has won no fewer than eight Grammy Awards—three with The Melody Makers, three times as a solo artist, and twice as a producer of his younger brother Damian Marley. Every one of his solo projects to date has topped the Billboard Reggae charts.
All of which is to say that Stephen Marley’s place in music history is already secure. He does not need to push the envelope, defy expectations, or let the whole world into his world. And yet, that is just what he’s decided to do. “We got some new music coming your way,” he says while performing his latest songs live. “Something for your soul. I think we need that.”