Stephen “Ragga” Marley, second son of Bob Marley was born April 20, 1972. Stephen started following in his father’s footsteps early in his life. As a matter of fact, When Bob closed out his shows, he would have Stephen and Ziggy Marley join him onstage. By the time Stephen was a teenager, he had acquired some studio skills from his father and assisted in the production of a handful of Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers albums, including Conscious Party (1989), One Bright Day (1990), and Fallen is Babylon (1998), all three albums won Grammys for “Best Reggae Album.”
Stephen’s first solo album, Mind Control, came along in March 2007. The album was well balanced between some old school (roots) reggae, some modern (contemporary) reggae and also a little bit of hip-hop. This mixture was melted into one solid project and the outcome was nothing less than a successful debut solo album. Mind Control has some well known hits such as “Hey Baby” ft Mos Def, “Mind Control“, and “The Traffic Jam” ft Damian and Julian Marley. What made Mind Control reach number one on the Billboard Reggae Album chart was its delicate balance between issues surrounding love and social justice.
Stephen’s sophomore album, Revelation Pt. 1: The Root of Life was released in 2011 and it went on to win a Grammy for best Reggae album. The Root of Life (TRL) was different than the first album as it had more collaborations and the overall sound of the album was more various. Mellow at times, and in various instances, Stephen would up the ante, throwing in some dancehall, just when you thought you understood the album’s theme. Some popular songs from TRL included “No Cigarette Smoking” ft Melanie Fiona and “Jah Army” ft Damian Marley and Buju Banton.
Its 2014 and Stephen is back! After missing his music for three years, Stephen is raising the bar high by going a different route with his upcoming album, Revelation Pt. 2: The Fruit of Life.
“The concept of the [new] album means merging my music with hip-hop and anything else I feel like,” Stephen told Rolling Stone Magazine. “Every aspect from the songwriting to the production, even the way I sing certain parts of a song, has to return to that concept.”
Apparently, part of what he feels like is incorporating some dubstep into his music, as is the case with single “Rock Stone.” The song kicks off with a typical reggae beat and it builds up to dubstep, the transition is smooth and finds Stephen in his own, creative zone.
Stephen Marley will be performing in the Pacific Northwest May 6 at The Showbox in Seattle and on May 7 he will be at Wonder Ballroom in Portland. Tune-in to “Reggae Lovers,” this Sunday, April 20 from 12 to 2 p.m. with Selecta Steppa for a chance to win tickets to see Stephen “Ragga” Marley in Seattle!