With 4/20 upon us, today marks the release of the first-ever family authorized documentary, "Marley," chronicling the life and times of legendary musician Bob Marley. Directed by Academy Award-winner Kevin Macdonald and executive produced by Marley’s eldest son, Ziggy, the bio-doc is the first U.S. film to be released simultaneously in theaters and stream online and features rare footage and performances of the late icon.
In celebration of the definitive documentary’s release, Marley opened up to the Huffington Post about his involvement with the project, his new satellite radio show, and the idea of embarking on a Marley family tour.
How does it feel to have a film debut in theaters in addition to simultaneously streaming it across digital media platforms such as Facebook?
I think it’s cool. It’s good to be ahead of the game. It’s always good to be doing something fresh. I think that it’s a fresh way to putting out the films that I’m involved in.
With this being the first official documentary supported by the Marley family, how much creative input did the family have in the production?
Well, we were involved from the get-go with facilitating everything that was happening in the film, including speaking to people to let them know our involvement with this to ensure that it was cool to talk to this producer. And everyone was being very open because they knew that we were a part of this thing and it wasn’t some random person trying to make a film about Bob. They knew that this would be the real deal. And that’s how we worked with the producers and the director in the film and just got everything done. And also set the tone on what it should be and give our opinions on the different versions until we reached a final cut.
Was it a marketing ploy to release the film on 4/20, due to your father’s association with marijuana?
Yeah, I think 4/20 is a special day. Of course, with our culture we use herb for so many different things not just for smoking. I think it’s something that we’re not going to hide from, and I think it’s appropriate because it’s a part of our culture and a part of Bob’s music. If you love Bob’s music, well guess what, herb is a part of Bob’s music.
The film covers an array of topics including Bob’s extramarital affairs. In your opinion, did you consider that to be a challenge in projecting?
Not really. We just wanted to make sure that everything remained in perspective. And that in no way anything that we did in terms of that subject would be disrespectful to his wife and our mother. So we had to keep everything in perspective and make sure it was done as respectful as it can be. My mother was very cordial in speaking about it and just telling people the truth about how the relationship was with her and Bob.
In addition to you serving as a executive producer of ‘Marley,’ you also recently launched your own satellite radio show.
Yeah, I have a satellite radio show called “The Legends of Reggae.” It’s a cool way to branch out and do other things. I’m paying respect to the legends of reggae. Everyone knows my father, Bob Marley. He’s the brightest light in reggae. However, I want to also highlight other musical artists who paved the way along with my father, and even before my father. So I’m just paying respect and kind of documenting the history of the music for the next generation, especially for the people of Jamaica to have some perspective on the music that is our legacy. Similar to how people in America know George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and stuff like that, I want to have that for the people, especially in Jamaica, to know that Dennis Brown and The Abyssinians, and artists that are not as popular or some that the next generation may have forgotten. Just something to give them a little bit of the history so they will know.
Are you planning any tours in the coming months?
Yes, I have my album out called “Wild And Free,” and I’m touring the states this summer. So people can look out for that.
Can fans expect the entire Marley family to get together and do a big tour?
Yeah, you can expect that. We’ve been talking about that for so long. I hope it happens soon. We’ll have to wait and see.
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