Julian Marley released his first album when he was only 21. That’s not surprising for the son of reggae legend Bob Marley, who grew up in London and Jamaica surrounded by music and musicians. The younger Marley taught himself to play bass, drums, guitar and keyboards, but his reggae mentors included Aston “Family Man” Barrett, Carlton Barrett, Earl Wire Lindo, Tyrone Downie and Earl “Chinna” Smith.
In 1996, he released that first album, Lion in the Morning, which was recorded at Tuff Gone Studio in Jamaica. In it, he paid tribute to his roots and his heritage. An international tour with The Uprising followed as they performed in New York, Brazil and Japan. He contributed to Lauryn Hill’s Grammy-winning album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, including guitar work on the single, “Forgive Thy Father,” and with his siblings Stephen, Cedella, Damian and Kyman, he performed a version of the single “Master Blaster” for Stevie Wonder’s tribute album. In 2003, he released his sophomore album, A Time and Place, a fusion of roots reggae and jazz. In typical Marley-family style, it was produced by his brother Stephen.
The family came together for another project, a series of “Africa Unite” performances which began in Ethiopia and included Ghana and Jamaica. At the invitation of the Jamaican government, Julian Marley and The Uprising performed at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and celebrated with Jamaica’s Gold Medal winner, runner Usain Bolt.
Marley album, Awake, another family production, was nominated for a Grammy and his “Awake” world tour morphed into the Raggamuffin tour in 2010. That year, Awake took home the Best Album of the Year award at the International Reggae and World Music Awards.
In the same tradition as his father, Julian Marley is a devout Rastafarian whose music is inspired by life and spirituality. While he has built a formidable reputation by transcending musical genres, his music is always imbued with his spiritual and moral values. His latest album, As I Am, is a summer 2019 release and he will continue touring to bring it to his fans around the world.
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