For over 20 years, Ziggy Marley has followed in his father’s footsteps by presenting the listener with a vocal and tonal representation of hard work, strife, and a stand for principles. Ziggy’s lyrics are a window into the soul of a man who presents contemporary woes in an optimistic light. His desires for a cohesive family, a healthier environment, equality for mankind, and a Golden Rule approach to life, and these are ideals that have been infused into his music.
Already experienced in collaborating with children’s programs such as PBS’s Arthur, Nick Jr.’s Dora the Explorer, and the animated film Shark Tale, Ziggy Marley has now extended this theme to his music. His third solo project, Family Time, is his first full-length release intended specifically for children and families. This reggae album contains many of the traditional Marley family themes, but through child-friendly, gentle grooves.
This album features original songs by Ziggy, but listens more like a collage of family and friends, featuring his mother, sister, daughter and a number of established artists from a variety of genres, including Laurie Berkner, Paula Fuga, Toots Hibbert, Elizabeth Mitchell, Willie Nelson, Jack Johnson, and Paul Simon. This release even contains two short stories narrated by acclaimed actress and children’s author Jamie Lee Curtis. The title song and first track, featuring Ziggy’s 3-year-old daughter Judah, defines the target audience for this album. Other cuts – “Ziggy Says,” a reggae spin on the classic Simon Says game, and “Walk Tall,” a tune emphasizing the need to stand up and push on regardless of the circumstances – reinforce the family theme.
Family Time is an uplifting album that will not only expose children to the rich culture that is reggae, but it will also open children and families up to the togetherness that can be shared through music. A defining factor in Ziggy’s childhood and subsequent adult life, he is quoted as saying, “Music helps children to grow with open minds and open hearts.” Family Time delivers on this sentiment.
Family Time is out now on Tuff Gong.