Nicole Bain, writer and dancer writes about the enduring legacy of the King of Reggae, Bob Marley.
It has been 31 years since the passing of Reggae icon Robert (Bob) Nesta Marley but his musical light shows no signs of dimming. What is it about this man of humble beginnings that continues to evoke the interest and admiration of fans the world over? There seems to be no single answer to that question, but rather a number of contributing factors. For some music lovers, Marley’s genius lies in his amazing way with words. He seemed somehow to be connected to the listeners for whom he wrote. Says Kayann, “I think, Bob is popular for the same reason the Psalms are frequently read. He gave a voice to the turmoil and desires of our heart, and then tried to offer hope for a better tomorrow.”
But do his lyrics still have currency among a generation of young people far removed from the time in which he lived and wrote? Respected Jamaican music producer Mikie Bennett seems to think so. “I remember saying to my daughter a few years back that Bob Marley’s songs were going to affect everybody at some stage in their lives because as a songwriter I think Bob Marley was channelling a higher intelligence. I think he just prepared himself to channel the messages he got. His messages spoke to a lot of situations, physically and metaphysically.”
Mikie Bennett (L) chatting with guests at Grafton Studio.