TEEN VOGUE-ING WITH SKIP MARLEY
“My music is about peace, love, and happiness. Unity. Togetherness,” says Skip Marley, 19, as he settles in at the Dream Midtown hotel in Manhattan to talk about launching his solo career. “It’s about good vibes and good times. Just living your life. This is music for the people.”
Like Uncle Ziggy, who stormed the scene in the ’80s, this member of the Marley tribe has an uncanny physical resemblance to its legendary patriarch, pop culture icon Bob Marley. But the similarities run much deeper than surface level: Skip’s entire persona is a natural extension of his late grandfather’s. Sitting down to talk with the reggae royal was similar to what you’d imagine meeting Bob would be like—it was almost as if he’d time traveled.
“Even though I never met him, I always knew who he was—he was everywhere in the house,” Skip recounts of his homes in Kingsland, Jamaica and Miami. “When I was 11 or 12 I started to realize what a positive effect he had on the world and thought, Hey, I want to do that, too.” Although the Marley family is composed of various power players and tied to some other serious musical forces—another uncle, Rohan, is an entrepreneur and former athlete who has five children with Grammy winner Lauryn Hill—Skip does not take the privilege for granted and instead revels in the impactful hand he was dealt.
“When we get together in the studio, music just comes out. I’ll pick up the guitar, my cousin will
come in and sing something, and then I will sing something. We’ll record it and add some drums or piano,” Skip shares with ease. “That’s how it goes.”
Further proving his humility is real, Skip stopped in the middle of his interview to revel in the opportunity to be included in the magazine. “Everyone wants to be in Teen Vogue! When the magazine came to me and asked if I wanted to be photographed, I thought, Why should I be in Teen Vogue? Me featured? Why me, you know? This is a really cool experience. It’s something I’m telling everybody.”
This past summer the smooth crooner released his debut single, “Cry to Me,” which led to a publishing deal with Blue Mountain Music and subsequent high-profile concerts with two other uncles, Damian and Stephen, on their Catch a Fire tour where he says he could feel his grandfather’s spirit.
“My grandfather was there because he lives on through our music. We’re his family, so to sing reggae is a spiritual thing. Every time we perform he’s there, living through us. He’s there. He’s in the music. He is the music. That’s how I look at it. We don’t miss him because he’s here. He’s not gone. He’s here. Always.”
With an EP on the horizon, Skip is eager to continue performing; he cites the Hollywood Bowl as his favorite venue so far. When asked where he hopes the future will carry him, his answer is quite simple: “Wherever God sends me.”