Entertainment

Who's next?

Junior Gong would love to produce tracks for Bounty Killer

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, August 23, 2019

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Grammy-winning reggae artiste Damian “Junior Gong” Marley is still basking in the release of his latest project.

This time, the son of reggae icon Bob Marley has traded his skills as a performer and donned his producing and songwriting hat for the latest album by reggae ambassadors Third World. The album titled More Work To Be Done hit the streets a week ago and has the signature of the younger Marley all over its 11 tracks.

The band which is celebrating 45 years has always been close to Marley through a very strong family bond and working with Third World has been his dream. But now that he can check this project off his to-do list, Marley revealed that the next artiste he would love to work with is veteran deejay Bounty Killer.

“Yeah man Bounty,” he shared with the Jamaica Observer during a telephone interview.

“I love his music and I've been a fan over the years. Plus he always look out for me from my teenage days... he never pass me and nuh hail me yet,” he added.

It's still early days yet so there are no details on what he would do to a Bounty Killer track.

In speaking on the Third World project Marley noted that he is pleased with how it has turned out.

“I'm very proud of the final product. I have always been a fan of Third World... they are like my musical heroes. It was different working with them in a number of ways. It was the first time I was ever working with a band where you had so many opinions that you had to take into consideration as opposed to producing an artiste who is just an individual. As musical heroes it still came with that level of respect where you still had respect for their opinions even if you did not agree with it. That was another dynamic which played a part. It took some time to really catch a groove, for them to gain more trust in me, my opinions, and the direction I wanted to go. We also had to get familiar with what each person's role would be within the recording process and the writing of songs.”

More Work To Be Done, draws on Marley's outlook and experiences to bring a younger, fresher vibe to the catalogue of the iconic reggae group which has given the world anthems such as Try Jah Love, Reggae Ambassador, 96 Degrees in the Shade and Now That We Found Love. Part of that included introducing a number of duets on the project. Third world shares the microphone with acts such as Busy Signal, Chronixx, Tessanne Chin, and Tarrus Riley. Despite this Marley admits that he was not nervous when asked to helm the project.

“I just wanted to remind them of that energy that they have brought to the music. If Try Jah Love was released today it would have been a hit because the quality of the music is so great. So I didn't feel nervous, I just wanted to remind them of the youthful, hip, energy they brought to the music back in the day. As for the collaborations, I am a fan of each and every one of these individual's music and the integrity and credibility that they bring. Plus we were working at brining Third World to a younger generation.”

When pressed for his favourite track on the album Marley revealed that it was cut number eight Sheep in Meadows. Written by Third World's Stephen “Cat” Coore, Richie Daley, and AJ Brown along with Marley, the track is one of the few without a collaboration.

“I like the rhythm a whole heap, and I like the subject matter and it's just them alone; I like how the harmonies came together and the feel of the track in general. It deals with spirituality, especially from a Rastafari point of view so it resonates with me... Jah is the shepherd and we are the sheep.”

Marley is preparing to head into the studio to record his next album, which will follow his Grammy-winning Stony Hill which was released in 2017.


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