Ky-Mani Marley Talks Life, Death, and Konfrontation Muzik
Ky-Mani Marley's first name means "Adventurous Traveler."
He is the son of Bob Marley and Jamaican table tennis champion Anita Belnavis. He was born in Jamaica. But he grew up in Liberty City.
The new label that he's created is Konfrontation Muzik, and his album of the same name is currently being mixed.
He's got an intimate acoustic show at Ricochet next week for the Midtown Miami club's three-day anniversary party. And then in November, he'll be playing Bayfront Park for free as part of the DWNTWN Concert Series.
We here at Crossfade caught up with him and talk about life, death, weed, music, and politics. Here's what he had to say.
Crossfade: Wasup man, you have an album almost done right?
Ky-Mani Marley: I got two album right now. One is Evolution of a Revolution on Evolution of a Revolution record label. And another album, a more acoustic driven cross between reggae and soft rock, but original and authentic that has all the coloring of the roots of reggae music too. I think it's in a great place.
And you're hitting up Peru soon too, right?
We heading out to Peru, the second of November, and December 8 for Colombia. We were just in South America: Chile, Argentina, Brazil. And then we did Europe: France, Portugal, some other places. Then we took some time for this album, and soon we go back out.
When's it coming out?
Looking right now to release the first single as a free download shortly, and then the album itself in February.
Are the lyrics based in reality? Or more like party music?
It's real life. The message is there strong. The music is where hip-hop meets the dancehall and party vibe.
What's the feeling of it?
I put it to what the week might be like. One song for when you might be tired from working. One like makin' love to your girl. One might feel like ridin' out smokin'. I got you there too. The Evolution is an acoustic driven album. That feel good, that get in tune, that feel-good, that good bounce vibe message.
You got this show at Ricochet coming up, right?
I'ma touch on that few songs off the new album, but it's more like a little unplugged vibe -- some old, some new, and some that haven't been recorded yet.
You weren't born in Miami, but you're pretty much from here.
I been here since I was, like, 8 years old. Pretty much my entire life. I grew up on NW 22nd Avenue and 90th Street in Liberty City.
Did you know Bizzle at all?
Bizzle, I didn't know at all. But I know his music, definitely in touch with and in tune with the music. My heart goes out to the family....
Stories like his, they are unfortunately common, though.
It is what is. You already know how it go. We living in rough and tough times where patience is not something you run into everyday. I had a friend face the same fate last week over a simple misunderstanding over $50.
You wanna talk about that at all?
Man, no. Really, it's still hitting home.
Does any of your new music pay tribute to this situation?
I wouldn't say I pay tribute to it. But I speak on it. And then coming from growing up in the struggle, knowing frustration when your back is against the wall and you have no other outlet ... I sympathize.
Konfrontation to me, it's in our everyday life, every situation, no time for turning back. You confront love, your fears, your nightmares, and it don't have to mean something on some ra-ra ish. I can confront you and be civil, diplomatic, and peaceful at the same time. Whether that be love, your fear, music, or getting in your vehicle. We confront life my brother every day.
What do you think about politics?
Politics ... You know, I don't even think about that because all the politicians are the same. I never met one that proved the other one wrong or that proved the other one right. They all the same. I think about the people and what I can do to contribute to society, and to those less fortunate. How my music can affect the positive in life. How can I reach my hand out and not just from an economic standpoint to where I can get to the less fortunate. I get my hands dirty and let them know that I'm here physically and not just donating money. I'm not just on the net, but standing on the same ground with you, and telling you how I got out of my struggle. So I like the hands-on charity work. Sometimes, you donate money, but you don't know where it's going.
What else you wroking on these days?
I got my little son named KJ, and the boy got some goods. I got Ron, he 21 years old, I found him lingering in some studios, and he's a true lyricist and definitely a brilliant kid, and I have some music with them that I'd like to share with you. I have a female artist named Zenya outta Australia, and she got a beautiful soulful voice. And of course, I'm on the label.
I heard you're working with a country singer too.
I been working with Big Kenny from the Big And Rich show outta Nashville. We have a couple songs out together. I sat down after we recorded and listen to the song, and it's a killer song. There's no way anybody can sit down and do reggae and urban and country and come up with this song. It's kinda a dance track, but it came out really dope. They have this thing called Country Electro now ... Authentic country sounds with electronic. Electro with banjos running through it. Crazy, crazy, crazy.
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