Ziggy's Call To "Start It Up"
Like the lyrics in his popular new song, Ziggy Marley has “found a place where the weekend’s long” in Loveland, Colorado on August 7, 2016. He will headline the diverse conscious love uprising that is the Arise Music Festival. Often called the “best music festival in Colorado," you can relish a long weekend of yoga, workshops, children’s activities, art, and seven stages of live music to inspire the soul to stand up and take action for the best interest of all. It is not to be missed and there is still time to get tickets before it begins on the 5th of August.
The oldest son of Bob Marley, Ziggy Marley has been called Reggae music’s most trusted voice. His set will be the culmination of this 4th annual gathering dedicated to the diversity in the arts. When yogis, artists and musicians gather at a place called Sunrise Ranch in a town called Loveland, how can positive changes not happen? I was able to attend the first Arise in 2013 with my family and was blown away by the high vibration that was emanating throughout the attendees.
I spoke with Ziggy last week. Though it will be his first time at Arise, he is not new to its ideology. I asked him first if he practiced yoga. He said yes, but not in the traditional sense. In one his new songs though, on his self-titled album, “I am Not Made of Stone,” he calls on us to meditate once a day.
It has been ten years since his popular anthem, “Love is My Religion” turned up the volume of consciousness through the airwaves. What has changed since then? He continues to evolve and grow. “Rasta is my foundation. But, the evolution of the consciousness of how we perceive who we are is really Love. I don’t want anybody to label me. Then I become part of this group that is supposed to be a certain way. I am free. Love is a free thing, and everyone can believe in that. Every human being can have Love in their heart. But not every human can say I am a Catholic, I am a Christian, I’m a Jew, I’m a Rastaman. We don’t want to do with separation by labels. Rastafari is where I am coming from. Rastafarianism is where the tree started to grow for me. We should all come to the same conclusion, Love is the ultimate conclusion. Love is the answer, love is the key.”
I then asked what we could do to make a difference. He continued, “We have to stand up for love. Say, hey, more people on this planet are for love than for hate. We want our voices to be heard now by the politicians and the religious leaders. Stop dividing the people. Stop manipulating the people. Stop fighting wars. Stop. Find a way to make things work. Most of us just want love and peace. We have to stand up. They (the leaders, the politicians) will see us, see how many we are! They will say, ‘there are so many of them! (standing up for peace and love) and they will take a step back. It’s our turn. It’s a love turn. Guys that want war will be saying, ‘I don’t know, I don’t think it’s going to to work.'” And then he laughs, a deep hearty laugh, and I laugh along, and I believe him to be true and that positive change is inevitable and already afoot.
I was curious, as the son of the legendary and world-renowned reggae artist, did he ever consider another profession? Ziggy said, “Ya mon, I wanted to be a doctor. That is why I read a lot of books and educate myself on healthy living and what to eat. You have to be your own doctor sometimes and food is the best medicine. So, the better food that we eat, the better doctor we are to ourselves.”
Ziggy and his wife and friends are releasing a cookbook in early October, Ziggy Marley and Family Cookbook. It is inspired by Ziggy’s Jamaican background, but it is his own spin on its traditions. He sees the power of growing your own vegetables to reconnect with the earth’s energy. “When you do that kind of work there is a love within, an energy that is permeating from the earth from working with the soil. There is something there, spiritually.”
Back to the beats, he said, “The only reason I do music is because I am inspired to say something and I think I am inspired to say it because it needs to be said and I am not the only one that needs to hear it -- a lot of people need to hear it. If I wasn’t inspired, I wouldn’t be doing music.”
Ziggy’s new album is an amalgamation of many different styles from Ska to Country Blues to New Wave, tying the whole festival together. And his most popular song on iTunes is a perfect fit for the Arise Festival: “Weekends Long” could very well be the anthem. The trick will be to carry on the vibe for continuous Mondays. I am up for the challenge -- Ziggy inspired me.