Damian “Junior Gong” Marley’s much talked about fourth studio album Stony Hill, has solidified the synergy between himself and older brother Stephen Marley.
From the 18 track album, the two have collaborated on Grown & Sexy, Perfect Picture and Medication. 45 year old Stephen, the third biological child of Bob and Rita Marley believes the synergy between him and Damian, the youngest son of his father, is just “magical”.
“When we work together it’s magic and we both enjoy the synergy between the two ah we; and people feel that, because we have so much love – and that spirit comes out inna the record. We are just comfortable with each other.”
“Steve ah work pon him record, him [Damian] give Steve the energy. Damian ah work pon him record, me [Steve] give him the energy,” says a delighted Stephen.
In Stephen’s view, the 12 year hiatus from studio recordings since Gong’s 2005 album Welcome to Jamrock, seems to have been advantageous.
“This album [Stony Hill] shows growth. He is so comfortable doing the music. It has a lot of live music. From 2005 to 2017 you find say him do a lot of live shows, and his live performance is just great, so you find say we have an album now with a lot of live music versus Welcome to Jamrock which had a lot of mostly programmed beats,” shares Stephen.
Talking about his son Jo Mersa and nephew Skip Marley, Stephen Marley points out the synergies between the generations. “Them see you a do it and them draw influences from that as well.”
Damian and Stephen are arguably the closest of the Marley siblings. The two have recorded numerous singles together and one is seldom seen without the other, especially on stage.
“Steve the brother is Steve the producer. With how much growth Damian have, it’s just to be there and say you know “Try that again” or “Mek we do it this way” or “Wha’ bout this”.
Of Stephen’s three collaborations on Stony Hill, Medication, a song about the medicinal purposes of marijuana, has been one of the most talked about even before the June 21, 2017 album release, as the single was released on Thursday April 20, 2017, as the world celebrated 4/20.
“Medication is a song weh come up and it has a very important message because I know a lot of persons don’t realise the benefits, medicinally, that the plants offers,” says Stephen Marley.
Interestingly, the synergies within the Marley clan go well beyond Stephen and Damian, Marley generations and music. In addition to the family’s global marijuana brand [Bob] Marley Natural; Damian Marley’s Stony Hill Corporation is one of the most recent to join the legal medical marijuana dispensaries in the United States. Although separate, the Marley clan remain in support of each other and maintain professional and endearing relationships all around.