The hopes of the rising son

Julian Marley sees his time in Israel as a chance to spread the message of love.

JULIAN MARLEY. The reggae musician performs at the Barby Club in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: Courtesy)
JULIAN MARLEY. The reggae musician performs at the Barby Club in Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
One of Bob Marley’s sons was 13 when he came to Israel for the first time.
The year was 1988, and Julian Marley remembers it fondly: the concert, the country, the drive up to Jerusalem.
“It was spiritually uplifting to see where Christ was and where all this great history and all those great stories we heard in our youth coming up,” Marley tells The Jerusalem Post. “Now we get to see and experience it for ourselves. It’s like going in a full circle of life you know. The next spot is Ethiopia.From Israel, straight to Ethiopia.”
Julian Marley is a religious man, following the faith of the Rastafari, an offshoot of Christianity.
So to Marley, Israel carries a lot of weight. But he had not been back since he was a teenager – never to perform individually. Julian has had his own successful career, with a Grammy-nominated Best Reggae Album.
Some of his brothers had performed in Israel, but why not him? “Well, because no one had ever invited me before,” Marley says. “Here we are, the first invitation, and we say ‘Yup.’” Marley will perform on August 9 at the Barby Club in Tel Aviv, along with The Uprising, continuing his global tour.
“It’s great to travel all around the world because there’s no place that the message of love is not needed,” says the reggae musician. “To come to Tel Aviv, being in that special spiritual place from such an ancient time is great. The great feeling, hey man, it’s just pure good feelings thinking about coming to Tel Aviv.”
Marley doesn’t see any issues with performing in Israel. While some artists back out of performances, citing boycotts of the country, Marley tackles issues in a different way.
“My opinion is I don’t come on any side. I come in the middle,” he says. “Just like everyone needs oxygen to breathe, there’s no special person that needs special oxygen. I come with the special music, which is like oxygen. Everybody needs this oxygen.
I’m not talking about do this or do that, I’m talking about ‘Hey, put down the ego and love, love, love.’ Everybody needs love.”
Marley expresses only good vibes. He talks about spreading the message of music. Although it may come off as a disingenuous statement, with the son of Bob Marley it seems like anything but empty words.
Marley talks about the importance in his religion to travel the world and spread love. As he has traveled through Europe recently, he hopes that his music can be an antidote to some of the hatred and terrorism that has occurred there.
“It fits exactly because in the music that we sing, we are telling them that war doesn’t make sense,” he says. “Our music comes to tranquilize all this. We just talk about love.”
Following his tour, Marley plans to go back to the studio to work on recording a new album, slated for completion by spring of 2017.
In regard to his upcoming performance in Tel Aviv, he says, “Israel means to me right now a place where the people still need uplifting, and people will still need the music. The message is still needed because every day a new baby is born. So now in this time and age, it’s time to really remember our roots, remember the cause of life, remember why we are here. We are here to get back to that righteous state of mind. That glory, that perfect way.”