In celebration of Bob Marley’s birthday, the annual Bob Fest will be held at the Lahaina Civic Center on Saturday Feb. 9. This honors the 40th anniversary of Bob Marley & The Wailers having played here during their 1979 World Tour. Marley’s son, Ky-Mani Marley, will headline the star-studded event (which runs from 1pm-10pm), as he retraces his father’s footsteps.
MauiTime: What’s the most important thing you want people to know about your music and message?
Ky-Mani Marley: I want to create music that allows people to feel good – and stronger – as they listen. Through song you can bring people together and share joy, so that the power of “Love Over All” can always be achieved.
MT: If you could describe your music as a flavor (like a taste or a meal), what would it be?
KM: My music-as-a-meal would allow you to taste every flavor that excites your palate, as it satisfy’ your soul – but leaves you wanting more.
MT: Legacy is a fascinating thing. It is a powerful aspect of human experience wherein we must honor our inheritances while forging our own paths that push forward into the future. As you retrace your father’s footsteps through this 40th anniversary tour, how has the concept of “legacy” taken shape in your life?
KM: 40 years. This makes me smile with joy. Anytime I get to share my father’s music with fans – and see their appreciation – always give’ me good feelings. I do not think that anyone could have imagined the positive effects of his music and legacy. It has allow’ me to travel extensively, meeting many good people, as I continue his journey of sharing his message of “Unity and One Love.”
MT: Can you share any anecdotes from the road that have been particularly revelatory?
KM: Experiences on the road can be challenging many ways. As I travel and interact with various energies of the people I encounter, I try to remain positive – embracing the good vibes and sharing my music with the intention to make my fans smile. As for anecdotes, we all try to acknowledge our differences and aspire to do what it takes to convey a positive message.
MT: Personally, the older I get, the more I find connectivity with my ancestors. Even those who I’ve never met, their nuances and proclivities are living through me. How does this idea relate to you?
KM: Yes you are correct. Born in the Marley legacy, which always is about peace and love, it’ a very natural thing for me to embrace. I’ve also been blessed to grow up with my grandmother and get to spend time with many elders in Falmouth, Jamaica, where I was born. These experiences keep me humble and appreciative of the many wonderful things I get to do in life. The conversations we’ve shared over the years are a source of inspiration for my music and life journey.
MT: A portion of the proceeds from the Bob Bash in Lahaina will benefit The SHAKA Movement (a group committed to protecting natural resources in Hawai‘i) as well as The Maui Cannabis Guild. How do you feel about the changing worldview of weed?
KM: As an artist – and most of all, as an herbalist – legalizing this natural plant, on any level, can only be a good thing. Not only for many positive medical aspects, but there are economic benefits to explore and ”harvest” worldwide.
MT: “Love over all.” Then again, we be “decked out in army fatigues” and all that. How, why, and when is the time to fight?
KM: As time passes and the world shifts, it still remain’ in balance. So we are always ready to fight for the rights of the people, being a voice for those who cannot be heard. We adapt accordingly but remain focus’ on the positive results. Sometimes you need the “garments” to indicate your presence and readiness to battle. My song “Love Over All ” is made to empower, as we know there is a final goal we are looking to achieve.
Bob Bash 2019 Maui
Lahaina Civic Center
1840 Honoapi‘ilani Hwy., Lahaina
Saturday, Feb. 9. 1-10pm
Photos courtesy Ky-Mani Marley