Skip Marley is the 20-year-old son of Cedella, Bob Marley's oldest daughter. He wrote music throughout his teens and has toured with his uncles Stephen and Ziggy, but it's likely you didn't hear of him until he was featured on Katy Perry's latest single, "Chained to the Rhythm." While this might at first seem like an odd pairing, it actually makes a lot of sense. Listen again and you'll notice the song is in fact an anti-Trump protest song, and that together the pair are a formidable team. The track reached number four in the charts, which, amazingly, made him the first Marley to do so.
Newly signed to Island Records, Skip has also put out the inspiring "Lions," in which he calls on his generation to stand up and make a change. He and his famous family (his cousins, Selah, and her younger siblings featured in our latest issue) have regular jam sessions, and it's the music of his uncle Ziggy that he most associates with his childhood. Given the unstable, unfriendly state of the world, Skip decided he'd better reassure us that we're better together. "My greatest ambition is to unify people," he told us. "Togetherness is our strength. To see us love one another is my ambition."
With a sanguine view of the world and a voice that'll guide us through it, this charming reggae prodigy passes on a few words of wisdom from his grandfather. Here are ten things you should know about Skip.
1. Skip lives in Miami.
"The best thing about it is my family and the sunshine... hurricanes are the worst.
2. We're 100 percent sure he was born to make music.
"Since I was born, music has always been in my life. I've always watched my family perform, so it was only natural. It was never forced on to me, it called me. The music told me to come so I didn't fight the feeling."
3. He reckons his music should soundtrack a film that teaches people things. Or X-Men.
"Because it is all about unifying people, but also about rebellion. And I really love X-Men."
4. He started his career with two protest songs and it's certainly no coincidence.
"It's Jah's plan... it isn't a coincidence. I just follow the feeling and go with the flow you know?"
5. He understands the power in music.
"I hope to spread love and a conscientious look at life. Music with substance, music with a message."
6. He says we are the movement and he knows how we can make a change.
"People can live in love and harmony, and come to an understanding so we all grow together. But it has to come from within."
7. He might be political, but he stays away from politics.
"I wouldn't get involved in politics. My grandfather once said, 'Never let a politician grant you a favor. They will always want to control you forever.' I don't need to be a politician to help bring about change. We have the power… not the other way around, so we need to be doing things differently."
8. He performed with Katy Perry at the BRITs and the Grammys...
"I'm so thankful for the opportunity, you know, to reach so many people. It's impactful. Katy's message is powerful, we all need to listen. She is a creative person. I'll remember her and the experience forever."
9. ... But he and Katy didn't see the dancing house fall off the stage.
"Katy and I heard about it so we went and made sure she was alright."
10. He's full of good advice.
"Practice, practice, practice. Work twice as hard on what you love. Follow your heart. A lot of my grandparents' music is full of advice, also."
Text Frankie Dunn