Exorcising Marley’s ghost: Papa’s son, the country singer

Bob Marley is turning 68! Well, he would have been, if he were still alive. But that shouldn’t stop Denmark’s rastafari from lighting up … the candles on his cake.

And not only is Pumpehuset happy to accommodate any soul brothers who are keen to pay tribute to the heralded pioneer of reggae music, but his son Ky Mani Marley will be there as well.

Even though there seems to be an infinite number of Marley offspring who have popped up with a one-hit wonder before disappearing back into the haze, to actually have a legitimate Marley present is a rare privilege.

Because the truth is, while Bob may have passed on, his 13 children have all been blessed with their father’s musical gift, whether they want it or not.

“I never wanted to be a musician,” Mani told Reggae Music Review. “But I was born to be one. It was not a choice. It was my destiny.”

Perhaps not the most original line, but what makes Mani different from the Marley siblings is that he does not feel exclusively bound to the rasta scene – a fact that this country music-loving brother is keen to point out.

“I hate being labelled as just a reggae artist,” Mani said. “Just because my last name is Marley, everyone seems to expect me to sing reggae. That’s so minimal to my capabilities and the work that I do.”

And he has by no means stuck to the family stereotype. You can find all sorts of musical genres within Mani’s music. The Spanish guitar in ‘Rudeboy’, the rock-steady style in ‘Dear Dad’ and hip-hop rhymes in his verses are clear indications of Mani’s musical diversity. That … and touring with Van Halen.

“The biggest obstacle in my life was to come out of that reggae box I was placed in,” Mani explained. “The fact is – I just love music, whether it’s Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles or Alicia Keys.”

Surprised? Well, considering that Mani’s favourite films include the likes of The Last Samurai, The Gladiator and The Notebook, you probably shouldn’t be. But then again, what’s really in a name? Not even Papa Marley was sure.

“Bob Marley isn’t my name,” he was once quoted as saying. “I don’t even know my name yet.”

But what you can be sure of is a great concert in tribute to the big man, complete with a workshop on Marley’s life, a seminar on rastafari, local reggae music, special guest artists with light show effects and, of course, the headline act of Ky Mani Marley.

Mani will be the first to tell you that he is musically nothing like the rest of the Marley siblings. But what you will see is a slightly experimental take on reggae that encompasses all forms of music rather than just one.

Bob Marley once said that a “man is a universe within himself”. So why don’t you join in with Mani and find the true colours within your own nebula this Friday.

Bob Marley Tribute: Ky Mani Marley
Studiestræde 52, Cph V;
Fri 20:00;
Tickets: 270kr;

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