When Skip Marley linked up for a collab with multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning artiste H.E.R., little did he know that in the week of May 17, 2020, he would be dominating music headlines with a history-making feat. It goes something like this: “Skip’s global smash with H.E.R., ‘ Slow Down’, takes the #1 spot on the Billboard Adult R&B chart and at Mediabase Urban AC (Adult Contemporary), the first time a Jamaica-born artiste has scaled this mountain.”
Skip, obviously, is ecstatic for a number of reasons, one of which, he tells The Gleaner, is that he is reaching an audience which his grandfather, Bob Marley, always sought after. Skip, who maintains that he is “ever proud to represent Jamaica achieving new levels in any endeavour”, is also quoted as saying that a chart position wasn’t his focus when he recorded Slow Down. “But I give praise and thanks to the Almighty that the music can reach these heights and connect to a wider audience. We ‘apprecialove’ all the DJs, programmers, and stations who supported. Maximum respect to H.E.R. for lifting the track with her heavenly vocals, and much love to Wale for blessing the remix.”
Born in Kingston and raised in Miami, Florida, Skip is a natural reggae ambassador, given his royal heritage. The grandson of reggae icons Bob and Rita Marley and the grandnephew of the Queen of Reggae, Marcia Griffiths, his mother, Cedella, performed with her siblings as part of the Grammy Award-winning group, Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers.
He made his debut as an 18-year-old in 2015 with the single, Cry to Me, on the Tuff Gong International label.
Slow Down has amassed huge numbers in streams – 44 million global streams has made it the quickest-streaming song in Marley family history, pushing Skip to well over 162 million global artiste streams. He became the first Jamaica-born lead artiste inside the Top 15 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart since 2006, when Sean Paul and Keyshia Cole achieved a similar feat.
The Slow Down video, which was shot on location in Harlem, New York, has more than 12 million YouTube views and more than 7,000 comments, a lot of which speculate on the relationship/chemistry between Skip and H.E.R. “Please tell me these two beautiful people are in love with each other. H.E.R. found her niche for sure in reggae music and with Skip Marley. They are gorgeous and have chemistry.”
Skip recently took the time to answer our 5 Questions.
While many persons have been wishing 2020 back where it came from, you are busy setting records. How important is this achievement to you personally and also as a Marley?
As my grandfather said, “When one door close, many more open.” A lot of the usual ways of working (live appearance, tours, etc) were just not available, but I give thanks that as a team we looked for new paths. I ‘apprecilove’ the spirit of everyone together, not giving in to the times, and pressing on. And, on a personal note, my grandfather always wanted to teach this audience, so it’s a good feeling.
20/20 is said to be perfect vision. Did you have a vision board for this year? And if yes, share with us some of your goals.
I have everyday goals: live right, treat people with kindness, and be considerate of others. Live in the studio and work hard.
What was your inspiration for ‘ Slow Down’?
Just looking at the world. With social media, people are on warp speed and sometimes you can miss some good moments. We can experience great things and good people in life if we just slow down and be present.
How do you normally show your mother how special she is on Mother’s Day, and was this year any different? (We saw your shout-out on social media.)
I just do whatever she likes and she’s pretty happy. She likes to plant fruits and vegetables, so we built her a new planting bed in the garden. She loves cooking too, so we spent some time in the kitchen coming up with recipes. She loves that type of stuff.
An Episcopalian priest recently told his congregation that the best music to listen to during quarantine is reggae music. Do you agree? Share with us your top five songs on your ‘Quarantine and Chill Playlist’.
Yeah I agree, definitely. My top five:
Turn Your Lights Down Low – Bob Marley
No Cigarette Smoking in My Room – Stephen Marley
Here I Come (Love and Hate) – Dennis Brown
One Draw – Rita Marley
Now That We Found Love – Third World