While mementos of and references to the legendary reggae music icon Bob Marley are easy to find, his granddaughter Zuri Marley, 21, has been able to attend the Clive Davis Institute at New York University where she is currently in her fourth year of music study without attracting undue attention. The daughter of reggae singer Ziggy Marley, Zuri acknowledges that she does not identify herself as part of “that” Marley family upon meeting someone and notes that when people find out who she is, they have “strange reactions.”
Zuri grew up in Kingston, and she was accustomed to fans knowing who she was and approaching her with gifts, but she also said there were problems. She said she was bullied in middle school, but she didn’t let it bother her. “As they say in Jamaica, ‘Me no business!’ ” In her freshman year, she described a man who constantly asked her to smoke weed with him so he could say he smoked with Marley’s granddaughter. Not really a smoker herself, Zuri said that fans who were obsessed with marijuana could be “a little kooky.”
On her grandfather’s legacy, she said that most people don’t know that Bob Marley was “actually about being very healthy” and that he would run on the beach, play soccer, and eat Irish moss for its nutritional value. This is what stoner culture misses, she says.
Zuri will graduate in May 2017 and plans to pursue a music career as a singer/songwriter. She does not plan to follow her family members into reggae, however, looking to do something more mainstream and modern. One of her inspirations is the Swedish pop singer Lykke Li and also remembers a performance of “Monster Ball” by Lady Gaga in 2010 as “a lightbulb moment.”
Zuri has already sung on “Love Ya,” a track by Dev Hynes who records under the name of Blood Orange. The song was included on his 2016 album “Freetown Sound,” which garnered critical praise. Zuri has songs she plans to self-release after graduation, noting they were more alternative-pop in nature. “I don’t want to become what people think I should be,” she said.
Photo Credit – Instagram | @zurilyric