Together Stephen and Damian produced tracks that started a bidding war between major international recording companies for Damian, who in the end chose Universal, as did his father and his brother Stephen.
Last Friday Damian hosted an event to mark the release of his album Welcome to Jamrock today. “We are not here tonight because he’s Bob’s son, but because his talent is indisputable. He is now a man of himself,” said keynote speaker Dr Clinton Hutton, a lecturer at the University of the West Indies during his opening address. Dr Hutton also spoke of the significance of an album like Welcome to Jamrock, pointing out that Jamrock, Trenchtown and the inner city were metaphors for the failure of all of us as a people. “If Jamrock is not fixed, we will be doomed,” he said.
Several of Damian’s entertainment colleagues came out to celebrate with him, like Eek-A-Mouse, Bounti Killer, Wayne Marshall, Richie Spice, Lexxus and Richie Stephens. The launch also included a video presentation, edited by Ras Shac, which showcased Damian’s progression as an artiste and man in his own right.
If the young Marley had to choose between producing and performing, he said he that would choose the latter, which is his first love. He grew up inspired by Shabba Ranks and Super Cat and so deejaying is his passion.
Damian added that Reggaeton (a mixture of Reggae with salsa, with a pinch of hip-hop) is not an impending danger for reggae artistes. Instead he sees it as the best form of flattery – imitation. He believes it should serve as an inspiration for Jamaican artistes to organise themselves and do their thing.
In response to the controversy surrounding the lead single off the album, Damian said that he does not believe the track paints a negative picture of Jamaica. He has many songs that show the many sides of Jamaica, and Welcome To Jamrock paints the picture of one of many Jamaican ghetto areas, namely Trenchtown, where his father grew up.
Damian, nonetheless, expects his third album to be his most commercially successful album to date, as Welcome To Jamrock covers several topics as well as genres. There is social commentary as well as songs for the babies and the ladies. Damian shared with TeenAge that the most exciting part of recording Welcome to Jamrock was the opportunity to do collaborations with some of his favourite artistes like Bobby Brown, Eek-A-Mouse, Bounty and Nas.
-Chantal Jenoure , TeenAge Club President