Damian Marley & WizKid Chop It Up About Music, Jamaica & Nigeria Connection
Both artistes expressed their admiration for each other’s culture and life experiences during an interview for Rolling Stone’s Musicians on Musicians. The pair had collaborated on the tune “Blessed,” which was featured on Wizkid‘s Billboard charting album, Made In Lagos. Now they’ve reunited to exchange well-wishes for each other’s respective homelands.
Wizkid ssays he grew up with a lot of nice thoughts about Jamaica especially through the music he lsitened. “Well, Jamaica is a place that, from when I was young — especially when you’re from Africa, when you’re from Lagos, Nigeria, it was so amazing to see the culture,” gushed the ‘Essence’ artiste.
He explained that he had always had a fascination for the island as he had been an avid fan of Gong’s father, Bob Marley. He noted that Reggae has been a big inspiration for him and he highlighted that he loves to discover new things about the island’s music styles and culture.
Thus it was an amazing experience for the artiste to visit the island and record with some of Jamaica’s finest in the reggae industry, namely Jr. Gong, Buju Banton, and Chronixx. He divulged, “When I went to Jamaica for the first time, it was everything that I thought it would be and more. It’s an amazing place, the most beautiful place, amazing food, great people.”
Junior Gong felt the same and relayed his fascination with Wizkid’s homeland as a Rastafarian and noted his intrigue in the motherland. “As a Jamaican, as Rasta, we definitely have a great affinity toward his culture. We are definitely big fans of anything African,” he expressed.
“For me, we grew up hearing about Africa — Nigeria, Ethiopia, all these places,” Marley continues. “It is almost like a dream. You’re hearing about this far-off place until you end up going there, until you end up meeting people from there. Then it becomes more real. Rastafari is heavily embedded in African culture and is very proud of our African roots.”
Junior Gong has carved up a reputation for himself from under the legendary shadow of his father, Bob Marley. He has collaborated with several worldwide artistes, including Wizkid, Snoop Dogg, Ty Dolla $ign, and Bruno Mars, to mention a few. His most recent collaboration is with Yendry, a rising Italian-Dominican artiste.
WizKid says he got drawn to music from going to church with his mother who was a pastor.
“Music has always just been a big part of my family,” he said. “All my older uncles played instruments in church, and my mom’s younger sisters were all in the choir. That was how I was introduced to music, and I just fell in love.”