Damian 'Junior Gong' Marley, the youngest son of reggae legend Bob Marley, steps out in his own right with the release on September 19th of his killer new single "Welcome To Jamrock". Released on Island Records and featuring a sample from Ini Kamoze's "World A Music", the track has been exploding out of US radio and looks set to give Damian a massive hit on both sides of the Atlantic. Damian Robert Nesta Marley a.k.a. "Junior Gong", was born in Kingston, Jamaica on July 21st, 1978, the son of Bob Marley and Jamaica's 1977 Miss World Cindy Breakspeare. Damian began performing as a child as the vocalist for a group called The Shepherds. The group was comprised of other well-known reggae artist's children including Shiah Coore (son of Third World guitarist Cat Coore) and Yashema Beth McGregor, the daughter of Freddie McGregor and Judy Mowatt. After The Shepherd's disbanded Damian turned his vocal talents to deejaying (the Jamaican equivalent of rapping). In 1993, his debut single "Deejay Degree" was released on Tuff Gong Records, the lanbel founded by his father. In 1995 Damian recorded the track "School Controversy" for the "Positively Reggae" compilation, the proceeds from which went to Jamaica's Leaf of Life Foundation, an organization which assists children who are HIV positive. Although he was still a teenager, Damian was selected as the "Positively Reggae" spokesperson.
Damian was a high school student when he began recording his debut album "Mr. Marley". Produced by Stephen Marley (head of the Marley Boyz production team), the album delivered a fusion of contemporary Reggae grooves and infectious dancehall rhythms alongside tough edged hip-hop beats, an ideal complement for Damian's versatile deejay-rap style.
In the five years following "Me Marley's" release, Damian matured as a performer, songwriter, recording artist and Rastafarian, his unwavering convictions reflected throughout his second album "Halfway Tree" again produced by Stephen.
The album won Damian a Grammy and included contributions from original Wailer, Bunny Wailer, Jamaican Deejay Bounty Killer, Eve, and the world's greatest rhythm section Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. The album also helped further establish Damian as an artist in his own right, with his own bold musical identity, and saw him updating the Marley musical legacy for the 21st century.
With the release of "Welcome To Jamrock" and the forthcoming hotly anticipated new album of the same name, Damian Marley looks set to take that legacy to the next level.Damian Marley