As the grandson of the great Bob Marley and son of Stephen Marley, Jo Mersa has been raised with an extremely musical family. He’s coming to Cervantes this month and has a new single and video out, “Rock and Swing,” so we had a chat about it all.
Yellow Scene: “Rock and Swing” is an excellent song and video. In your own words, what’s the song about?
Jo Mersa Marley: The song is like saying follow a righteous path. My father’s nickname is Raggamuffin, so I’m Young Raggamuffin. I’m pointing out certain social topics, for example pedophiles and rapers. The way politics only comes into thinking at certain times, than elections. It’s a righteous song. It’s encouraging people to become leaders on their own, and follow a righteous path. I’m just saying in the chorus, “If you agree with me, throw your hands in the air.”
YS: Obviously your grandfather died 10 years before you were born – how much of an impact has he had on your music?
JMM: ‘Nuff, man. A whole lot. Without him, I wouldn’t be here now. I never met him, but every little bit of him lives through his children. From what I hear, my father is a lot like my grandfather. When my great-grandmother was here, she would always say, “If Bob was here, he would always do that.” I’m always sitting around with my father speaking about when they were growing up and the way their father would do things – that magical reminiscing. Those magical moments.
YS: Have you played Colorado before?
JMM: Yeah, man. A couple of times. I played with my father. I can’t wait to come, man, and go to a couple of them shops.
YS: What can we expect from the set?
JMM: You can expect “Rock and Swing,” you can expect “Comfortable,” you can expect a preview of my upcoming LP album that I’m working on now. One Love. You can expect Jo Mersa, man.
YS: When this tour’s finished, what do you have planned for the rest of the year?
JMM: More tours, more shows. After this tour, we’ll g to Europe for a while. By the time we come back, we’ll be just in time for the Welcome to Jamrock cruise. It’s a very busy year for us. I want to finish up the LP as well.
Jo Mersa Marley plays Cham, Wayne Marshall, Christopher Ellis, Black Am I, and DJ Blood Preshah, at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21 at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom; 2635 Welton St., Denver; 303-297-1772; $15-$18.