With “One Love” and “Turn Your Lights Down Low,” Bob Marley created classic reggae songs that put many listeners into a state of relaxation. Now the Marley family is focused on providing a beverage to complement those tunes with the all-natural anti-energy/relaxation drink, Marley’s Mellow Mood. During a gallery visit to view Motown to Def Jam, Ky-Mani Marley shared his inspiration for serving as brand ambassador of the drink created in homage to his father.
“We’re all used to getting up in the morning, working and our mind is on go, go, go. I admit I am a go, go guy myself but this drink actually helps me to wind down,” he says. “Reggae music is soothing so it’s only right we create something that stimulates relaxation.”
When he’s not promoting the drink he is focusing on completing his forthcoming untitled sixth studio album. He considers it to be his best project yet now that he’s found a balance between carrying forth his father’s musical legacy and remaining true to his own vision. “I been through so much trial and error trying to mold who I am, where it is its own entity but fits within the legacy. I grew up in Miami’s drug infested inner city so it is important for me to express myself fully and not be something people expect because of my last name. It’s about being true to myself.”
When Ky-Mani is totally honest with himself he admits to a flaw of wanting to please everybody. Over the years he has channeled that into a strength and motivation to give back through his Love Over All Foundation (LOAF). “That flaw is the one that molds my character. It made me want to go out and become a philanthropist,” he says. “I don’t understand rappers buying a $90,000 chain or throwing money up in the strip clubs when there is a homeless guy who needs $5 for lunch and you pass them everyday.” Through LOAF, Ky-Mani plans to throw his money and passion into the development of a music program for youth in Jamaica.
Looking back on her youth has inspired The Cheetah Girls author Deborah Gregory to work on her first adult novel. She’s been toiling away at it for the past three years and is halfway done. The currently untitled book will focus on a young woman who grows up in the foster care system and after leaving falls prey to the dangerous and fast street life. The book is inspired by some of Gregory’s own personal experiences. “It is part of me. I grew up in foster care and the darkness is unbelievable. There is a lot I have to heal,” she reveals. “I was never adopted. I almost destroyed myself. I didn’t want to live the minute I aged out of the system. So the rage, the self-destruction and the healing in this book is now part of me.” For updates on the book’s progress and other Gregory related projects click here.
The Original Tee Golf Classic (OTGC), a celebrity amateur golf tournament will salute the legendary Renee Powell, one of the Ladies Professional Golf Association’s (LPGA) first African-American golfers and OTGC’s first female honoree. The event takes place this Sunday, July 21 at Wild Turkey Golf Club in Hamburg, NJ. Proceeds benefit Clearview Golf Course, the first integrated golf course established in 1946 by William Powell, father of Renee. The site is also noted as the first premiere planned, built, owned and operated African-American golf course in the U.S.
History is also an important part of this year’s HARLEM WEEK, one of the most heavily attended summer festivals in the Northeast. For its 39th anniversary running from July 28th through August 24th the theme is, “Living The Dream: Celebrating History.” The historical moments being honored include the 150thAnniversary of the signing of The Emancipation Proclamation and the 50thAnniversary of the historic March on Washington. Programming highlights include film festivals, sporting events, block parties, the Fashion Fusion show and the Concert Under The Stars featuring a special tribute to Stevie Wonder, led by Ray Chew, music director of “American Idol.”
After these lively series of events you’ll likely need one of Marley’s Mellow Mood drinks to wind down.
The Harlem Arts Alliance is a not for profit arts service organization celebrating 10 years of service to a prestigious list of members such as the Apollo Theater, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, Columbia University, Harlem Stage (Aaron Davis Hall) and over 850 more cultural/arts institutions and individuals. The weekly column, Harlem Arts Alliance Presents: On the “A” w/Souleo, covers the intersection of the arts, culture and entertainment scene in Harlem and beyond and is written by Souleo, founder and president of event/media content production company, Souleo Enterprises, LLC.