by Howard Campbell
[SOUTH FLORIDA] – Bob Marley made few musical decisions without consulting his band leader, Aston “Family Man” Barrett. On March 14, his grandson Skip Marley and Barrett’s son Aston Jr., compete for reggae’s biggest prize.
Skip Marley’s EP, Higher Place, and One World by Barrett Jr’s son’s band The Wailers, are nominated for Best Reggae Album. The Grammys take place at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“I don’t really look it as a competition. If we win, it’s a win for Skip as well; it’s a win either way for him,” said Barrett Jr.
The younger Barrett plays drums in The Wailers which toured the world with Marley in the 1970’s until his death in May, 1981.
Barrett senior, who played bass on one song from One World, retired from touring four years ago after suffering debilitating strokes.
His son thinks The Wailers’ chances of winning a first Grammy are strong.
“I feel that we’re 99 per cent sure of winning. We’re satisfied it’s a masterpiece and we’re proud of it,” he said.
Higher Place was released in August by the Marley-owned Tuff Gong International and Island Records. It contains the hit singles Slow Down with singer H.E.R. and Make me Feel, a collaboration with rapper Rick Ross and singer Ari Lennox.
Slow Down is also nominated for Best R&B Song.
Higher Place is the best seller of the nominees. In addition to its hit singles, the EP entered several Billboard Magazine charts.
One World was recorded in Miami and produced by Emilio Estefan. Its lead song, One World, One Prayer, features Skip Marley, his mother Cedella Marley, Shaggy and Puerto Rican singer Farruko.
Best Reggae Album Grammy Nominees
The other nominees for Best Reggae Album are Upside Down 2020 (Buju Banton), It All Comes Back To Love (Maxi Priest) and the sentimental favorite, Got to be Tough by Toots & The Maytals.
Got to be Tough was released last August by Trojan Jamaica/BMG. Released two weeks before Toots died at age 77 in Kingston, Jamaica from complications of the Coronavirus.
Toots and The Maytals won the Best Reggae Album category in 2005 for True Love.
Buju Banton goes for his second Best Reggae Album win. The first came in 2011 with Before The Dawn.
Upside Down 2020, which was released last June by the singjay’s Gargamel Music and Roc Nation, has collaborations with Stephen Marley, John Legend, Pharrell and Stefflon Don.