Joseph Marley, the eldest son of 8-time Grammy-winner Stephen Marley and next grandchild of reggae legend Bob Marley, has died at age 31. The Jamaican-American recording artist and DJ, known professionally as Jo Mersa, was found unresponsive in a vehicle on Tuesday, Dec. 27, in accordance to Kingston, Jamaica-primarily based journalist Abka Fitz-Henley, who was the 1st to report the information. A agent for Jo Mersa later confirmed the news to Rolling Stone. A induce of demise has not been unveiled, though South Florida radio station WZPP has documented that the artist died of an asthma attack.
Joseph Marley was born on March 12, 1991, in Kingston, and the third-era Marley grew up surrounded by audio, performing onstage at age 4 with Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers — his father, his uncle Ziggy, and his aunts Cedella and Sharon — for the duration of that group’s concert finales. He moved to Florida at age 11, where by he researched studio engineering and observed his father and uncle Damian Marley performing in Stephen’s Lion’s Den studio. Joseph manufactured his formal musical debut in 2010 with “My Girl,” a collaboration with his older cousin Daniel Bambaata Marley, unveiled on the Marley family’s imprint document label Ghetto Youths Intercontinental and developed by his father. This was followed by the breakthrough keep track of “Bad So” in 2012, with his debut EP, Comfortable, coming out in 2014.
Joseph also labored with Jesse Royal, Alborosie, Farruko, Jemere Morgan, Barbara Fialho, the Grandpickneys, and Morgan Heritage, showing on the latter’s Grammy-profitable album Strictly Roots in 2015. But of program, he generally recorded with his huge and gifted family. Comfy highlighted production by both of those Stephen and Damian Marley, and Joseph appeared on his father’s album, Revelation, Pt. 2: The Fruit of Lifetime, in 2016. That similar calendar year, he teamed with his younger brother, Yohan Marley, for the single “Burn It Down,” and the brothers joined forces all over again in 2020 for “Brickell (When Tears Slide),” encouraged by their adopted home metropolis of Miami. In spring 2022, Joseph appeared with his uncles Ky-Mani and Julian Marley on Dominican tunes producer Maffio’s reggaeton track, “Blessings.”
Joseph frequently spoke of his feeling of accountability to carry on his family’s legacy, telling The Pier in 2014, “That’s a ton of electricity, influence, it’s magic, but I really do not allow it get to my head. [Bob Marley] built a large action for Jamaican audio and it is time for me to incorporate my performs to it, to develop on it.” In a 2021 interview with Reggaeville, he mirrored on his grandfather’s affect, stating: “Family-intelligent, you would hear recollections from my father or from our uncles, you would see them posting images or even just talking to us in an natural environment speaking about ‘I keep in mind when Daddy did this or when he arrived from Africa or when Daddy did this interview or when he was in Italy.’ So, we often hear these reflections, speaking about these issues, about the part that [Bob] performed not only as family members member and father, but also in the world and the influence he had on the reggae community and the reggae lifestyle, the roots, bringing forward the concept of Rastafari and really like, above all love. … It is really spouse and children to us, it is really standard to me, but it’s still particular.”
Joseph’s most new launch underneath his Jo Mersa moniker was 2021’s Eternal EP, which featured collaborations with Kabaka Pyramid, Black I Am, Melii, and Hectic Sign, and was critically heralded as his most significant phase but in direction of coming into his very own as an artist. A press launch for the EP conceded that “the status of the Marley bloodline arrives with its honest share of expectations,” and mentioned Joseph was “eager to convey honor to his family when preserving his one of a kind seem and style… placing Jo Mersa Marley’s perform aside as a force to be reckoned with in the modern reggae scene.” In an job interview with Jamaican publication The Gleaner, the self-admitted perfectionist explained the experimental Everlasting project, which included dubstep, dancehall, EDM, hip-hop, and reggae-roots influences, as staying “out of my comfort zone,” precisely stating of the track “That Dream,” which was produced by his cousin Soul Marley: “Whereas numerous moments, I would have done the chorus, it took a minute to sound like what it appears like. I would typically deejay and sing on some very low keys. I guess listeners will hear me do falsetto or large notes at the end of the words, so when I sing, ‘All I know I would slumber at night time, when I desire that desire it is all a nightmare,’ I experienced to keep on accomplishing it more than and around just to get it right.”
Aside from his lots of Marley family, Jo Mersa is survived by his wife and daughter. In 2020, he recorded the single “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You!” for his daughter, with his father Stephen the moment again generating, explaining in a statement: “The inspiration for this song was predominantly a concept to my daughter allowing her know that she’ll be perfectly-guarded since that is my career as her father.”
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