Jo Mersa Marley, Bob Marley’s grandson and Stephen Marley’s son, carries the torch for this generation on “Burn It Down,” his first single for 2016 featuring vocals from his brother Yohan Marley.
From the South Carolina church burning and Trayvon Martin’s murder in
the United States to the innocent lives of his friends taken by the
police in Jamaica, Jo’s call-to-action anthem touches on topics of
racial violence and tension plaguing our globe and our need for social
Jo, who co-produced "Burn It Down" with his father Stephen Marley and Llamar " Riff Raff" Brown, unveiled a snippet of the track last week, which had the internet buzzing.
Grant Jr. a.k.a. Carlyle (Spragga Benz's son) and a good friend of mine
Sonico were both innocently gunned down in Jamaica by the police within two years apart. Then two years later
in 2012, Trayvon Martin’s murder happened. It hit home to me. The
potential they all had was taken away from them, for no reason. We are
humans whom all have a purpose. My people and my generation are fed up.
From my grandfather, grandmother, Martin Luther King Jr. and many people
before us to the young activists today like Ashley Yates and Tory
Russell, we will fight for justice. Burn out this wickedness and step
outta Babylon,” Jo proclaims.
Jo will take his message on the road. This summer, he will be supporting with the multi-platinum selling band UB40 on their cross country U.S. tour.
Jo Mersa Marley
As the eldest son of Stephen Marley and
grandson of Bob Marley, Joseph “Jo Mersa” Marley was born in Kingston,
Jamaica on March 12, 1991 and moved to Miami at age 11. Jo grew up
surrounded by music. By the time he was four years old, Jo was appearing
onstage alongside his father, his uncle Ziggy and aunts Cedella and
Sharon (a.k.a. Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers) and their children as
part of the group’s rousing concert finales with Jo often taking the
mic and chanting the lyrics to the Melody Makers’ biggest songs. He
keenly observed his father and his uncle Damian as they created music in
Stephen’s Lion's Den studio in Miami. Back then school was the priority
for Jo; traveling with Ziggy and the Melody Makers was reserved for
school breaks and summer vacations, yet those experiences provided first
hand opportunities for Jo to expand his musical aspirations beyond the
performance stage. He started making beats when he was about 11 and then
began focusing on his songwriting and vocal delivery. He released his
debut EP Comfortable in June 2014 on Ghetto Youths International, which
spanned pop, hip hop, EDM and dancehall influences while showcasing his
deft vocals, clever songwriting and flourishing production skiills. In
support of EP, Jo Mersa has landed national coverage in Rolling Stone, PEOPLE, VIBE, Complex, The FADER and
toured extensively in U.S. and Europe alongside acts like Stephen
"Ragga" Marley, Slightly Stoopid and more. He joins UB40 this summer on
tour and gears up for his first full-length debut.
2016 TOUR DATES w/ UB40: Jul 27 @ The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, CA Jul 29 @ Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheatre in Reno, NV Jul 30 @ Mandalay Bay Resort Casino in Las Vegas, NV Jul 31 @ The Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa, CA Aug 13 @ Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater in Peachtree City, GA Aug 14 @ The Mahaffey in St Petersburg, FL Aug 15 @ Pompano Beach Amphitheatre in Pompano Beach, FL