Stephen Marley pays ‘Reggae Tribute’ to Nina Simone

Stephen Marley
Stephen Marley performs during the “Catch A Fire Tour 2015” stop at The Paramount in Huntington, Long Island on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015, in New York.
Photo by Donald Traill/Invision/AP

Multi-GRAMMY Award-winner Stephen Marley has released his new EP “Celebrating Nina: Reggae Tribute To Nina Simone” via Ghetto Youths International.

“Co-produced by Paul Fakhourie, mix and mastered by legendary Errol Brown, who was also Bob Marley’s engineer, this EP the biggest Reggae Blues collaboration of 2022 has arrived, as Stephen Marley celebrates Nina Simone, in a Reggae style,” said Ronnie Tomlinson, the Jamaican-born chief executive officer of New York-based Destine Media.

“This new EP has seven tracks as an ode to some of Nina’s greatest hits,” added Tomlinson, a Brooklyn resident. “Stephen has been building anticipation for this release for some time.”

Riding on the high of single releases like Queen Ifrica’s “Four Women” in April of 2021, and Etana’s “Young Gifted And Black” in February of this year, Stephen has described the EP as a “tribute to the legendary American jazz singer, composer, pianist and arranger Nina Simone.”

“These tracks have given the audience a mere taste of what the EP has to offer but now it’s finally here,” Tomlinson said.

Nina Simone, legally known as Eunice Kathleen Waymon is one of America’s most legendary singer, songwriter, and musical arranger.

“Outside of her music, she is most known for her role as a civil rights activist during the separatist and racist 60’s and 70’s,” Tomlinson said. “Stephen Marley has never shied away from his musical appreciation for Nina, producing songs for himself such as “Father of The Man”, featuring Wyclef Jean and a classic Nina sample from her iconic “Keeper Of The Flame” hit.

“I’m such a huge fan of her work”, said Stephen Marley during a Musicme interview in 2017.

“Now, many years later, this appreciation has blossomed into an entire EP, paying tribute to Nina’s musical genius,” Tomlinson said.

Cover of “Celebrating Nina” A Reggae tribute to Nina Simone by Stephen Marley.

“This project is about preserving Nina Simone’s legacy, passing it on to younger generations, including my children, because you don’t often find music this substantial,” Stephen Marley said.

“When we started this project, we reached out to Nina’s daughter (Lisa Simone Kelly) and to the Nina Simone Foundation to establish a connection,” he added. “We want to donate a portion of proceeds to the things that she was all about.”

Tomlinson said: “As we celebrate International Women’s month, ‘Celebrating Nina: Reggae Tribute to Nina Simone’ highlights the strength, power and resilience of women, with tracks from artists like Terri Walker, who does a beautiful rendition of Nina’s 1961s ‘No Good Man’”.

Tomlnson said Maya Azucena makes an appearance with her take on 1971s “Mr. Bojangles”.

“Joss Stone chimes in with ‘Here Comes The Sun’, Melanie Fiona inspires with her version of ‘Don’t Explain’, and Cedella Marley honors the well-known 1964 hit ‘Misunderstood’”. S

Speaking to Billboard Magazine’s Patricia Meschino, Stephen Marley shared that he chose to work exclusively with female artists on this project because “our queens deserve recognition as the mothers of creation.

“These are beautiful, strong women and their voices do Nina’s work and reggae solid,” he said.

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