As the eldest son of Stephen “Ragga” Marley and grandson of Bob Marley, Jo Mersa is set to release his debut EP Comfortable tomorrow (June 10) on the Marley family’s imprint Ghetto Youths International (GYI).
Yahoo! raves “Bob Marley would be proud of his grandson” and premieres the EP’s “slick dancehall track,” entitled “Comfortable (Remix)” featuring fellow labelmate Wayne Marshall and produced by Stephen Marley.
Jo recently wrapped his Spring 2014 tour opening for Stephen “Ragga” Marley and will get back on the road with him and Slightly Stoopid in July and August, performing in over 20 cities nationwide. At the end of this month, he will also hit two major music festivals in Michigan, including 4th Fridays In The Park on 6/27 and Electric Forest Festival on 6/28. See full tour dates below.
Jo’s Comfortable spans pop, hip hop, EDM and dancehall influences while showcasing his deft vocals, clever songwriting and flourishing production skiills. Jo created each of the EP’s riddims with the exception of “Bogus” (Damian Marley) and “Comfortable (Remix)” (Stephen Marley). He worked alongside keyboard player Llamar “Riff Raff” Brown with Stephen Marley handling the final productions. Many of the EP’s songs focus on Jo’s personal experience with women and their complex relationships. On “Bogus,” he addresses a lack of sincerity in some women, while club-friendly tunes like “Comfortable (Remix)” ft. Wayne Marshall, “All To Me” and “Perfect 10” ft. Jemere Morgan deliver romance with a rude boy twist. Jo unveils a more intimate side on the EP’s first single “Sunshine.” He came up with melodic hook while singing to his baby sister and added in his nimbly-rhymed verses and a bubbling dancehall rhythm to make the song complete.
Joseph “Jo Mersa” Marley 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. Born in Kingston, Jamaica on March 12, 1991, Jo moved to Miami at age 11 where he keenly observed his father and his uncle Damian as they created music in Stephen’s Lion’s Den studio. 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.
As Jo career progresses, he looks forward to making his mark as an individual artist while continuing the Marley musical legacy. “My father calls my grandfather a magician because he was the only man who could bring peace to his country (during Jamaica’s deadly political skirmishes of the 1970s) and that’s a lot of power, influence, it’s magic, but I don’t let it get to my head,” Jo declares. “He made a big step for Jamaican music and it is time for me to add my works to it, to build on it. I am just getting started; I am just getting Comfortable.”
Comfortable EP Track Listing:
1. Rock and Swing
3. Perfect 10 ft. Jemere Morgan
4. All To Me
6. Comfortable (Remix) feat. Wayne Marshall
U.S. TOUR DATES
6/27 (Fri) in Detroit, MI @ 4th Fridays In The Park
6/28 (Sat) in Rothbury, MI @ Electric Forest Festival
7/09 (Wed) in Eugene, OR @ Cuthbert Amphitheatre
7/10 (Thu) in Seattle, WA @ Marymoor Amphitheatre
7/11 (Fri) in Missoula, MT @ Big Sky Brewery
7/12 (Sat) in Boise, ID @ Idaho Botanical Gardens
7/16 (Wed) Las Vegas, NV – The Pool at the Cosmopolitan
7/17 (Thu) North Lake Tahoe, NV – North Lake Tahoe Regional Park
7/18 (Fri) in Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theatre
7/19 (Sat) in Irvine, CA @Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
7/23 (Wed) in Albuquerque, NM @ Isleta Amphitheater
7/25 (Fri) in Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl
7/26 (Sat) in San Diego, CA @ Sleep Train Amphitheatre
7/31 (Thu) in Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
8/03 (Sun) in Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony Summer Stage
8/06 (Wed) in Richmond, VA @ Pocahontas State Park
8/07 (Thu) in Baltimore, MD @ Pier Six Pavilion
8/08 (Fri) in Raleigh, NC @ Red Hat Amphitheater
8/09 (Sat) in Portsmouth, VA @ nTelos Wireless Pavilion
8/15 (Fri) in Cocoa, FL @ Riverfront Park
8/16 (Sat) in Boca Raton, FL @ Sunset Cove Amphitheatre
* with Slightly Stoopid