Three-time Grammy Award winner Sharon Marley has teamed up with the legendary Big Youth for Steppah, a new song that will appear on her upcoming debut album set for release later this year.
The song, co-written by Marley’s son Ingemar Prendergast, was released on Friday (February 9) via Gong Gyal Entertainment and Tuff Gong, along with a music video directed by her daughter Donisha Prendergast. According to a Tuff Gong release, Steppah blends reggae vibes with the soothing Love Frequency, recorded at 432 Hz for its therapeutic properties.
In an interview with Ottawa’s Breakfast Television, Sharon explained that “a Steppah is like an original gangster, but not a gangster in a war sense.”
“[It’s a] gangster where you’re respected in your community, where, you know, you give jobs to the people, you delegate duties and you kinda build up your community. Plus, you can dance.”
When asked if Bob Marley was a “Steppah”, she responded: “Of course, rude bwoy, so handsome.”
She added: “And I think the female version of the Steppa is the Gong Gyal, which is me (laughs).”
Sharon, age 59, is Rita’s biological daughter and was adopted by Bob when the two married in 1966. She’s earned three Grammy Awards for Best Reggae Album for her contributions to Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers’ albums Fallen Is Babylon, One Bright Day, and Conscious Party.
Since the Melody Makers disbanded in 2002, her commitment to education and advocacy was explored through her roles at the Bob Marley Museum, the Rita Marley Foundation, and as A&R for the newly formed Ghetto Youth United record label.
She told Breakfast Television that her new drive for music was revived after she stepped into the studio in 2021 to record a cover of Rita Marley’s 1991 track, Just One More Morning.
Speaking about her upcoming debut solo album, she noted: “[I’ve been doing] music a long long time, but with a group. But by myself, this is the first time I’m stepping out there, which is kinda strange for me, you know.”
“I miss my crew, but it’s good to be able to do something that’s inside of you. [Something] that you feel like you know what, I’m being urged to do this for my inner place,” she added. “Just like Bob had that drive to do his mission, that’s what it feels like to me. I’m not finished.”
Just One More Morning and another recent single Butterflies in the Sky are also expected to appear on the untitled album.
Press play on Steppah featuring Big Youth above.