What happens when you unite the Brit Rising Star Award winner, who also happens to be the number one breakthrough act on the BBC Music Sound of 2020 List, the tune literally denoted the Song of the Millennium, and the grandson of the iconic musician who wailed it out over half a century ago, making waves in his own right?
Forget the song of the summer - you’ve most likely got the song of the year.
As powerful and uplifting as it has been cross-generations, Bob Marley’s hymn One Love has now been adapted and adopted in 2020 for universally-recognised brand Oakley’s For the Love of Sport campaign. The celebrated sports performance equipment and lifestyle manufacturer has brought together American-born, British-Jamaican singer-songwriter Celeste to bring her own take to the classic song, which has reworked verses co-written by Oakley Athletes including Diamond DeShields, Ryan Sheckler, Oksana Masters, Caroline Buchanan and Ítalo Ferreira. Unleashed onto the waiting world with a special introduction from Bob Marley’s grandson Skip, the project ensures some much-needed positivity by highlighting the universality found and provided by the beautiful world of sport.
Exactly 55 years after its initial release, and in the year that would have marked his grandpop Bob’s 75th birthday, Skip Marley talks to The Sportsman about sports in the Marley family, why One Love still reverberates, why we need it right now, and why you - once again - will fall hopelessly in love with One Love.
Your grandfather obviously had a plethora of iconic songs from his catalogue for you to choose from. Why this one?
When One Love was initially released, it was to unify and remind listeners of the shared connection we all have with one another. So, when Oakley shared with us what they wanted to convey, One Love was an easy choice. The lyrics capture the unifying message of love and unity that is so needed today.
Were there any particular other options that were considered?
No. We knew right off the bat that One Love would be the perfect song to capture the sentiment.
Your family is ridiculously full of talent! Why do you think it’s so potent in your family and when did you personally decide to follow in your grandfather’s footsteps?
Ever since I can remember, I always knew this was the path I wanted to follow. Music has always been my number one love. It’s so deep inside my blood and my soul, I think all my family can feel it and follow it, for which we are very blessed.
You’ve made a habit of collaborating with talented female artists, such as Katy Perry and H.E.R., and in this release Celeste is front and centre. Do you need to have good relationships to make good music?
Chemistry is important. Celeste is a very special artist, and I only work with people that I connect with on an artistic level.
What first attracted you to the For The Love Of Sport campaign, and at what point did you come on board? Has it been difficult at any point?
We definitely share the same goals and vision. We were very excited to work alongside Oakley for this campaign, from conception to the finish line.
The song is being brought back into 2020 for the For The Love Of Sport campaign. Can you tell us about your personal love of sport?
Football is definitely my other number one love. I guess I inherited it from my Grandfather, you could say. My mother is also a big football fan and has been a champion of the Reggae Girls Football team for a long time. It’s incredible the work she has done in raising their profile and getting them to the top.
You are described as being a key part of bringing the project to life. Tell us about your work process.
It’s important that any remake of this kind stays true to the original and honours my Grandfather. Me and my family collaborated on a weekly basis with Oakley, Celeste and the athletes to bring this song to life - from discussing the origins of the song as a point of inspiration, to providing feedback on the update lyrics co-written by athletes.
How have you retained your grandfather’s original message, and why was this of the utmost importance?
My family have never strayed from his message, therefore it is not hard to stay true to him or ourselves. It’s our way of life that he instilled in us.
What can you tell us about the accompanying music video to the 2020 One Love?
It’s a modern day love story. The video follows several Oakley athletes’ journeys and the intimate relationships they have with their sport. Watching it, you can’t help but feel uplifted and energised. Very moving.
2020 hasn’t been great so far, has it Skip? How has life in the new world order been for you, are you and your family well, and what are you hoping to achieve with the release of this song?
My family and I have been doing much the same as everyone else. Staying home, adjusting to this new way of life, and looking after each other. I hope to inspire hope and positivity during these times of uncertainty with this release. Both the song and video should enlighten and uplift – particularly now when we need it most.
Why is the For The Love of Sport campaign important? Why is it important to get behind, and how far do you hope it can lead?
Because it is a reminder of the things we all have in common and the collective experiences we share. The song and video are great displays of the happiness sport can bring us. I hope that everyone who listens is inspired to celebrate their love of sport.
As far as you are aware, did your grandfather Bob have any special sporting affiliations, and have any been passed down?
Football! It runs deep in our blood, our love for the game.
How present does he remain in your life?
Not a day passes that his presence and influence isn’t felt in our family.
Oakley’s One Love will debut exclusively on SiriusXM’s Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong Radio channel during a live broadcast with a special introduction from Skip Marley at 8AM PST on August 11, 2020. The official music video will go live simultaneously on Oakley’s YouTube channel and Instagram TV and the song will be available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music.