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Since his father Bob's death in 1981, David Nesta "Ziggy" Marley has emerged from his shadow and become a reggae great in his own right. With four Grammy Awards under his belt, he will headline this year's Raggamuffin Festival in Rotorua this weekend.

Marley says his father was an inspiration for everyone, not just his own family.

"I don't really think about that type of stuff - we have been doing this all of our lives. So I would say music is in my blood and always will be," Marley said.

This is not his first time in New Zealand and he is looking forward to returning.

"New Zealand is a beautiful place. I want to come back and fill up my eyes with some nature, feel the natural vibe and give some energy back to the people," he told The Daily Post.

When interviewing Marley you can't help but think of hot summer days in the Caribbean and Rastafarians reasoning over a smoke. The rhythm of the islands are in his voice.

Festival-goers can expect some reggae classics, but most of his set will borrow from his award-winning 2008 release Love is my Religion. "Of course it will be special. Every day is a special day for me. The rain, it falls, and the sun, it shines, and it's good to be alive."

Marley said his usual backing band The Melody Makers will not be touring with him this year. Instead, he has bought a crew led by legendary reggae percussionist Santa Davis, who played with his father and Peter Tosh.

"We have a few shows in Australia and then the Raggamuffin, but we are not sure what we will do after that. I hope to have a bit of a holiday. Soak up some of those natural New Zealand vibes."

Marley has a simple message which is encapsulated in his latest album. "What I say to everyone is love, no more need to be said. Politicians and preachers need to preach love, not hate - one love, mon."

- DAILY POST