Founding Editor Simon Broughton Editor Russ Slater Johnson Assistant Editor Emma Rycroft Art Director Juliet Boucher Advertisement Manager James Anderson-Hanney Online Content Editor James McCarthy Listings Editor Tatiana Rucinska Assisted this issue by Spencer Grady Marketing Manager John Barnett Marketing Assistant Oscar Faulkner Cover Image Kate Simon Contributing Editors Jane Cornwell, Mark Ellingham & Nigel Williamson Subscriptions Director Sally Boettcher Editorial Director Martin Cullingford Managing Director Ravi Chandiramani Publishing Director Tom Curtiss CEO Ben Allen Chairman Mark Allen SUBSCRIPTIONS UK: 0800 137 201 Overseas: +44 (0)1722 716997 ADVERTISING +44 (0)20 7501 6683

This is My Message to You-ou-ou

Last issue we decided to put the Ethiopian pianist and composer Emahoy Tsege-Mariam Gebru on our front cover, someone we had never featured before. And this issue is another f irst. It seems remarkable, but we have never run a feature on Bob Marley in our close to 25 years of existence. Of course, there is one marked difference between these two: whereas Emahoy’s story may not be common knowledge, I’m sure we all feel as if we know what Marley represents, and are instantly familiar with his music. My hope with this feature is that we get even closer to the man by hearing from people who knew him at various points in his life and, thanks to Kate Simon’s incredible photos, get to see him in moments of vulnerability or simply grabbing some downtime with friends. With a biopic of Marley soon to be hitting screens big and small – we speak to the f ilm’s director – it is as good a time as any to get to know the man behind the myth.

It’s also worth remembering the messages in Marley’s songs, and the very real role he played in Jamaican politics when he brokered for rival leaders Michael Manley and Edward Seaga during a time of societal upheaval to shake hands during his One Love Peace Concert in 1978. This issue of Songlines should have included an interview with an Israeli musician – agreed before the attack on Israel by Hamas – but after that incident the interview

was cancelled. Right now the call is for an end to violence and to provide support for those who need it most, whether Israeli or Palestinian, something being urged by musicians, as we detail on p14, and ourselves here. At times it can feel naïve to espouse music during times of war but, as Marley has proven (and there are countless other examples), we must never underestimate its power in bringing people together.

This is my 10th issue as editor, marking my f irst year as editor of Songlines, and I wanted to thank everyone for reading, and for all the amazing feedback that has been sent our way. We already have lots of exciting plans for next year – which will include a jam-packed 25th-anniversary issue, that’s coming next – but I’d also love to know your thoughts. Who should we be featuring? What issues are important to you? And do we really need to go on a diet? All suggestions to

Russ Slater Johnson, Editor

P.S. Looking for a last -minute Christmas gift? Then make sure you take a look at our Christmas subscription offer – it’s not too late! Go to to f ind out more.


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© MA Music Leisure & Travel Ltd, 2023. All rights reserved. No part of Songlines may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior written permission of the publishing director. The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the editor or Songlines advertisements in the journal do not imply endorsement of the products or services advertised. Please read our privacy policy, by visiting This will explain how we process, use and safeguard your data. ISSN 1464-8113. Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, Dowlais, CF48 3TD Record trade distribution Songlines 020 7738 5454 Newstrade distribution Marketforce 020 3787 9101

Jean Berry As a journalist and photographer, Jean has covered world and African music for magazines such as Mondomix, Jeune Afrique and Courrier de l’Atlas. This issue he travels to Lagos for a Felabration (p8)

Charis McGowan Charis is a journalist and editor based in Chile, who reports on Latin American

culture and politics for The Guardian, BBC, Al Jazeera and more. She meets Mon

Laferte on p36

Clyde Macfarlane Clyde is a music critic, travel writer and artist who lives on the Isle of Wight. This

issue he speaks to Kate Simon about her photos of, and friendship with,

Bob Marley (p30)

Songlines was launched in 1999 and is the definitive magazine for world music – music that has its roots in all parts of the globe, from Mali to Mexico, India to Iraq. Whether this music is defined as traditional, contemporary, folk or fusion, Songlines is the only magazine to truly represent and embrace it. However, Songlines is not just about music, but about how the music f its into the landscape; it’s about politics, history and identity. Delivered in both print and digital formats, Songlines, through its extensive articles and reviews, is your essential and independent guide to a world of music and culture, whether you are starting on your journey of discovery or are already a seasoned fan.