With his collaborative album, Distant Relatives, with rapper Nas scheduled for release on May 18, Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley is quite optimistic. “So far, of the singles that we released, people have been responding good and we give thanks for that. I am just excited to see on May 18 when it comes out, how the world will respond and embrace it.”

Distant Relatives kinda speak for itself. The theme of Africa really runs throughout the album. Distant Relatives express the African ancestry. It express what Nas and myself are as two brethrens weh come from two different genres of music. It express what reggae and hip-hop are. We are all distant relatives because we are all members of that universal family.”

“Even the music kinda reflect an African sound. So, Distant Relatives was just the appropriate title for all of those reasons,” he said of the album which features other artistes, such as K’Naan, Stephen Marley, Lil’ Wayne and Dennis Brown.

The anxiety is only natural, as he has been working on the album since early last year. “We have been working on this album since the beginning of last year and now it is getting ready to be released. That has been the focus from that time till now. That’s the kind of commitment it really tek. We really do the music together, so in that sense we were part of production more than just lyrics. It’s the type of commitment like any normal project ’cause we try to do our best on every one. I haven’t been doing anything else really, in terms of studio work, since this album.”

Watch the video of the first single “As We Enter”