Taken from the Winter Issue of Wonderland.
Spiritual, science-obsessed and searching for her own sound, you’ll want 18-year-old Selah Marley to be your new BFF.
BEING BORN INTO A CELEBRITY FAMILY, particularly one made up of well-respected musical geniuses, is both a blessing and a hard slog. A smooth path made sticky by expectation and a weighty pressure to just be something. Selah Marley, daughter of Lauryn Hill and Rohan Marley, and granddaughter of Bob Marley, is well on her way to navigating the concept. She doesn’t have it all figured out just yet, but with fingers in study, modelling and music, and armed with a case full of crystals, mad respect for her family and a strong belief in her infinite existence, she’s giving it a red hot go.
Hey Selah, what’re we interrupting right now?
My Ancient Egyptian Art class.
Where are you based now? I read that you’ve just moved to New York for school.
Yeah! I’m currently based in Greenwich Village, but I do return to New Jersey frequently.
How’s it going/what are you studying?
It’s going well, but it’s very intense. In my particular school, I’m able to create my own major, so through a variety of different classes, I would like to connect science and spirituality. I love what I study, but my passion sometimes gets bogged down by the limitations and requirements of school.
What does your room look like/what favourite things have you decorated with?
Ooh, I’ve decorated the perimeter of my room with lights and I have a bunch of iridescent items and little trinkets that inspire me. I have a little triangular case that I keep crystals in, and this little Himalayan salt lamp. I have a ton of books and I’m so over-capacity on clothes. My roommate and I constantly cry over the lack of space, but we make it worse everyday!
I’ve been listening to some of your tracks, they’re beautiful, are you worried about managing music/modelling/studying or are you pretty good with your time?
Music, right now, is a hobby, so it’s just a matter of when I’m in a creative mood; but managing modelling and school can definitely get intense, and a little overwhelming. My school requires a lot of reading, which can be quite time consuming; so sometimes I may have to sacrifice a little bit of school for work. However, the thing about modelling is that it’s very sporadic which grants me the time to catch up on work and do what I need to do. I’m never complaining. Everything I receive is a blessing.
Do you take a lot of inspiration from your family’s musical history, or do you have a way of pulling away from it?
In a sense, I do pull away from it just because I feel like my sound is quite different from my predecessors; but I definitely take inspiration from them because, how could you not? My mom is a lyrical/musical — nah scratch that, my mom is a genius. If I can be even half of the woman she is, I’ll know I’ve made it. My grandfather, and all my uncles, have all made music that inspires me and has even helped define my sound and how I’d like to represent myself. My sound may be a little different, but I definitely take notes. I was blessed to be born into a family of musical geniuses.
“My mom is a lyrical/musical — nah scratch that, my mom is a genius. If I can be even half of the woman she is, I’ll know I’ve made it.”
On your SoundCloud, you’ve got a track called “Don’t Look Back”, which is instrumental but still a journey. What’s it about?
Haha. Omg. I love that track. It’s definitely a journey. I made it on GarageBand on my iPad and it actually comes from this sample of “Pyramids” by Frank Ocean I made on Snapchat, by messing with the rewind and speed-up filter (which I actually posted on Instagram before the track, so that may show a little bit of the journey). Originally, I wanted to make a track that was based around that “Pyramids” sample that I could sing on, so I started messing with it and then I unleashed the synths and loops. Dude, honestly, I just got carried away and started creating. Itwas definitely like 1a.m. and I was just in my room jamming out, transmuting my feelings to the track.
And you walked for Yeezy… How was that?
So amazing! I wanted to cry, I felt so blessed to be able to not only model for, but be in the presence of one of my idols. I truly admire Kanye West and feel like he is a creative genius.
It’s pretty intense that you’ve achieved quite a lot at such a young age. Is staying grounded important to you? How do you do it?
Staying grounded is very important to me. I think it may come a little more natural to me because I was raised with a comparatively normal life. I will admit that sometimes I can get lost in the sauce, but whenever things start to go haywire, I always go through an event that leads me back to myself. I usually know when I’m a little lost; but hey, if you never lost yourself, how could you find yourself?
On the other end of the spectrum, you’re super into space right? What do you love about it?
I’ve always had a crazy adoration for space. When I lived at my mom’s house, I would always go on my roof and look at the night sky and fall deeper in love with every second. Whenever I look at space, I’m reminded that anything can happen. I’m reminded of the infinity that exists within and without us. If space is infinite, why aren’t I? Personally, I believe that I am from the stars. And I actually have this crazy theory that when a star dies, a baby is born; and when an ascended being passes, they return to the stars. There is some astronomical logic behind it, but I’ll save it for another day
Finally, what are you trying to accomplish before the year is out?
I definitely want to create more music and I want to continue to do well in school, and stay on my A game. Truthfully, I operate day by day, and I’m a little too spontaneous for my own good, so predictions never serve me well; but I would like to continue to create and achieve.