Legacy and transmission in the music of Aston Barrett Jr


The Dialogue sat with Aston Barrett Jr, the leader of the legendary reggae band The Wailers. Aston is travelling globally to commemorate the 40th anniversary of “Legend,” the highest-selling reggae album in history.


Aston Barrett Junior’s roots run deep within the heart of reggae music. Born into a family steeped in musical tradition, he is the son of Aston “Family Man” Barrett, the legendary bassist of Bob Marley and The Wailers, nephew to drummer Carlton Barrett, and grandson of Joe Higgs, Bob Marley’s mentor. Growing up in Kingston, Jamaica, Aston was surrounded by the sounds of greatness, where music wasn’t just entertainment but a way of life. Aston fondly recalls, “I have an ear for music. Music is in my blood. I was born for music, and I live for music.”

Aston’s journey into music began at a tender age, following in his father’s footsteps. By seven, he formed his own band. He was just nineteen when he joined The Wailers, sharing the stage with his father.

In a career filled with notable achievements, one of Aston’s most significant moments came in 2017. His talent and dedication to music were recognized on the global stage, and he was awarded a Grammy. The track ‘The Struggle Discontinues’ was co-produced with Damian Marley, Bob Marley’s son.

Recently, Aston turned to acting, playing his father in the movie “One Love,” a tribute to Bob Marley. “It was something different. It was amazing to show the people the other side of The Wailers and Bob Marley that they did not know”, Aston told The Dialogue.

Today, Aston continues to lead “The Wailers,” carrying on his father’s legacy while transforming the reggae genre and staying true to the message of peace and unity.


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