For the past two years House of Marley -- an eco-friendly electronics business founded on the principles of Bob Marley -- has been working to develop its latest product, a sustainably-built turntable. When Rohan Marley, one of Bob's sons and the business' brand ambassador, realized that this year both Record Store Day and Earth Day fall on the same date (April 22), he knew it was the perfect opportunity.
Today (April 11), House of Marley is unveiling to Billboard what will be its latest product: the Stir It Up turntable. "[Its name] means a lot," Rohan tells Billboard while calling from Haiti, where he recently flew for charity work with the Marley family organization 1Love. "It's a revolution, it means togetherness," he explains. "'Stir It Up' brings out a nice warm feeling, and talking about vinyl, it's a perfect match -- a love story."
The turntable, which has a price tag of $229, is built with a bamboo base, as well as the House of Marley's own Regrind recycled silicone rubber and the company's Rewind fabric made from up-cycled hemp and plastic bottles. It's manufacturing is much like the multitude of other products House of Marley has from headphones and speakers to watches -- all of which are sustainably made.
In anticipation of the turntable's release, a limited edition 7" vinyl set of Marley family recordings will also be made available as an exclusive giveaway; only 500 sets were produced globally, 150 of which are for the U.S. The recordings will feature tracks from several Marley's including Bob, Ziggy, Stephen and Skip -- "For someone [like Skip] who is just breaking into the market, his collaboration with Katy Perry [on "Lion"] is a beautiful opportunity; I'm happy to see him blossom and deliver his message," Rohan says of his nephew.
Keeping in line with House of Marley's sustainable imprint, the vinyl is also pressed with bamboo, Rewind hemp fabric and wood veneer -- a never-before used combination of materials. "[Vinyl] is sustainable anyway," Rohan explains, and says while a record can be ground down and repressed thousands of time, what separates House of Marley is the materials they use. That being said, though, Rohan is humble when it comes to the company being labeled as a leader.
"My father's music was about revolution and changing the hearts and minds of people through love and the deliverance of everyone," Rohan says. "We hope our brothers and sisters will follow our path and really start to consider ecology and utilizing material that benefits not only yourself but the people. This is just who we are; living sustainably is what we do."
Rohan relates he feels fortunate to live a life so rooted in environmental consciousness and charitable giving -- he flew to Haiti for the first time in 20 years to "have my hands in the soil and give back" -- but says the most rewarding part is the familial nature of the House of Marley, in which he is not only the brand ambassador of but also the family representative. "When you're the voice who represents our music and our family, it's an amazing, and a huge, responsibility," he says. "I am able to not only be an ambassador for my own family, but for everyone."
The Stir It Up turntable will be available for purchase here and at retailers nationwide on April 22.