Selah Marley, Daughter of Lauryn Hill, Talks Music And Modeling

Selah Marley, Daughter of Lauryn Hill, Talks Music And Modeling

With Lauryn Hill as a mom and Bob Marley as a grandfather, Selah Marley is R&B/reggae royalty, well on her way to becoming a star—she just has to finish high school first

With Lauryn Hill as a mom and Bob Marley as a grandfather, Selah Marley is R&B/reggae royalty, well on her way to becoming a star—she just has to finish high school first

Photography: Jeff Bark

Styling: Lana Jay Lackey

Text: Whitney Mallett

This story is taken from V102, on stands July 14. Click here to pre-order the issue.

“People look at me, for example, and think I have this perfect lavish life, that it’s lit all the time, when that’s not true at all,” says Selah Marley, the daughter of Lauryn Hill and granddaughter of Bob Marley. At 17, she’s turning heads as a model, as well as an intuitive and opinionated young woman, perhaps no surprise considering her lineage. On Twitter, you can find Marley sharing links about the minimum wage and Egyptian history, while revealing her more personal struggles—like the pressures of having the Fugees singer, someone who helped define the ’90s as we know it, as a mother.

“I think that opening up on Twitter helps people see that there are things that I deal with that they can relate to,” the teen reasons. “Maybe it’s not exactly the same as having a famous mom, but maybe their dad puts pressure on them to be a doctor and they don’t want to be a doctor.” She notes that when she posts, mentoring is not what she has in mind: “I just get caught up in the heat of the moment and go on a rant real quick. I have all these emotions in me and it’s going to kill me if I don’t say anything.”

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Marley’s lately been vocal about cultural appropriation. “Especially black girls, in this day and age, our aesthetic and culture is getting taken and used all over the place. It’s like, Go ahead and have your big butt and your big lips, but at least give recognition where it’s due.” She notes the media’s recent infatuation with Kim Kardashian’s braids and Kylie Jenner’s claim to have “started” wigs. “Like Beyoncé hasn’t been around wearing wigs since the early 2000s?”

Maybe the stars explain this emerging star best. “I really am a full-blown Scorpio,” Marley says. “Whenever I look things up about my sign, it’s like, Check, check, check: thoughtful, detailed, moody, stubborn, prideful, emotional…” She regularly checks the Astrology Zone app from Susan Miller and sites specifically dedicated to her sign like ScorpioLand. “It’s a hobby,” she says.

The high school Marley attends in New Jersey is only about half an hour away from Manhattan, where she frequently books modeling work. In the fall, she’ll be moving to the city to attend NYU. “I’m excited,” she effuses, “not exactly for New York—I’m just excited for the freedom of living on my own.”

In addition to continuing her modeling career—for example, she’s in Calvin Klein’s newest highly publicized campaign—Marley has ambitions to make music. She bares her insecurities frankly. “I work on songs quite often, but

I don’t know what it is—part of me can’t fully commit, part of me is held back by what other people will think of me and the shoes I have to fill.” At least, she confirms, it isn’t a question of if, but when. “I’ll just have to take my time. Music is my ultimate passion in life. You will definitely hear something from me, I just don’t know when.”

Credits:

Makeup Lisa Houghton (Tim Howard Management)  Hair Shingo Shibata (The Wall Group)  Photo assistant Chris White and Michael Casker  Stylist assistant Kindall Almond  Makeup assistant Arisa Kawamura  Location Hudson Studios  Catering Guy & Gallard

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