There’s no better place for unfiltered girl talk than at a glitzy dinner, beside an over-the-top table scape, surrounded by copious amounts of red wine. It probably explains why I so abundantly enjoyed my time earlier this month when I got the chance to chat it up with Selah Marley. Atop Dumbo House, with a sprawling view of the Brooklyn Bridge, we came together to celebrate Pandora’s brand new Pandora ME collection, all while also delving into identity, our often-complicated love lives and our mutual desire to start a family in the next few years.
When the 22-year-old sat beside me, I couldn’t help but to immediately notice her necklace and earrings — a pearl, chain-link combo that was the perfect marriage of daintiness and badassery One could say that the Pandora accessory perfectly mirrors Marley’s style. “Everything is really delicate, which I like,” she told ESSENCE. “I also love being able to customize and create my own feel for everything. I chose the fire heart charm and I like being able to customize the moon to my identity as well. I feel like this resonates with me.”
Describing her style as “constantly morphing,” Marley explains that the Pandora ME collection doesn’t limit her creativity. In fact, it encourages it. “I’ve been through many, many different styles,” she says. “I’m definitely a chameleon. Right now, I’ve definitely been feeling very preppy housewife, but in the past I was really tomboy Western. I’ve also been very ’90s inspired by my mom and Aaliyah, and of course I had an emo phase.”
Upon Marley mentioning her mom, music icon Lauryn Hill, I was admittedly hesitant to pry any further about her famous parents (her father is Rohan Marley), but she quickly assured me that she no longer runs from the association, in fact, she embraces it. “I’m a little more at peace with myself than when I was younger,” she explains. “It used to be a whole thing about living in my parents’ shadow. I resisted and resented it.” She says that upon her modeling career taking off, she was often referred to as “Bob Marley’s granddaughter,” something that she slowly came to accept. “I had to see outside of my own personal bubble and understand the reality that my family has had such an incredible impact,” she says.
That evolution of thought, she says, has made her a better artist. Releasing her debut EP in August titled ‘Star Power,’ the name is actually an ode to her famous family tree. “It was basically me addressing the elephant in the room and embracing the reality that’s been projected onto me,” she says. “Like screw it, yeah, I do have the star power, I’m not saying this for no reason. And it’s not me being arrogant, this is my reality.”
Surprisingly enough, however, being a mega-music star isn’t Selah’s biggest goal in life. In fact, it’s to have a family, and soon. “In five years, I feel like I want to be a mother,” she says with no hesitation. “It’s something that’s often rejected today, especially in Black households. We’re taught that Black women have to be strong and independent, first. Make a salary, first.” But that’s not all. “I want to be dependable,” she says. “I want to be able to depend on myself, I want people to be able to depend on me. I want to have quality relationships, loving relationships.”