January 26, 2024
Recording artistes Sevana and Naomi Cowan, who play Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths, respectively in the Bob Marley: One Love biopic, were both beaming with pride on the red carpet on Tuesday at the world première of the film at Carib 5.
Griffiths and Mowatt made up two-thirds of the I-Three, who were Marley’s backup singers for much of his career.
Marley’s wife, Rita, completed the trio. However, Lashana Lynch, who plays her role, was absent from the première event.
For Cowan, she could not have been prouder to represent Griffiths, the queen of reggae.
“It means the world to play Marcia Griffiths, because she represents so much of what it means to be a Jamaican woman. But even beyond that, what it means to be a Jamaican female artiste. If you look at her career, even today, this woman is still touring, she’s still performing; she’s still at the top of her game. For me, that’s what I’ve always wanted for myself,” she told the Jamaica Observer’s Splash.
“I want to look forward to in my life in my 60s and 70s, even if I’m not working as much, mi just wah know seh my ting still a gwaan and she still a gwaan! For me, it’s also like God showing me that I’m on the right path, because if I was not here doing the music I was doing at this time, who would know if this would happen,” she added.
Cowan also explained that countless hours were invested in researching and rehearsing for the role. Fortunately, she could have relied on Griffiths for advice.
“We did a lot of movement rehearsals, we did a lot of vocal rehearsals just to make sure we had the lyrics on point. But, for me, one of the things that I did was study her body language, and I really wanted to feel like her… I spoke to her a lot, and she would share with me what she was experiencing at the time. She was touring with Bob and still putting out music down here, so I took on a lot of that mentality,” Cowan revealed.
For Sevana, this is a huge milestone for her career.
“It’s inspiring, and I’ll cherish this experience for the rest of my life. It means a lot,” she told Splash.
Like Cowan, Sevana spent a lot of time preparing for and perfecting her role. She said she wanted to represent Mowatt to the best of her ability.
“It was a lot of researching — how did she carried herself on stage? Was she more spirited than everybody else? What was her favourite headscarf that she would wear, how big would it be? Also, I was able to sit with her and have a conversation, and she just moved me in a way that I couldn’t even describe. She’s a divine woman, and it was seven months of filming, so it was a lot of researching her and understanding the reverence that comes with being part of such an incredible moment,” the singer said.
The I-Three appeared on several of Marley’s record-breaking albums including Natty Dread, Rastaman Vibration, and Exodus.
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