The Next Chapter·Bedside Books

Why singer-songwriter Kae Sun is a fan of this fictional account about the life and death of Bob Marley

The Toronto-based singer-songwriter shares why he's a fan of A Brief History of Seven Killings by Jamaican author Marlon James.
Kwaku Darko-Mensah — better known by his stage name Kae Sun — is a genre-defying artist, producer and musician. (Phillipe Richelet, Riverhead Books)

This interview originally aired on Nov. 9, 2019.

Montreal-based Kae Sun is a singer-songwriter, producer and artist originally from Ghana. His most recent album, 2018's Whoever Comes Knocking, is a blend of pop, soul, gospel and electronic funk. 

The musician stopped by The Next Chapter to talk about a novel he is reading: A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James.

"It's a novel about historical figure Bob Marley, who was an incredibly interesting artist and human being. I'm a fan of Marley's music, as are a lot of people. I thought that this story about the assassination attempt on Marley in 1976 was fascinating.

It's unlike any novel I've read.​

"This book is a fictional account of that incident. It was an interesting story. I wanted to find out what James had done with it. A huge chunk of it is written in patois, which to me was original and brilliant. I couldn't put it down for that reason. It's unlike any novel I've read."

Kae Sun's comments have been edited for length and clarity.

Watch the video for song Treehouse by Kae Sun

Listen to Marlon James on Writers & Company

Marlon James won the Man Booker Prize in 2015, becoming the first Jamaican ever to receive the award. Here he talks to Eleanor Wachtel about his prize-winning novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, and how writing has allowed him to create a new reality.

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