Zuma Nesta Rock is such a unique and interesting name that one can’t help but wonder what inspired it.
Computer game aficionados may remember Zuma, a popular 2004 video game from PopCap Games. Zuma required players to remove balls rolling around the computer screen by firing a colored ball at them before they filled up the screen.
But a more likely inspiration is Malibu’s famous Zuma Beach. The beach is a favorite destination for Gwen, Gavin and Kingston. “They’ve continued their own place-naming tradition by naming their son after Zuma Beach in Malibu,” Pamela Redmond Satran (co-author of The Baby Name Bible) explained, citing a profile of Gavin which said he had an epiphany that began his career.
“He was standing on Zuma Beach in the early morning after working all night as a production assistant on a music video and was quoted as saying he realized he was wasting his time,” Pamela Redmond Satran said. “He drove up the coast, slept in his car, and started making the moves that would launch his career.”
The beach, famous for its surfable waves, was also the inspiration for the Neil Young’s album Zuma, making the locale a musical landmark.
And then there’s Nesta, Zuma’s middle name. Gwen and Gavin, avid Bob Marley fans, probably took a cue from the late singer’s middle name, which was also Nesta. Nesta, meanwhile, was Bob Marley’s first name before an immigration official switched it with his middle name, Robert.
“This name obviously links to big brother Kingston’s and is another nod to Jamaica and reggae,” said Pamela Redmond Satran.
Bob Marley’s son Ziggy used Nesta as a middle name for his son, as did his other son Rohan, who has a son named John Nesta Marley with singer Lauryn Hill.
Marley’s home base of Kingston, Jamaica, was an inspiration for big brother Kingston Rossdale’s name, so it seems Marley themes are popular in the Stefani-Rossdale household.
Zuma’s second middle name, Rock, might be a nod to Rock Steady, the third studio album from Stefani’s band No Doubt. Rock Steady was primarily recorded in Jamaica and featured a reggae-heavy sound, rounding out the Bob Marley love for the musical clan.