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Katchafire Releases Two Music Videos Ahead of ‘Legacy’ Release

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Katchafire will continue the celebration of their 20th anniversary together with the release of their 5th studio album Legacy. The beloved, all Maori reggae band hailing from Hamilton, New Zealand, plan to drop Legacy in February 2018 via Zojak World Wide and Universal NZ. Ahead of the album’s release, Katchafire has put out two new music videos for Legacy‘s first two singles, “Addicted” and “Way Beyond.”

Katchafire’s music has entrenched itself deep in the hearts of reggae fans from the South Pacific to North America, Europe and beyond. Their patented sweet and smooth reggae has earned them multiple awards, platinum sales, and 4 highly successful studio albums. Katchafire is very much a family affair, consisting of Grenville Bell (lead guitar), his sons Logan Bell (lead vocals/rhythm guitar) and Jordan Bell (vocals / drums), as well as Leon Davey (vocals / percussion), and Tere Ngarua (bass). Katchafire_Live

The creation of “Way Beyond” was led by long-time band member and songwriter Leon Davey. Davey provided lead vocals and co-produced the track. The music video for “Way Beyond,” shot in Sydney, Australia and produced by Polly Snowden, features Davey peacefully strolling down the street with all sorts of shenanigans taking place around him. Explaining Katchafire’s latest single, Davey says, “This song has come about because of all the good, the bad, the people that I have loved and lost, and people who I love today. That my family and friends make my life what it is today, and for this I am blessed and will always be eternally grateful. My life used to be just about me and what I wanted. It is only in my older years that I have come to this realisation… everything else is temporary.”

Prior to “Way Beyond,” Katchafire also released a new music video for “Addicted,” the upcoming album’s first single. The music video for “Addicted,” produced by Damien Nikora, takes us on a smooth ride through the unbelievably scenic roads of New Zealand. Logan Bell hits all the right now notes in this classic Katchafire love song.

Speaking on the forthcoming album Legacy, frontman Logan Bell says, “The boys are really excited about this chapter. We have been working hard to bring y’all some new fire… It’s sounding great to our ears and we can’t wait to share with you!”

We share Logan’s excitement for the new album and can’t wait to dive into the full slate of songs in February. Stay tuned to The Pier for further updates on Legacy, as well as Katchafire tour dates in 2018. For now, enjoy the two new music videos off of the upcoming album.

Related Links:
Katchafire Official Website
Katchafire Facebook
Katchafire Show Locator

Article By: Brian Winters
Photo By: David Norris

Watch: Katchafire – “Way Beyond”

Watch: Katchafire – “Addicted”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 27th, 2017 at 12:49 pm and is filed under Daily News.
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Article source: http://www.thepier.org/katchafire-releases-two-music-videos-ahead-of-legacy-release/

MP3 Leak of the Week: Jungle Man Sam

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From Toronto, Canada, Jungle Man Sam (real name Sam Morton) released his new single “Dive Deep.” As we featured the song last week in an article, the feedback warranted a follow up with Sam agreeing to allow us to give the track away for FREE, this week only…

You can download Jungle Man Sam’s new song “Dive Deep,” for FREE, on our home page under the MP3 Leak of the Week on the right hand column! This Download will only be available until Saturday, Dec 23rd, 2017.

Jungle Man Sam – “Dive Deep” — Download HERE (on The Pier homepage)
Jungle Man Sam

Jungle Man Sam – “Dive Deep” Background:

I have actually been covering Jungle Man Sam’s music since he debuted with “CPR” in January of 2017. After that, he released an acoustic version of “Dive Deep” in February with Sugarshack Sessions (that you can view below) and that blew me away. Here’s what Sam had to share about the song back in February when we first asked him about it:
“Dive Deep is a song about loving someone so much that you want to dive right into every aspect of their being. We all have stories of heartache and pain that we bring along with us, and loving someone means loving that story that they carry. Crossing an ocean for someone is easy, but diving into the depths of who they are means a lot more.”

The studio cut of the song has a Tropical, Dance, RB, Pop sound with some mild reggae jazz undertones and Soca influences. You’ll hear that Sam has raw talent with great potential, inspired by his personal adventures throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, engineering a collection of songs that reflected his travels and adventures.

When Sam released the studio version of the song, he further explained: “It was inspired by a new love, more specifically a love of turbulent energy. I’ve found in my journey of partnerships that uncertainty often leads to all the fears that come with committing to a connection, and I really wanted to express how willing I was to go as deep as I possibly could into that love, and how much I believed in it.”

You can stream Jungle Man Sams music on all the platforms or own it via iTunes by clicking HERE!

Watch: Jungle Man Sam – “Dive Deep” (Live Acoustic – SugarShack Sessions)

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JMS

Jungle Man Sam Background:

Jungle Man Sam is an international musician and world traveler originally based in Toronto, Canada. Be it solo or backed by a full band, Jungle Man Sam’s dynamic sound can be described as a blend of pop, dance, and world music that incorporates elements of Dancehall, Soca, Reggae, Reggaeton, and Hip Hop. With international influences such as Major Lazer, Machel Montano, Sean Paul, and of course the legendary Robert Nesta Marley, with inspiration from his personal adventures throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, Jungle Man Sam has crafted a collection of songs that capture both the energy and mystery of the exotic locations of his his travels. As an influencer, Jungle Man Sam strives to inspire a sense of wanderlust, taking his followers “there” by sharing the various cultural flavours from the places he’s explored and the stories of the people he meets.

Related Links:
Jungle Man Sam Website
Jungle Man Sam Facebook

Huge thanks again to Jungle Man Sam for allowing us to share new song “Dive Deep” to post up for FREE download. Free music is a privilege that we’re grateful for and we appreciate the work these artists do! Please feel free to download this song for FREE and spread the awareness to your friends!
Enjoy the FREE track on the homepage!

Article By: Mike Patti

Listen: Jungle Man Sam – “Dive Deep”

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 21st, 2017 at 6:13 pm and is filed under Daily News.
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Article source: http://www.thepier.org/mp3-leak-of-the-week-jungle-man-sam/

Interview: SOJA

Posted in Reggae Roots Music | Comments Off on Interview: SOJA

The-Pier-Exclusive-Interview-with-SOJA---Website

Regarded as one of the biggest names and staples within the reggae community, the critically acclaimed 2x GRAMMY-nominated 8-piece ensemble known as SOJA recently dropped their sixth full-length album, Poetry in Motion, via ATO Records. The Washington D.C. based group is in the midst of celebrating its 20th anniversary while its become clear that SOJA has grown into an international brand, further branding themselves as a driving force to a movement as we say goodbye to the days when they were just considered an artist or band.

SOJA hardly needs an introduction, but for those who are relatively unfamiliar, the band was formed in 1997 as high school friends in DC (right up the street in Arlington, VA to be more geographically specific for us northern VA folk). The band shaped their sound and craft by playing alongside each-other in a basement and were captivated with roots reggae music. Fast-forward 20 years later and the band has accumulated 7 million online followers in addition to over 300 million YouTube views. Most recently, the band wrapped up recording sessions for Poetry in Motion at Dave Matthews Band’s Haunted Hollow Studios near Charlottesville, VA and will close-out 2017 performing at Slightly Stoopid’s Closer to the Sun in Mexico before their album release party December 29 at the brand-new The Anthem in Washington DC with support from Twiddle and Footwerk.

We had the opportunity to connect with lead vocalist and guitarist Jacob Hemphill for an in-depth discussion on the recent release of their new record, The GRAMMY’s, as well as memorable tour runs when reflecting on 20 years as a band.

Interview: Jacob Hemphill of SOJA

The Pier: Congratulations on 20 years! When you started the band back in ’97 did you ever think it would become what its morphed into 20 years later with this movement and brand? What can you tell us about those early years starting the group and what you recall being your aspirations?
Hemphill: Yeah, all we were really doing was playing music for fun. There were really no American reggae bands. It was Jamaican bands that we were watching; we didn’t know anything about Sublime, we didn’t know about anything that was going on in Cali. We just loved going to reggae shows. I mean, we went to them all the time and we decided we wanted to start a band. We had a couple of them and we ended up on SOJA. Over time, reggae became very popular. We don’t JacobHemphillLive_2017play, necessarily, strictly reggae. I’m not really sure how you’d describe our stuff. But as far as the brand goes, we always really, really wanted to do something that couldn’t be so easily defined. That goes back a long ways, that isn’t just a recent thing – we’ve always sort of been like that. So I guess that was achieved and that’s kind of been our deal from the beginning.

Any advice you’d give yourself if you could go back to 1997 as you’re forming the group?
Nah, I mean I think that what we did is kind of follow the stuff that we really like. Any time a young band asks me for advice, I tell them to do what they like and what they believe in, because if you fail at that shit, then it’s a learning process. You’ve failed at something that you believed in, and you learn something. But if you do shit just to be popular and just to follow the current trend and you fail, then you’ve learned nothing. And you’ve got nothing out of it. That’s my advice that I give people is just try to be yourself.

It’s fitting that the GRAMMY nominations just dropped. Have you had a chance to look over the nominees — any predictions on who you think will take home the Grammy?
Damian will win, guaranteed.

Any other albums you feel were equally deserving of a nomination this year?
I don’t really know, by year, what stuff’s going on, but Damian’s record is awesome. J Boog’s record is awesome, Morgan Heritage’s record is awesome. I haven’t heard the other two very much – but any one of these records would be deserving. I mean that’s kind of how it is with the GRAMMY’s, man. Every year, it doesn’t really matter who wins, it matters that these bands are getting recognition and people are telling them that their music is worth something. That’s good, because for years we felt like the reggae nominations were pretty mis-representative of what was actually going on. They’re starting to feel like they’re doing an accurate job of showing the scene a little bit.

What’s interesting is that SOJA was the first group from this unique Reggae-Rock community to get GRAMMY recognition when you guys were nominated in 2015 with Amid The Noise Haste and since then, more groups from this genre are getting more recognition with nominations to Rebelution repeatedly to J Boog. What can you tell us about that first GRAMMY experience? Do you remember first receiving the news that SOJA would be 1 of 5 albums nominated – what went through your mind?
The first one was crazy! I was onstage in Rio doing a soundcheck, and I flipped out! The first one was like “oh my god, I want to tell every single person in my family.” That word GRAMMY, that means [a lot]. When you tell people you play reggae and you’re American, they’re sort of like, “Oh that’s cool.” And then you tell them it’s a living, and you make a living, they’re like, “Oh that’s cool.” But if you tell them, “hey we’re on The Tonight Show” or “hey, we’re nominated for a GRAMMY.” They’re like, “Oh shit! You’re an actual musician!” Different titles mean different things for different people. I think the more this genre gets into stuff like that the SOJA---Poetry-In-Motion-cover-artbetter it is for everybody – the fans, the artists, the genre and everything.

Let’s talk about Poetry in Motion — Musically it feels warm and soothing at times, but lyrically it also reflects the chaos and craziness going on in the world today, a consistent theme with SOJA being socially and politically conscious. Do you feel an obligation to use your platform to be a voice for social and political injustice and if so, how do you feel Poetry in Motion is representative of that?
I always try to use the microphone like a responsibility. I made a decision a long time ago not to do drug songs, or hookup songs or any of that stuff. I feel like I have a really rare opportunity here. People listen to me – especially kids and teenagers, they listen to the shit that I write. So for me, part of making a record is making a great record and part of it is leaving something here that can be of use. Hopefully it’s helpful to other people who are going through whatever part of life they’re going through. That’s always been important to me.

Absolutely. If you were allowed one song to play to the President, which SOJA song are you performing and why?
I wouldn’t even play something political. I sort of feel bad for him. It’s very easy for everyone on the left to be like, “Fuck the right.” And everyone on the right to be like “Fuck the left.” The truth is, the media has polarized this whole place. Our main problem is that we don’t talk to each other. Your Instagram tells you what you want to hear, and it tells him what he wants to hear. What we have is a serious problem where this country is two pieces. Abe Lincoln said a house divided cannot stand – our forefathers would look at this and say, “This is garbage.” It doesn’t matter who the president is, what matters is can this country come together? I think it’s very easy to say, “Fuck Donald Trump.” I mean the guy is a racist, sexist idiot. Even the people that voted for him, they know he’s a piece of shit. It’s not really that as our problem. I mean we’ve had piece of shit presidents before, we’ve had geniuses like Obama – he was a genius, but he couldn’t get shit done. The problem isn’t the presidency, it’s the people. The president’s just a reflection of us. If we were some awesome society that was just crushing it, we’d have some awesome president who looked just like us. But no, we get this guy. Why? Because he looks just like us. He’s an idiot, and he can’t get shit done – just like us.

Fair enough! Back to music — Amid the Noise and Haste featured a good amount of guest features and collaborations, while this record kept everything in house. I believe you had mentioned that was intentional to take things back to the earlier approach of the likes of Born in Babylon back in ’09 — when did SOJA have that collective mindset going into the creation of Poetry in Motion?
We go through phases. With Amid the Noise and Haste, we were using a bunch of producers, a bunch of different singers and musicians. I was listening to Born in Babylon, and this is still my favorite record we ever did. What was so cool about it was that we wrote it, arranged it, produced it and recorded it in the same room. So that’s what we did with SOJALIVE_2017_2Poetry in Motion. We just tried to do everything together, which we did. It took a while, it took a lot of flights, but we got it all done together and that was kind of the vibe we were on this time. I’ll get back in to working with producers down the road and doing songs with my homies down the road, but for now, this is just kinda the vibe that we’re on.

A couple of the tracks that stood out for us were “Everything to Me” and the relaxing nature of the outro track “I Found You” which has lyrics from other songs with “Open My Eyes,” “I Don’t Wanna Wait” – can you talk about the theme for those tracks and how they came together?

“Everything To Me” is about my dad — he passed away a couple years ago. He was one of my best friends in the world, so it was very hard and I always would try to write these songs about him. If you’re a songwriter and you write, I guess it depends what kind of songwriter you are. But for me, I write as therapy and I just gotta get this shit out. Its bouncing around in my head, in my heart and in my soul and I gotta write this shit, sing it and put it on a record – that’s how I put stuff to bed. I kept trying to do that about losing my dad, but every time it ended up negative and just felt wrong. Like yeah, I’m sad that he’s gone – but he’s not sad, he’s in a way cooler spot and everything is as it should be. It felt weird, like why am I writing this really negative, “lets cry” song? And then I thought about it one day, and this guy was everything to me! So then I just started talking about everything that was amazing that I could think of, and it all sort of came together.

“I Found You” is basically about how sometimes, you get extremely lost in life and you don’t really understand. I can always look at the guys in SOJA when I lose someone, and know that my destiny is sort of playing out as it should. And that’s why at the end I quote “Open My Eyes,” “Rest of My Life,” “True Love,” and “I Don’t Wanna Wait.” Those are some of the songs that have kind of put us all over the world. I owe everything to those songs, and to these people, and to the fans. It was my way of saying thanks to everybody for this beautiful experience. Its been awesome, and its not even over! I’m lucky – that’s kind of what that song is saying. I’m a lucky guy.

SOJA is now without a doubt considered a headlining international act across most festivals and tours. Looking back 20 years, is there a specific run that stands out to you? JacobHemphill_2017_2
One of the best tours we ever did was with Rebelution. I think we got more reaction from the fans, even though it was a small club tour, we got more reaction from the fans than any tour we’ve ever done. Just people saying like “That was the greatest show I’ve ever seen.” One of the good ones that we did was the last festival tour of Europe. It was crazy to see us going on after these people who are on the radio. And then all the South American tours are obviously crazy, the first couple of Hawaii tours when we realized that we were a real band. Same with Puerto Rico, they really showed us that we were a group that people listen to. There have just been a ton of tours that have all been special in one way or another. Some that I’m not listing for personal reasons, some where people I really care about were going through something. And so there’s all these things that go into it, and you sort of remember it all.

The Pier: Peace in a Time of War is one of my favorite albums of all-time and helped shape my love for reggae music. Can you touch briefly on the writing process for that record?
Nice! Peace in a Time of War we were writing pretty much out of high school. Then we did those two songs “True Love” and “Rasta Courage.” Some guy in Brazil made a snippet video with like pictures of him and like beaches that he’s been to, and that video has over 100 million views. And that was kind of where we started to be like: “Wait a minute, people listen to this stuff, like really listen to this stuff. But that was the first record, and we were still ‘Soldiers of Jah Army’ at that point when that came out.

And then the next one was Get Wiser, and that one had “You Don’t Know Me” on it, which kind of everyone sort of flipped out about – me and Bobby Lee on the same song. And then the next album, Born in Babylon, had “I Don’t Wanna Wait,” “You and Me” and “Here I Am.” That’s how we started our whole trajectory was reaching out to people through the lyrics of the song, not just the way it sounds and the music, but like talking to people.

What I love is the cover and color scheme for the record as well, who designed that and how did that come to be the visual representation for the record?
It was our buddy – it was our buddy’s friend who was an artist and we told him that we wanted something that felt like fire and earth-shaking. And he put a bunch of paint on a canvas and it was way too thick. And he just let it all dry, and it cracked all over the place. I think he heated it to make it destroy itself, and that was the art. It’s just a shit-ton of paint that got destroyed.

We saw that it was announced that SOJA will be headlining Reggae Rise Up Florida 2018 in addition to Summerjam in July. It seems just 10 years ago, there weren’t this many festivals housing reggae music, now it seems SOJA is one of the most sought-after headliner. Do you ever just miss playing the small, packed, or even half-empty bars?SOJALive_2017_3
Yeah, I mean we still do – that’s still a favorite set up. So we still do, but my favorite thing, people always say: “I love the intimate audience,” and you hear that from every band that has gotten some kind of success. They’ll say: “We love coming back and playing these little shows.” But for me, its not that way — I like energy and when there are 20,000 people throwing energy at you, that’s the best scenario for a show. I like huge audiences, and a shit-ton of lights, and big sound and a long set that we worked really hard preparing for these people. The big show. That’s my show. I think our band is sort of dialed for big stuff, that’s what we thrive on when we go out there. I remember we played a festival in Poland, I think there was 80,000 people there, and they shut down the streets of this town. The whole town was a festival. I remember going out there and thinking: “This is what we were born to do!” Our main thing is to get as many people in the room as possible and throwing the biggest show that we can.

One last question! What do you hope fans and listeners takeaway when they fire up Poetry In MOtion?
Well, that’s kind of up to them, you know? I know what it means to me, but I just hope everybody finds their own place in it. That’s what I did with Poetry in Motion, it really started to speak to me and I would see that there is recurring things that have been in the music for a very long time and on Poetry in Motion they sort of come to a head – maybe not closed, but they sort of start to wrap themselves up as if we might be moving to something different soon. So I know that’s what it is for me, but it is what it is for everybody. That’s the beauty of this stuff, is that its for you. I use it for what I use it for, and it says this inside Poetry in Motion – this is for the fans. We truly are making music that we want the fans to enjoy, and we want them to take it in their own way. If we can do that, then its always mission accomplished.

We cannot thank Jacob Hemphill enough for taking the time! If for some reason you haven’t listened to Poetry in Motion yet, you can stream it on Spotify or own it via iTunes by clicking HERE!

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Watch: SOJA – “Fire In The Sky”

Related Links:
SOJA Website
SOJA Facebook
ATO Records Website

Interview by: Brian Glaser
Photos by: David Norris

Listen: SOJA – “I Found You”

Listen: SOJA – “Everything To Me”

This entry was posted on Friday, December 15th, 2017 at 10:17 am and is filed under Exclusive Interviews, Rebelution, SOJA, Special Features.
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Article source: http://www.thepier.org/interview-soja-4/

Interview: SOJA

Posted in Reggae Roots Music | Comments Off on Interview: SOJA

The-Pier-Exclusive-Interview-with-SOJA---Website

Regarded as one of the biggest names and staples within the reggae community, the critically acclaimed 2x GRAMMY-nominated 8-piece ensemble known as SOJA recently dropped their sixth full-length album, Poetry in Motion, via ATO Records. The Washington D.C. based group is in the midst of celebrating its 20th anniversary while its become clear that SOJA has grown into an international brand, further branding themselves as a driving force to a movement as we say goodbye to the days when they were just considered an artist or band.

SOJA hardly needs an introduction, but for those who are relatively unfamiliar, the band was formed in 1997 as high school friends in DC (right up the street in Arlington, VA to be more geographically specific for us northern VA folk). The band shaped their sound and craft by playing alongside each-other in a basement and were captivated with roots reggae music. Fast-forward 20 years later and the band has accumulated 7 million online followers in addition to over 300 million YouTube views. Most recently, the band wrapped up recording sessions for Poetry in Motion at Dave Matthews Band’s Haunted Hollow Studios near Charlottesville, VA and will close-out 2017 performing at Slightly Stoopid’s Closer to the Sun in Mexico before their album release party December 29 at the brand-new The Anthem in Washington DC with support from Twiddle and Footwerk.

We had the opportunity to connect with lead vocalist and guitarist Jacob Hemphill for an in-depth discussion on the recent release of their new record, The GRAMMY’s, as well as memorable tour runs when reflecting on 20 years as a band.

Interview: Jacob Hemphill of SOJA

The Pier: Congratulations on 20 years! When you started the band back in ’97 did you ever think it would become what its morphed into 20 years later with this movement and brand? What can you tell us about those early years starting the group and what you recall being your aspirations?
Hemphill: Yeah, all we were really doing was playing music for fun. There were really no American reggae bands. It was Jamaican bands that we were watching; we didn’t know anything about Sublime, we didn’t know about anything that was going on in Cali. We just loved going to reggae shows. I mean, we went to them all the time and we decided we wanted to start a band. We had a couple of them and we ended up on SOJA. Over time, reggae became very popular. We don’t JacobHemphillLive_2017play, necessarily, strictly reggae. I’m not really sure how you’d describe our stuff. But as far as the brand goes, we always really, really wanted to do something that couldn’t be so easily defined. That goes back a long ways, that isn’t just a recent thing – we’ve always sort of been like that. So I guess that was achieved and that’s kind of been our deal from the beginning.

Any advice you’d give yourself if you could go back to 1997 as you’re forming the group?
Nah, I mean I think that what we did is kind of follow the stuff that we really like. Any time a young band asks me for advice, I tell them to do what they like and what they believe in, because if you fail at that shit, then it’s a learning process. You’ve failed at something that you believed in, and you learn something. But if you do shit just to be popular and just to follow the current trend and you fail, then you’ve learned nothing. And you’ve got nothing out of it. That’s my advice that I give people is just try to be yourself.

It’s fitting that the GRAMMY nominations just dropped. Have you had a chance to look over the nominees — any predictions on who you think will take home the Grammy?
Damian will win, guaranteed.

Any other albums you feel were equally deserving of a nomination this year?
I don’t really know, by year, what stuff’s going on, but Damian’s record is awesome. J Boog’s record is awesome, Morgan Heritage’s record is awesome. I haven’t heard the other two very much – but any one of these records would be deserving. I mean that’s kind of how it is with the GRAMMY’s, man. Every year, it doesn’t really matter who wins, it matters that these bands are getting recognition and people are telling them that their music is worth something. That’s good, because for years we felt like the reggae nominations were pretty mis-representative of what was actually going on. They’re starting to feel like they’re doing an accurate job of showing the scene a little bit.

What’s interesting is that SOJA was the first group from this unique Reggae-Rock community to get GRAMMY recognition when you guys were nominated in 2015 with Amid The Noise Haste and since then, more groups from this genre are getting more recognition with nominations to Rebelution repeatedly to J Boog. What can you tell us about that first GRAMMY experience? Do you remember first receiving the news that SOJA would be 1 of 5 albums nominated – what went through your mind?
The first one was crazy! I was onstage in Rio doing a soundcheck, and I flipped out! The first one was like “oh my god, I want to tell every single person in my family.” That word GRAMMY, that means [a lot]. When you tell people you play reggae and you’re American, they’re sort of like, “Oh that’s cool.” And then you tell them it’s a living, and you make a living, they’re like, “Oh that’s cool.” But if you tell them, “hey we’re on The Tonight Show” or “hey, we’re nominated for a GRAMMY.” They’re like, “Oh shit! You’re an actual musician!” Different titles mean different things for different people. I think the more this genre gets into stuff like that the SOJA---Poetry-In-Motion-cover-artbetter it is for everybody – the fans, the artists, the genre and everything.

Let’s talk about Poetry in Motion — Musically it feels warm and soothing at times, but lyrically it also reflects the chaos and craziness going on in the world today, a consistent theme with SOJA being socially and politically conscious. Do you feel an obligation to use your platform to be a voice for social and political injustice and if so, how do you feel Poetry in Motion is representative of that?
I always try to use the microphone like a responsibility. I made a decision a long time ago not to do drug songs, or hookup songs or any of that stuff. I feel like I have a really rare opportunity here. People listen to me – especially kids and teenagers, they listen to the shit that I write. So for me, part of making a record is making a great record and part of it is leaving something here that can be of use. Hopefully it’s helpful to other people who are going through whatever part of life they’re going through. That’s always been important to me.

Absolutely. If you were allowed one song to play to the President, which SOJA song are you performing and why?
I wouldn’t even play something political. I sort of feel bad for him. It’s very easy for everyone on the left to be like, “Fuck the right.” And everyone on the right to be like “Fuck the left.” The truth is, the media has polarized this whole place. Our main problem is that we don’t talk to each other. Your Instagram tells you what you want to hear, and it tells him what he wants to hear. What we have is a serious problem where this country is two pieces. Abe Lincoln said a house divided cannot stand – our forefathers would look at this and say, “This is garbage.” It doesn’t matter who the president is, what matters is can this country come together? I think it’s very easy to say, “Fuck Donald Trump.” I mean the guy is a racist, sexist idiot. Even the people that voted for him, they know he’s a piece of shit. It’s not really that as our problem. I mean we’ve had piece of shit presidents before, we’ve had geniuses like Obama – he was a genius, but he couldn’t get shit done. The problem isn’t the presidency, it’s the people. The president’s just a reflection of us. If we were some awesome society that was just crushing it, we’d have some awesome president who looked just like us. But no, we get this guy. Why? Because he looks just like us. He’s an idiot, and he can’t get shit done – just like us.

Fair enough! Back to music — Amid the Noise and Haste featured a good amount of guest features and collaborations, while this record kept everything in house. I believe you had mentioned that was intentional to take things back to the earlier approach of the likes of Born in Babylon back in ’09 — when did SOJA have that collective mindset going into the creation of Poetry in Motion?
We go through phases. With Amid the Noise and Haste, we were using a bunch of producers, a bunch of different singers and musicians. I was listening to Born in Babylon, and this is still my favorite record we ever did. What was so cool about it was that we wrote it, arranged it, produced it and recorded it in the same room. So that’s what we did with SOJALIVE_2017_2Poetry in Motion. We just tried to do everything together, which we did. It took a while, it took a lot of flights, but we got it all done together and that was kind of the vibe we were on this time. I’ll get back in to working with producers down the road and doing songs with my homies down the road, but for now, this is just kinda the vibe that we’re on.

A couple of the tracks that stood out for us were “Everything to Me” and the relaxing nature of the outro track “I Found You” which has lyrics from other songs with “Open My Eyes,” “I Don’t Wanna Wait” – can you talk about the theme for those tracks and how they came together?

“Everything To Me” is about my dad — he passed away a couple years ago. He was one of my best friends in the world, so it was very hard and I always would try to write these songs about him. If you’re a songwriter and you write, I guess it depends what kind of songwriter you are. But for me, I write as therapy and I just gotta get this shit out. Its bouncing around in my head, in my heart and in my soul and I gotta write this shit, sing it and put it on a record – that’s how I put stuff to bed. I kept trying to do that about losing my dad, but every time it ended up negative and just felt wrong. Like yeah, I’m sad that he’s gone – but he’s not sad, he’s in a way cooler spot and everything is as it should be. It felt weird, like why am I writing this really negative, “lets cry” song? And then I thought about it one day, and this guy was everything to me! So then I just started talking about everything that was amazing that I could think of, and it all sort of came together.

“I Found You” is basically about how sometimes, you get extremely lost in life and you don’t really understand. I can always look at the guys in SOJA when I lose someone, and know that my destiny is sort of playing out as it should. And that’s why at the end I quote “Open My Eyes,” “Rest of My Life,” “True Love,” and “I Don’t Wanna Wait.” Those are some of the songs that have kind of put us all over the world. I owe everything to those songs, and to these people, and to the fans. It was my way of saying thanks to everybody for this beautiful experience. Its been awesome, and its not even over! I’m lucky – that’s kind of what that song is saying. I’m a lucky guy.

SOJA is now without a doubt considered a headlining international act across most festivals and tours. Looking back 20 years, is there a specific run that stands out to you? JacobHemphill_2017_2
One of the best tours we ever did was with Rebelution. I think we got more reaction from the fans, even though it was a small club tour, we got more reaction from the fans than any tour we’ve ever done. Just people saying like “That was the greatest show I’ve ever seen.” One of the good ones that we did was the last festival tour of Europe. It was crazy to see us going on after these people who are on the radio. And then all the South American tours are obviously crazy, the first couple of Hawaii tours when we realized that we were a real band. Same with Puerto Rico, they really showed us that we were a group that people listen to. There have just been a ton of tours that have all been special in one way or another. Some that I’m not listing for personal reasons, some where people I really care about were going through something. And so there’s all these things that go into it, and you sort of remember it all.

The Pier: Peace in a Time of War is one of my favorite albums of all-time and helped shape my love for reggae music. Can you touch briefly on the writing process for that record?
Nice! Peace in a Time of War we were writing pretty much out of high school. Then we did those two songs “True Love” and “Rasta Courage.” Some guy in Brazil made a snippet video with like pictures of him and like beaches that he’s been to, and that video has over 100 million views. And that was kind of where we started to be like: “Wait a minute, people listen to this stuff, like really listen to this stuff. But that was the first record, and we were still ‘Soldiers of Jah Army’ at that point when that came out.

And then the next one was Get Wiser, and that one had “You Don’t Know Me” on it, which kind of everyone sort of flipped out about – me and Bobby Lee on the same song. And then the next album, Born in Babylon, had “I Don’t Wanna Wait,” “You and Me” and “Here I Am.” That’s how we started our whole trajectory was reaching out to people through the lyrics of the song, not just the way it sounds and the music, but like talking to people.

What I love is the cover and color scheme for the record as well, who designed that and how did that come to be the visual representation for the record?
It was our buddy – it was our buddy’s friend who was an artist and we told him that we wanted something that felt like fire and earth-shaking. And he put a bunch of paint on a canvas and it was way too thick. And he just let it all dry, and it cracked all over the place. I think he heated it to make it destroy itself, and that was the art. It’s just a shit-ton of paint that got destroyed.

We saw that it was announced that SOJA will be headlining Reggae Rise Up Florida 2018 in addition to Summerjam in July. It seems just 10 years ago, there weren’t this many festivals housing reggae music, now it seems SOJA is one of the most sought-after headliner. Do you ever just miss playing the small, packed, or even half-empty bars?SOJALive_2017_3
Yeah, I mean we still do – that’s still a favorite set up. So we still do, but my favorite thing, people always say: “I love the intimate audience,” and you hear that from every band that has gotten some kind of success. They’ll say: “We love coming back and playing these little shows.” But for me, its not that way — I like energy and when there are 20,000 people throwing energy at you, that’s the best scenario for a show. I like huge audiences, and a shit-ton of lights, and big sound and a long set that we worked really hard preparing for these people. The big show. That’s my show. I think our band is sort of dialed for big stuff, that’s what we thrive on when we go out there. I remember we played a festival in Poland, I think there was 80,000 people there, and they shut down the streets of this town. The whole town was a festival. I remember going out there and thinking: “This is what we were born to do!” Our main thing is to get as many people in the room as possible and throwing the biggest show that we can.

One last question! What do you hope fans and listeners takeaway when they fire up Poetry In MOtion?
Well, that’s kind of up to them, you know? I know what it means to me, but I just hope everybody finds their own place in it. That’s what I did with Poetry in Motion, it really started to speak to me and I would see that there is recurring things that have been in the music for a very long time and on Poetry in Motion they sort of come to a head – maybe not closed, but they sort of start to wrap themselves up as if we might be moving to something different soon. So I know that’s what it is for me, but it is what it is for everybody. That’s the beauty of this stuff, is that its for you. I use it for what I use it for, and it says this inside Poetry in Motion – this is for the fans. We truly are making music that we want the fans to enjoy, and we want them to take it in their own way. If we can do that, then its always mission accomplished.

We cannot thank Jacob Hemphill enough for taking the time! If for some reason you haven’t listened to Poetry in Motion yet, you can stream it on Spotify or own it via iTunes by clicking HERE!

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Watch: SOJA – “Fire In The Sky”

Related Links:
SOJA Website
SOJA Facebook
ATO Records Website

Interview by: Brian Glaser
Photos by: David Norris

Listen: SOJA – “I Found You”

Listen: SOJA – “Everything To Me”

This entry was posted on Friday, December 15th, 2017 at 10:17 am and is filed under Exclusive Interviews, Rebelution, SOJA, Special Features.
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Article source: http://www.thepier.org/interview-soja-4/

Mike Pinto Releases a David Foral Remix to “Crooks”

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On June 27th, 2017, singer, songwriter storyteller Mike Pinto released his first album in 4 years with a 10-track release titled Hotel Rendezvous. The album has flown under the radar as a low-key release while also being considered Mike’s best work to date. Since then, Mike has tapped Dirty Heads bassist David Foral for a dub-remix of the albums 2nd song, “Crooks.”
Crooks_Cover
If you’re not familiar with Pinto’s music, he’s a story-teller through song and has a great repertoire of music that ranges from reggae, ska, folk, country and blues. Where it gets interesting is when he combines that with someone in a David Foral who’s background is rooted reggae, dub and hip hop. The result of that pairing is what we have in David Foral’s remix of Mike Pinto’s “Crooks”.

[Related: Interview – David Foral of Dirty Heads]

David Foral tells The Pier: “I’ve known Mike Pinto for quite a few years now and have always thought of him as a talented storyteller. I even filled in on bass for him at a couple live shows awhile back. I ran into him at a festival recently and he was telling me about his new album — ‘Hotel Rendezvous.’ I told him that if he had any songs from the album that he wanted remixed to let me know. He reached out to me with the ‘Crooks’ track and I told him that was my favorite song from the album. I was going for a minimalist meets Massive Attack approach to the remix.”

You can stream David Foral’s remix of “Crooks” on Spotify or own it via iTunes by clicking HERE!

Mike Pinto’s 5th studio album, Hotel Rendezvous, was recorded at Killion Studios in Hollywood, CA with Orgone guitarist Sergio Rios. The album includes 10 previously unreleased songs, including the albums first single “Let You Go.” In addition to Sergio’s presence on the record, the album is also backed by keyboardist Roger Rivas of The Aggrolites/Long Beach Dub Allstars, Jon Asher of The Expanders, and Budda Foster of Through The Roots along with horns by Josh Molle, Max O’Leary Eric Hirschhorn.

You can find a copy of Mike Pinto’s new album on Vinyl, stream it on Spotify or own it digitally via iTunes by clicking HERE!

Related Links:
Mike Pinto Website
Mike Pinto Facebook
David Foral Website
David Foral Soundcloud

Article By: Mike Patti

This entry was posted on Monday, December 11th, 2017 at 11:05 am and is filed under Daily News, The Dirty Heads.
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Article source: http://www.thepier.org/mike-pinto-releases-a-david-foral-remix-to-crooks/

Video: Pepper – “Around” (Live Acoustic)

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Our good friends at Sugar Shack recorded a live-acoustic version of “Around” with the Pepper guys. The song is the last track off their last studio album Ohana. The album was released April 2016 and just recently the group put out a new single, “Good Thing Going” featuring Slightly Stoopid — You can read more on that update by clicking HERE! The are rumored plans for a new album to drop in 2018 as we hope to bring you some details with our 2018 Most Anticipated Albums feature to come January 2nd. In the meantime enjoy this awesome live acoustic performance of “Around.”

This entry was posted on Sunday, December 10th, 2017 at 2:37 pm and is filed under Daily News, Law Records.
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Article source: http://www.thepier.org/video-pepper-around-live-acoustic/

MP3 Leak of the Week: The Ries Brothers

Posted in Reggae Roots Music | Comments Off on MP3 Leak of the Week: The Ries Brothers

Our own Brian Glaser would not stop raving about this young duo of brothers who perform music as The Ries Brothers. They just released their first full-length record, The View From The Outside, which was, in part, produced by Ted Bowne of Passafire. We’re giving away their song “Echoing Dream” as we catch up with the duo to discuss the song as we further spotlight this excellent debut record.

You can download The Ries Brothers new song “Echoing Dream,” for FREE, on our home page under the MP3 Leak of the Week on the right hand column! This Download will only be available until Saturday, Dec 9th, 2017.

The Ries Brothers – “Echoing Dream” — Download HERE (on The Pier homepage)

The Ries Brothers – “Echoing Dream” Background:

Since the duo’s inception, they have released 3 EP’s and a Live Concert DVD. Their first full legnth album, The View From The Outside, was released on November 10, 2017. As our own Brian Glaser puts its, “Musically, the album has pretty much anything the listener could ask for. From bluesy and rock-driven guitar riffs, soothing and soaring vocals and reggae-led instrumentals throughout the 13-track effort, the creativity from the breakthrough duo is equally refreshing as impressive.”

It certainly is and to think that one of the two brothers isn’t even 21-years-old yet. The duo consist of brothers Charlie (lead vocals, drums and The Ries Brothers Coverkeyboard bass) and Kevin (lead guitar and backing vocals). “I got into reggae and was immediately inspired by artists like Rebelution, Slightly Stoopid, Nattali Rize, and Stick Figure,” says Kevin. “I was so connected by the lyrics and music of these bands.”

That’s what lead him to writing new song “Echoing Dream.” He continues, telling The Pier: “It was the first song I wrote after spending months and months of listening and studying reggae music… After sitting down and giving it my own shot, I wrote ‘Echoing Dream’ in only 2 writing sessions. This song has a special place in my heart. Everything seemed to flow out as I was writing it.”

The song is inspired by their personal and professional goals in life as Kevin elaborates: “The term, ‘Echoing Dream,’ for me is having something you’ve wanted to do for a while, echo in your mind, and finally following through with a dream that you’ve wanted for a while. I think this is relatable to everyone because we all have huge goals and dreams, and life is too short to not think about even making a run at what you really want to do in life.”

Stick Figure’s own KBong was initially supposed to be featured on the track after jamming with the group at an after-party. The group ultimately decided to keep the song in-house but laid the ground-work for what could be a future connection and collaboration with the Stick Figure guys. “Even talking with KBong about being featured was something I never thought could happen when this song was coming together. We filmed an acoustic version of this song with Sugarshack, and that’s where it was really brought to life. It caught on fast… Its one of our favorite songs to play live and we love seeing the crowd sing the lyrics back to us. That is special.”

You can stream The Ries Brothers new album, The View From The Outside, on all the platforms or own their new album on iTunes by clicking HERE!

Watch: The Ries Brothers – “Echoing Dream” (Live: Sugarshack Sessions)

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CoolPic

The Ries Brothers Background:

The Ries Brothers (pronounced ”Rees”), a duo from Tampa Bay, FL, blend rock, blues, funk, and reggae into a soulful-sophisticated sound. They are comprised of Charlie (lead vocals, drums and keyboard bass) and Kevin (lead guitar and backing vocals), and were tapped at a young age as an up-and-coming artist. In 2013 at the ages of 17 and 14 respectively, the dynamic duo was hand-picked along with 25 other young artists to be featured in the Los Angeles Grammy Museum’s exclusive Music Revolution Project. Since then, they’ve already supported several Billboard artists on tour, including a 10-city run with CHICAGO and a performance at the acclaimed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

The duo has long-cited that their sound is derived from many artists, but have mentioned The Beatles is what changed the game for them. The band discussed that on a family vacation to Las Vegas at a younger age found them noticing a Beatles Cirque du Soleil billboard – this led to their folks grabbing them a copy of The Beatles’ Love album at a young age and from there Charlie and Kevin mentioned that “they were hooked” and sparked their love for creating and writing music.

Related Links:
The Ries Brothers Website
The Ries Brothers Facebook
The Ries Brothers Twitter

Huge thanks again to The Ries Brothers for allowing us to share new song “Echoing Dream” to post up for FREE download. Free music is a privilege that we’re grateful for and we appreciate the work these artists do! Please feel free to download this song for FREE and spread the awareness to your friends!
Enjoy the FREE track on the homepage!

Article By: Mike Patti

Watch: The Ries Brothers – “No Place I’d Rather Be” (ft. Ted Bowne of Passafire)

This entry was posted on Sunday, December 3rd, 2017 at 6:48 pm and is filed under Daily News, Stick Figure.
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Article source: http://www.thepier.org/mp3-leak-of-the-week-the-ries-brothers/

Common Kings Drop New Single Amid Grammy Nomination

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Southern, CA’s Common Kings is currently on a tour with Matisyahu where they released a collaborative single aptly titled after their tour with “Broken Crowns.” Now, they just received exciting news that their debut album Lost In Paradise would be 1 of 5 albums nominated by The Grammy’s for Best Reggae Album. If that’s not enough, today they drop a new single titled “Today’s A New Day.”

Common Kings New Single “Today’s A New Day”:

Common Kings Live
The song, the group tells The Pier, was completed via emails WeTransfer’s with their brothers Wrek and Bernz of!MayDay¡ who were on tour at the time. As for the song, the ‘Kings explain “With all the negativity and crazy shit happening, we wanted to write something positive. ‘Today’s A New Day’ was inspired in part by the title of our tour with Matisyahu and also about not holding on to yesterday, no matter how good or bad it was. Today is a new day to let go and be better than you were yesterday!”

[Related: Matisyahu Common Kings’ New Single “Broken Crowns”]

The song is officially available to stream or purchase, today and will soon be accompanied by a music video to which the group shares: “The crazy part is when we went to shoot the video for this song, our touring schedules aligned so that we were in the same city and had the same days off — That was pretty dope!”

The timing for a new single releasing the week of your Grammy nomination is also pretty good timing — You can stream it or own it via iTunes by clicking HERE!

Common Kings Nominated for a Grammy!:

When all of the nominees for the 2018 Grammy Awards were announced, Common Kings found themselves in the company of Damian Marley, Chronixx, Morgan Heritage and J Boog for Best Reggae Album. A humbled group tells The Pier: “It’s crazy to think that 6 years ago when we started this journey it was just a dream and a part of our ‘what if’ conversations amongst ourselves… Now we’re here representing our people along side our brother, J Boog — God is good. man!”

As you can imagine, it’s one thing to get the news that your album might be considered, it’s another to actually get that phone-call confirming your nomination. Here’s what the group tells The Pier: “We were in our hotel rooms on a down day in Baker City, Oregon. Our 23658437_10155947854448118_3055565035622327142_nsister and Tour Manager, Stef called us at 5:30am and was crying and screaming, yelling, telling us that we gotten it! We called our wives and families and woke them all up to let them know. Then we called our leader and manager Tautua and started screaming all over again, practically in tears, jumping around our hotel room! It was an epic moment that we are still trippin out on.”

[Related: 2018 Grammy Nominees For Best Reggae Album]

The 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards will take place Sunday, January 28, 2018 and air on CBS from 7:30–11 p.m. ET. Common Kings have a show the day before in New Zealand so there’s a sliver of a chance they may be able to make the event. When we asked if there’s one song they hope the world takes away from their album, they replied: “We actually have two songs! ‘Lost In Paradise’ because everybody needs a vacation at some point in time and ‘Always Beside You’ because it’s a reminder that no matter who we are or what our achievements in life may be, we see ourselves as equals in this world, always standing beside you.”

We’ll find out January 28th if their only full-length album takes home The Grammy for Best Reggae Album. In the meantime, you can find Common Kings on tour by clicking HERE!

Related Links:
Common Kings Website
Common Kings Facebook

Article by: Mike Patti
Photo by: David Norris

Watch: Common Kings – “Mary Wanna”

Listen: Common Kings Matisyahu – “Broken Crowns”

This entry was posted on Friday, December 1st, 2017 at 12:15 am and is filed under Daily News.
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Article source: http://www.thepier.org/common-kings-drop-new-single-amid-grammy-nomination/

Video: J Boog – “Good Cry” (ft. Chaka Demus)

Posted in Reggae Roots Music | Comments Off on Video: J Boog – “Good Cry” (ft. Chaka Demus)

For the second year in a row, J Boog has received a Grammy Nomination for Best Reggae Album with his 11/18/2016 release of Wash House Ting. The album is 14 tracks and includes guest appearances by Gramps Morgan, Buju Banton, Fiji, Chaka Demus and more. Here is the music video for “Good Cry” that was also on J Boog’s Rose Petals EP that was also up for Best Reggae Album last year. The 60th Annual Grammy’s will be held on Sunday, January 28, 2018 on CBS from 7:30–11 p.m. ET. To read more about the Grammy’s the Best Reggae Album nominees, click HERE! You can stream J Boog’s Wash House Ting or own it via iTunes by clicking HERE! Enjoy the song and video…

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 30th, 2017 at 6:11 pm and is filed under Daily News.
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Article source: http://www.thepier.org/video-j-boog-good-cry-ft-chaka-demus/

Reggae Rise Up Florida 2018 Lineup Revealed

Posted in Reggae Roots Music | Comments Off on Reggae Rise Up Florida 2018 Lineup Revealed

Tis the season for Thanksgiving hangovers and food comas, but as the holidays approach that also means music festival season is right around the corner and a plethora of lineups will soon be revealed. Perhaps none more appealing than the 2018 installment of Reggae Rise Up Florida featuring a headliner trio of Rebelution, Damian “JR GONG” Marley and SOJA.

Now entering its 8th year, Reggae Rise Up will once again be returning to the lovely Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg, Florida from March 16-18. For those who aren’t aware, Reggae Rise Up has established itself as one of the leading reggae music festivals that fans can indulge in and enjoy on a yearly basis, in addition to gaining attention and notoriety across all music festivals in general. They’re known for hosting year-round events as well as Festivals taking place in both Floriday and Utah. Further, the festival historically has been a two-day feature, but with the momentum and positive reviews in previous years the Reggae Rise Up Team has been able to expand to three days. In addition to the top-notch headliners, the lineup features an epic supporting cast as well:

Reggae Rise Up Florida 2018 Full Line-Up:

FRIDAY, MARCH 16Daily-Lineup-Banner
Rebelution
Tribal Seeds
Jesse Royal
Easy Star All-Stars
Nattali Rize
Katastro
Resinated
Summer Survivors

SATURDAY, MARCH 17
Damian “JR GONG” Marley
Matisyahu
J Boog
Ozomatli
Mike Love
Iya Terra
Tropidelic
Jungle Man Sam
Zander
NoNeed
Badda Skat

SUNDAY, MARCH 18
SOJA
Nahko Medicine For The People
Collie Buddz
The Expendables
RDGLDGRN
Raging Fyah
New Kingston
Sidereal
Kash’d Out

Vinoy Park will host plenty of merchandise booths for fans and attendees to enjoy in their “vendor village” as well plenty of food truck and additional options to grab some grub. Festival-goers will have plenty of chances to quench their thirst, as RRU has noted that there will be more beer options scattered throughout the festival grounds this year than they’ve previously supported – there will also be full bars with liquor.

Aside from a bit of an earlier start on Saturday with the expanded lineup, gates will open around 1pm each day and close up at 10pm. As was the case in previous years, there is unfortunately no camping allowed at Vinoy Park due to city code stipulations, however there are plenty of hotel options available and attendees can check out all information and deals on the official website listed below.

Three days of epic music, good eats and drinks, sun (or sunburn) and memories that will last a lifetime. What’s not to love!? Grab your buddies and your tickets today by clicking HERE!

Related Links:
Reggae Rise Up Website
Reggae Rise Up Facebook

Article By: Brian Glaser

Watch: Reggae Rise Up Florida 2017 – Official Aftermovie

Watch: Reggae Rise Up Utah 2017 – Official Aftermovie

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 30th, 2017 at 12:37 am and is filed under Daily News.
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Article source: http://www.thepier.org/reggae-rise-up-florida-2018-lineup-revealed/