It is always a pleasure to be around musicians with genuine enthusiasm and deep-rooted passion for their art. An immense energy and real joy radiates from within people who truly love their craft. Reggie Froom is one of those hard to find people. Reggie is the charismatic, long-haired vocalist and founder of reggae crossover group The Ellameno Beat. Speaking with him at the 1904 Music Hall after The Ellameno Beat’s good-vibes set to get some insight on the story behind the group’s come up, influences and future was a pleasure.
Reggie and I spoke on the venue’s mural-covered patio as Resinated played the main stage and fans and friends hung out nearby. He explained that he had recently relocated from South Florida to the Jacksonville Beach area with his girlfriend and two dogs (aged 12 and 13, whose photos he showed me, beaming like a proud parent). He now lives and works out of his home studio a few miles from the beach.
The Ellameno Beat began with Reggie. He has a background as a producer but when it came time to find a band, he had a unique approach: he sought out childhood friends to play alongside. This choice, he elaborated, was rooted in his belief that connection and vibe is more valuable than anything else. There is almost a sense of brotherhood in the group, that can be seen onstage, and it encourages the audience to approach and enjoy the music in a similar way. Reggie smiled when I commented on how obvious their bond is, commenting that they naturally mess with each other on stage and off, and he is glad if people pick up on that chemistry.
Part of our conversation involved the reggae genre and their place within it. Reggie explained that they are inspired by a roots approach but that he plays what he feels without paying too much attention to genres. As he put it, you can try to play a specific type of music or sound like a particular band, but music has to come from within. He believes that you should show your true self and not try to be anything else, that you have to just take whatever is inside you, let it out, and be real. As for personal idols, Reggie immediately named John Brown’s Body. The band is not only his biggest influence but a group that he admitted being starstruck by when they worked together.
Tonight’s show was held at an ideal venue for Reggie. As a whole, they like to play venues like 1904 that are not just bars but real music venues. Next up for The Ellameno Beat, besides making some music videos, is to find their way around the Jacksonville scene. They hope to find similar bands to play with locally, who like touring and playing live shows just as much. Other goals include breaking into the festival scene, especially at Suwanee. Reggie reminisced about his first time at Bear Creek Music Festival and is interested in the possibility of playing there or at similar festivals in the future.
It was a real pleasure to speak with Reggie about his journey so far with The Ellameno Beat, and Jacksonville is certainly excited to welcome them. You can check out their new single “One of Us” today.