All posts by Omayra Lopez

About Omayra Lopez

Omayra is a Florida girl, mother of three, and visual artist sharing all things art, fun and the beautiful things in life. She firmly believes that one creates their own reality and applies that to her own life by marching to the beat of a different drum, using her camera as a tool for that purpose. Omayra is a jack of all trades and masters them all. When she's not behind of the camera, she's in front of it. Her experience as a model, helped her develop her eye as a photographer.

Altwire Fast Five – Throwback to the 90s

This week, we’re adding a  ‘Throwback Thursday’ twist to our fast five by turning back the clock to the 90s!

The 1990s, the era of grunge, trapper keepers, and Lisa Frank galore! The decade when MTV ruled the music scene and you’d rush to your TV after school to catch Carson Daly on Total Request Live (TRL), hoping your favorite artists made the list.

If you’re a former teen from this decade, the following 5 tracks might be your go-to’s if you’ve been or are going through romantic heartache.

No Doubt – Don’t Speak

This 1995 hit defined the band and helped launch Gwen Stefani’s solo career.

At the time of its release, the former lead singer modified the song to describe the end of her 7-year romantic relationship with band mate, Tony Kanal. If you were a tween/teen that year, this song made you depressed over a lover you’ve never met or had. As an adult, the feels are real!

Jann Arden – Insensitive

When we think about the mid-90s Canadian alt-rock explosion, Alanis Morisette automatically comes to mind but Jann Arden is another Canadian sensation which has been pretty underrated. The 1995 US release is ahead of its time defining post millennial dating, AKA “situation-ships”.

Goo Goo Dolls – Iris

The theme song for the 1998 film “City of Angels” defines not just the plot but also that deep longing to give up everything even on the spiritual level to be with that one person you love. This gem is a reminder that at least once in your lifetime, you meet such a person.

Billie Myers – Kiss the Rain

A perfect song a love-sick teen would listen to in 1997 on a rainy day. You may have even called your local radio station to dedicate it on a shout out.

While listening to this track you may be reminiscing on your high school sweetheart or missing someone in the present, hoping that in turn they’re missing you.

Last Kiss – Pearl Jam

The 90s brought a lot of 50s and 60s nostalgia and 1999 brought us this cover of Wayne Cochran’s 1961 original teen tragedy track, “Last Kiss” as part of the charity album, No Boundaries: A Benefit for the Kosovar Refugees.

This song is a reminder to cherish every moment with that person you love, as the young girl in this song asks for a last kiss as her final request as she dies in her sweetheart’s arms. Based on a true story, this is a further reminder to not only cherish the moments with the one that you love but to never be afraid to express it with no regrets as tomorrow is never guaranteed.

PREVIEW: Sandy Shore’s Inaugural Jazz Weekender

Love is in the air! Imagine you and your perfect date, jamming out to an ambience of smooth jazz from the finest crooners of the genre, while indulging in some fine dining and wine from the Wine Country. All of that is what you can look forward to at the Sandy Shore’s 2019 Inaugural Jazz Weekender!

Unlike your typical festival event, the Jazz Weekender presents a new way to experience music; a California-inspired, music destination in an intimate, rejuvenating environment on comfortable seating; high-fidelity audio, and world-class performers paired with California wines and craft beers on a 850-acre paradise — along with several music-oriented, lifestyle excursions showcasing Monterey County’s beauty and bounty.

With a lineup directed by jazz legend, Nathan East, alongside Boney James, Boz Scaggs, and Maysa among many others, this is a festival that will not disappoint, whether you’re coupled up and planning the perfect Valentine’s weekend getaway or you simply enjoy some great music and food in a fantastic atmosphere.

If you happen to live in Northern California or simply visiting, make sure to catch this spectacular event from February 14th through the 17th!





Leilani Wolfgramm at Celery City Craft, Sanford 01/26/19

Whether she’s at the recording studio, an amphitheater in front of thousands, or a simple acoustic session in her hometown, Leilani Wolfgramm always pours her heart and soul into her music.

Since 2014, the Orlando reggae star has entered the scene adding her own unique twist of country, folk, R&B and hip Hop in songs narrating her childhood, personal struggles, joys and everything in between.

We recently had the pleasure of enjoying an acoustic session with Leilani at Celery City Craft Brewery in Downtown Sanford. While she’s performed with other major artists such as Ziggy Marley, SOJA, Sublime with Rome and Incubus, she still remains true to her hometown roots.

See photos from the event below:




AltWire Fast Five – Reggae (Week of 01/20/2019)

Sometimes you just need a little pick me up to start your day. That’s where Fast Five comes in. Compromised of bite sized playlists, updated every weekday (Monday through Friday), “the five” gives you a taste of the best in music right now, featuring tracks from a different genre each day. Today we present to you favorite reggae songs for the week!


Gentleman’s Dub Club Featuring Million Stylez -Turning Back

In this latest single, the UK based dub band is joined by Swedish Dancehall sensation, Million Styles. With the perfect combination of reggae, dancehall, hip hop and R&B, this track brings fire to this winter and great anticipation to their upcoming album, “Lost in Space.”


Iakopo – My Revolution 

Maui, Hawaii based reggae artist, Iakopo brings a positive message to bring change to our world with this track off his upcoming album, “Waves” to be released in February.



Artikal Sound System – Time

This title track from the Delray Beach based band, off their latest EP, reminds us that time is an illusion that we shouldn’t allow to dictate our lives. With the smooth vocals of their lead Logan Rex you’ll be living in the moment as you jam out to this tune.


Brother Mikey – Happiness 

This is the first single and title track from Orlando, Fl based conscious folk artist Brother Mikey’s newly released second album. Inspired by the universal message of reggae, this is the prevalent theme for the album and “Happiness” conveys it perfectly. It inspires the listener to release negativity and choose happiness.


Landon McNamara featuring Leilani Wolfgramm – Hang Loose

The Hawaii based reggae artist, pro surfer and model brings his endless summer North Shore vibes into this track, joined by the talent of Orlando based reggae sensation Leilani Wolfgramm!


Photos: The Hip Abduction & Passafire at Jannus Live

Based out of St. Petersburg, FL, The Hip Abduction comprised of David New (lead vocals, guitar), Chris Powers (bass), Dave Johnson (baritone, tenor sax), Cody Moore  (keyboards, sax), Matt Poynter (drums, vocals) and Justino Walker (guitar, vocals, sitar), bring a high energy style that merges West African beats with Jamaican Reggae/Dub.

They ended 2018 and kicked off the new year with a hometown show at Jannus Live, supported by Savannah, GA based rock band, Passafire in a celebration complete with champagne bottles and the works worthy of the perfect New Year’s Eve celebration!

AltWire was there in attendance, and below are some photos from the event. Both bands are currently on tour. Make sure to catch them at your nearest city!

Catching Up With Ballyhoo! At The Detonate Tour

2018 has been a busy year for Maryland based, Ballyhoo!( and on September 28th, they released their latest album, Detonate which is a return to the punk-rock and ska style that they’re well known for. With such an accomplishment, comes another cross-country tour. Our team got to catch up with the band in St. Petersburg as they passed through Florida.

When asked about the writing process and production of the album, lead singer, Howi Spangler stated,

“It’s been really great, it’s nice to rock the fuck out on stage! These songs mean a lot to me because I’ve been through a lot these past couple of years and this music is a reflection of that.“

Beyond another signature-style album, this compilation is indeed more open and personal, as it relates to the frontman’s personal struggles, from his relationship with his late father (“Detonate”, “Barnabas”). while also bringing awareness to anxiety and depression (“I Don’t Wanna Go”, “Maryland Summer”, “Bruce Wayne”).

Howi went further on to state that the production of Detonate wasn’t a point to do another punk-rock record, it just “came out the way it did.”

While “Detonate” has quite a bit of relatable angst, there’s a bit of relief with the sweet, light-hearted “Can’t Hardly Wait”, dedicated to his fiancée, Danielle.

The band’s intentions with the album was to further connect with their fans. They have accomplished that connection on this current tour by drawing in thousands of loyal fans of all ages who travel hundreds of miles to jam out, singing along to every memorized track.

They’re still currently on tour and in 2019 they’ll be joining Badfish – A Tribute to Sublime, Reel Big Fish and The Expendables. This is an epic lineup that no alt-rock fan should miss so make sure to catch a show at your nearest city!

Follow Ballyhoo! On Social Media

[AltWire Interview] Mike Loy of The Penny Serfs

Alt-Rock band, The Penny Serfs have released their latest LP, Politics in a Time of Heroin.

Their lead singer, Mike Loy, took the time to speak to us about the writing process, his recovery from a near-fatal fall, and the future of the band.

Omayra Lopez [AltWire]: This is Omayra with, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview! For our readers and those who haven’t yet heard of you, could you please tell is a bit about yourselves and the history of the band?

Mike Loy [The Penny Serfs]: Hi Omayra, this is Mikey Loy the singer of The Penny Serfs. I have been working with Kyle, Stu & Aiden on The Penny Serfs since around 2013. I have been involved in groups and solo for sometime now, most noteworthy being the guitarist of the band Chronic Future in the early 2000s. When I met Kyle we were techs for Regina Spektor and hit it off immediately and made a commitment to be in a band together, the rest is history.

Omayra Lopez [AltWire]: What was the writing process like for Politics In The Time of Heroin? How did you decide which tracks went into the LP and which did not?

Mike Loy [The Penny Serfs]: We had some rough ideas together on voice notes and we had little rehearsal. We then went to Atlanta and tracked a record in a week with my friend and genius producer Rick Beato. I wanted to keep us on our toes and really naturally capture the band developing the song in the studio. By the third take it seemed that we had fully came up with our parts and we feeling really cohesive. I think really just going for it and keeping it spontaneous helps us keep the band fresh and on the same page.

Omayra Lopez [AltWire]: Mikey, what can you tell us about your recovery from your accident so far, and how has this return to music been treating you since? What advice would you give to anyone who may be facing what you have, leading up to this release?

Mike Loy [The Penny Serfs]: I am very fortunate and grateful to be alive. I’m also very humbled by the support from my family, friends, other artists i work for and our fans for helping me get back on my feet. My recovery was very quick for all of my broken bones, about six weeks and I suffered a massive concussion but did not have any long lasting brain damage.  I can still sing and play and dance around just fine, my right wrist is about 60 percent of what it used to be with strength so I am fortunate that I am left handed.

Advice from me about my fall… I know it isn’t easy.. but please, make sure to have healthcare. Of course I did not so it was a fundraiser situation until we could figure out an emergency insurance situation.

Second. If you are going to climb up high, always make sure to wear a harness and stay cautious and safe minded. I let these precautions slip from my mind.

Omayra Lopez [AltWire]: As this year comes to a close, what does the future hold for the band?

Mike Loy [The Penny Serfs]: In February 2019 we will be releasing a limited deluxe vinyl of the Politics Record, as well as a new EP in March, and then wrapping it up with an extensive tour to hopefully start around Sxsw time. Hopefully we will have some dates to post very soon. We are very excited for 2019 and can’t wait to keep playing together and breaking stuff 🙂

Omayra Lopez [AltWire]: What message would you like to send to your fans and our readers?

Mike Loy [The Penny Serfs]: Always stay positive because within sufferance sometimes magic can occur. We are all lucky to be alive and I’m very happy and lucky to still be playing guitar and singing in a band with my best buds.

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[AltWire Interview] Zach Fowler of Sun Dried Vibes on ‘Stay Hopeful’

Sun Dried Vibes ( recently released “Stay Hopeful” around Labor Day weekend, and this album goes to show that summer isn’t over just yet!

Their lead singer and guitarist, Zach Fowler took some time to talk about the album as the band celebrated their release at the Surrounded by the Sound Music and Arts Festival at beautiful Longcreek, South Carolina.

Omayra Lopez [AltWire]: What was the writing process like for this album, are there any tracks that are particularly meaningful?

Zach Fowler [Sun Dried Vibes]: The writing process for me is always different. I don’t like to keep my process limited to any one style, so I keep it open in order to keep the songs fresh every time. There were a lot of collaborations on this album, so it was a great pleasure to work alongside a lot of my closest musical friends. It was incredibly cool to have Eric Rachmany of Rebelution, a major influence on me personally, want to be a part of the song “Smoke Session.” I didn’t write the song and then solicit him to be on it. Rather, we were hanging out at his house in San Francisco a couple years ago, jamming in his backyard when he asked me to show him some stuff I was working on. I played him the song and he was really into it. He said then and there that he wanted to be a part of the track when we started recording it, so for me that was a pretty major milestone in my musical career.

Omayra Lopez [AltWire]: How did this year’s Surrounded by the Sound Festival compare to previous ones for you?

Zach Fowler [Sun Dried Vibes]: This years’ SBTS was extra special because the festival was sort of like our Album Release Party for Stay Hopeful. We spent so much time on this record and it was an incredible feeling to see it debut at #1 on iTunes the first day of the festival. I couldn’t think of a better place to drop an album that has meant so much to me. We also debuted our new line-up at SBTS this year, as we lost our founding bass player, Evan Tyler, but added three new members, making us a five piece band – Tyler Vickery on vocals and guitar, Cliff Bundick on bass and Kody Farris on auxiliary percussion. These three guys are a major addition to the SDV line up and I think people are going to be even more impressed with our live sound now with these guys in the band.

Personally, my favorite track so far has been “Hopeful”. It’s that perfect song to help you rise above any tough situation and an awesome reminder that tough times don’t last forever.

“Smoke Sessions” is another great gem, which features TreeHouse as well as reggae stars and the mentioned, Grammy nominees, Rebelution! This track is pretty self explanatory in that one of the most therapeutic things one can do is introspect over a smoke session.

Overall this is a great album to celebrate the end of summer. Currently on tour, catch their vibes at a city near you!

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2018 Angry Orchard Rock the Roots Tour Recap

The 2018 Rock the Roots Tour by Angry Orchard kicked off on June 30th, covering 11 cities across the country and I had the privilege to catch it in my hometown of Orlando, Florida!

This year the tour was headlined by Sublime with Rome, along with Lupe Fiasco, New Politics, Pepper, Collie Buddz and many more while in addition to local and regional artists.

The Orlando, FL stop of the fest did not disappoint. Its family style atmosphere made for a very pleasant experience where those who just wanted to relax while enjoying some great music could sit on the lawn, play some games, or enjoy some delicious food and Angry Orchard Cider.

Naples, Florida based SOWFLO, opened up the night covering classic reggae hits, whilst also showcasing some of their originals. They truly showed us what Florida reggae is all about!

Collie Buddz, contributed to the tour in support of his latest single, “Love and Reggae.” He brought his good vibes to the set including classic hits like “Gimme Love” and “Blind to You”, which he closed his set with.

New Politics was a personal highlight for me as their set included their hits “Dignity”, closing with “Harlem” and  “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”.

Lupe Fiasco reminded the fans of the responsibility that comes with purchasing their ticket. He performed some of his hits which included “Outta My Head” and just before he was about to close his set with “The Show Goes On”, we were once again reminded that we were in Florida, as a thunderstorm approached. While this was a rain or shine event, safety precautions were taken by pausing the show until the storm passed. Lupe prompted the hesitant fans to leave while security led everyone indoors for about 20 minutes or so.

Once the storm passed the show went on as planned, with the headliners, Sublime with Rome. The highlight for me was their tribute to the original frontman, Bradley Nowell by performing Sublime classics “What I Got” and closing with “Santeria”.

With this incredible atmosphere and putting the safety of the fans first, this for me will be the first of many more Rock the Roots Fests.

If you’re a music fan who enjoys Angry Orchard hard cider, this is not a fest you want to miss, so catch the next one at a city near you, however, drink responsibly!

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