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.

Kulcha Shok Reggae Sunday

Kulcha Shok Muzik’s Reggae Sunday Series – AKA “Church”!

Fall has just begun and in Miami, it’s Reggae Sunday all through October! 

This concert series hosted by the legendary Lance-O, is the perfect beachside Sunday Funday, or a unique night out as the music will play all day and all night.

While you’re there, make sure to check out the KulchaShok merch booth for some reggae couture, as their clothing is the lead in roots and culture fashion!


Sunny State Releases New Video And Single: “Solutions”

Sunny State is bringing on the California vibes and a fresh reggae/island rock style with their debut release, “Solutions,” a single in which their lead, Chris “Cristo” Reed described as follows:

“As I was writing, I thought about my two daughter’s Violet and Indigo and the type of world they’ve been born into. As flawed as it may be, it is still so beautiful and I want them to focus on solutions and not get caught up in getting down about the problems of the world. Instead, I want them to come together and help lead the charge in solving them.”

Indeed this inspiring song leaves the listener wanting more of their unique and powerful music and lyrics. The band is currently touring locally in California and you can enjoy them live out in the Sunny State! You can also watch the video for “Solutions” here.

HIRIE Releases New Album – Dreamer

HIRIE - Dreamer
California based reggae/tropical-pop band, HIRIE have just released their latest album, Dreamer,  written with the collaboration of The Drive—a.k.a. songwriters Mark Merthe and Nate Evans, and majorly inspired by the book, Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, which explores feminine instinct and power while celebrating “that wild woman archetype.”
The book had a remarkable impact on front woman, Trish Jetton, and led her to writing the breezy free-spirited anthem, the hit single, “Stay Wild.” On its production, the reggae starlet stated, “This album is about raw honesty. I feel like I was braver with exploring my emotional state and how that swings back and forth—allowing myself to be brutally honest.”

Of all her albums, Dreamer is her most raw album, and relates to just about every situation a woman is faced with.

The hit single, “I Like The Way You Roll” features Slightly Stoopid and reminds you of the friendships you make while you roll. “Better as Is” describes the unconventional relationship and ways to work through minor issues, for the best of both parties. “Frida Kahlo”, and “Reason to Fly” will help inspire the dreamer to create their best reality while allowing the space to “Stay Wild.”

These tracks are all amazing and they’ll sound even better live.

Make sure to catch the band on their fall tour with Matisyahu, and headlining in select cities on the East Coast!


Sublime With Rome – St. Augustine Amphitheater Concert Recap

Sublime With Rome has wrapped up their summer tour after the successful release of their latest album, Blessings. The tour kicked off earlier this summer along with SOJA, Common Kings, and Seranation and sold out in several venues along the East Coast. 

On behalf of the Altwire team, I had the privilege of catching them in Florida at the St. Augustine Amphitheater, now known as The AMP. 

With both the best of the East Coast and West Coast, this was a show that did not disappoint.

Seranation kicked off with their Florida island rock style which brought in their faithful St. Pete hometown following. 

Common Kings brought in their Cali-Reggae Vibes and brought me some nostalgic memories from my time in Hawaii as they performed their classic tribute to Oahu’s North Shore, “Wade in your Water.”

This final leg of the tour included Michael Franti, and he brought his well known conscious vibes. 

Sublime with Rome opened up their set with Sublime’s original classic “Smoke Two Joints”. What I love about the band is how they keep Bradley Nowell’s legacy alive while drawing in a new generation of fans. 

Make sure to listen to Blessings on all music platforms and if you’ve missed the summer tour, the band is now preparing for their fall tour on the Midwest.

Single Review: Tow’rs – Water Under The Bridge

Flagstaff, Arizona based Folk band Tow’rs brings a mellow style that’s great for reflecting on life. Musical storytelling is the theme in their lyrics, and their latest single, “Water Under The Bridge”, has the listener reminiscing on past struggles as it encourages letting go of all the bitterness and letting all that be as the title implies.

The band is due to release their new album, New Nostalgia on September 20, but in the meantime, you can catch them on tour along the West Coast.

[AltWire Interview] Grassy Dread

The East Coast meets the Pacific Coast with reggae duo, Grassy Dread, comprised of Rob Burns (New York) and Amren Acree (Hawaii). Currently in the process of releasing a full length album, they’ve taken the time to chat with our team.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: For those who haven’t yet heard of you, can you please tell us a little about yourself, your musical style and any other fun facts?

Grassy Dread [Rob and Amren]: Grassy Dread is a reggae group blessed with a unique blend of rock, hip-hop, and soul to inspire fans of any sub-genre within the diverse world of reggae. We are well rooted in the traditional and unafraid to branch out into innovative territory. Grassy Dread champions a sound that we call Dub-Rock-Reggae. Whether you follow the tradition or the trend, the Grassy Dread fusion has something you can get down to.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: Was music a part of your life growing up?

Grassy Dread [Rob and Amren]: Naturally! The creative core of Grassy Dread consists of Amren Acree and Rob Burns as a writing/production/performance duo. We both grew up in two very distant and different worlds – Hawaii and New York. We were exposed to lots of different rhythms that shaped us as artists.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]:  What’s your writing process like?

Grassy Dread [Rob and Amren]: By the time that our paths crossed we each embodied very diverse viewpoints on how reggae music should sound based on our musical backgrounds. In coming together we strive to set aside differences and allow for new vision to take over – One that combines the best of both worlds. East coast Hip-Hop and Dancehall flavors feature side by side with west coast Cali-Roots and Jawaiian tastes.

To respect and preserve the universality and authenticity of what reggae music has imparted to us our writing process usually resembles a type of back-n-forth collaborative effort where one will come with an idea and, after articulating and forming it in basic terms, will pass it along to the other, giving full creative license and trusting him to bring his expertise to the idea and do “his thing” with the song.

This back-n-forth continues until, at a certain point in the process, the song begins to express itself in a way that was unanticipated by both parties. Then both of us as producers have to sort of back away and let the music itself have a voice in how she wants to be heard. For us as co-producers, this is where the real magic happens.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]:  What personal hobbies do you enjoy when you’re at home or off the stage?

Amren: I enjoy creating things with my hands, refurbishing old furniture to give it new life. I also enjoy gaming or watching a good documentary or comedy during my downtime

Rob: I stay heavily involved in projects that build community. I also value some grounding alone time during which I will usually be studying topics that interest me like language and metaphysics.

We both love getting out into nature whenever possible.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]:  What advice would you give up and coming artists?

Grassy Dread [Rob and Amren]: Our advice to the up and coming artists everywhere and to the artist inside everyone, can be heard in our music. On our debut album – Loving Confrontation we encourage artists to not be afraid to let their “Lion roaar!”. And sometimes that “lion” can feel like a “lonely lion” as artists “walk alone” and trod their own “path of destiny”. If artists got a “Good Thing” in their hearts, we urge them to always stay true to themselves. But to do that you have to really know yourself. So realize that the art of living, and therefore every other art form in life, comes down to a collaborative effort between the parts of yourself that you are conscious of and the parts of self that you don’t know yet. Awareness is the key. You can find a lot more advice and encouragement along those lines contained in our new upcoming album – Lucid Living.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: What is the greatest advice you’ve ever received that has helped you in your career?

Grassy Dread [Rob and Amren]: A career means a path or road. The right path to take is always going to be the path that you make. In order to blaze your own trail and be sure that you are on the path that is right for you, then you have to first decide where you are going and then follow closely the compass of your own heart.

We see a lot of memes with little tidbits of helpful hints come across our path in this information age. If you follow reggae to any degree then you likely have noticed a ton of memes that have cute little quotes attributed to Bob Marley since his image is so iconic. Ironically many of these memes are things that he never said. But thankfully we have recordings from the legends of the past that can help us here today. There was one thing that the honorable Robert Nesta Marley did say in one of his last interviews and it is without a doubt the most versatile and timeless piece of counsel we can have or offer, especially for anyone striving to establish their career in this age of social media.

In the famous interview, when asked to “talk to the people” and tell them what he would if they were to “never hear his voice again” he said: “Well ya see the people have a voice inside of them that talk to them, ya know? That is a voice that the people must listen to. Because in everything you’re going to do there is a wrong way and a right way. And if you listen good you will know the right way.”

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]:  What’s in store for the near future?

Grassy Dread [Rob and Amren]: Right now we are still in our humble beginning stages. But on the very near horizon is the launch of our new album – Lucid Living. So you can expect to see a few stellar singles accompanied by some beautiful art and impactful music videos over the coming months. And Grassy Dread will be on the road promoting the Lucid Living album on a west coast tour. So be checking for that. We would love to see and connect with people along the way.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]:  Is there a message you would like to send to your fans and our readers?

Grassy Dread [Rob and Amren]: One Love! It’s more than just a catchphrase it is a streaming feeling and a line of thought that, when combined, result in small but powerful actions capable of harnessing the positive vibration we all love in reggae music. So if you value reggae on any level then it is up to you to care for it and do your part to spread it’s nurturing influence in the world.



[AltWire Interview] The Bergamot

New York based Indie Duo, The Bergamot comprised of Jillian Speece and Nathan Hoff have a conscious, thought provoking mellow music style. Their segment on the Grotto Network “Trailblazers: The Bergamot” recently won them the Daytime Emmy award.

In September the duo is set to release their upcoming album. In between their busy schedule, Jillian and Nathan still took the time to chat with our Altwire family.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: Would you mind telling us about yourself and the history of your band for our readers who have yet to hear about you?

The Bergamot [Nathan and Jillian]: We are sweethearts from the heartland. Born and raised in IN, we started from pretty bare bones. Producing songs on kitchen tables. The hustle is real. It all started with pure passion.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: Was music a significant part of your life growing up? If not, who were your musical influences?

The Bergamot: Yes. Jumping on stage was something we did as soon as we could. We both have musical influences:

Nathan: Nick Drake and R.E.M.

Jillian: Tame Impala and Feist

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: What was the inspiration for your band’s name?

The Bergamot: The essential oil. It’s used to expel bad spirits and induces happiness – kinda like cannabis 🙂 Or maybe you can use it with cannabis. Anyways, the word just looks cool too. It’s also the main ingredient in Earl Grey Tea – so we fit right in London.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: With your upcoming album, in contrast to your previous work, what can your fans and future audience expect?

The Bergamot: A bit of a departure, but for good reason. I think you feel a real sense of vulnerability in this work. We worked with one of the best in the world on this record – Matt Wiggins. So I think you hear a lot of new things in this record. Dynamically, this body of work speaks much more to our live performances than any other recording we have released.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: What are some things you enjoy in your leisure time off the recording studio or stage?

Jillian: Yoga and skinny dipping 😉

Nathan: Golf and making/enjoying coffee and writing nonsense.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: What advice can you give to new artists coming into the indie scene?

The Bergamot: The hustle is real. If you are not working harder than everyone else that you know, then you probably don’t have the work ethic to make it in this industry. The new industry requires the artist to be broad and effective. No more hanging out watching everyone else do your work for you – rise up. The new music landscape is calling!

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: Is there a message you’d like to send to your fans and our readers?

The Bergamot: Growth is painful. Hell, everything worthwhile in life requires some level of discomfort. But that is when you get to learn the most about who you are. Regardless of your life journey – isn’t that truly what it is all about? So go make the world a better place, in the end it will probably make you a better person, and the world needs more good people! 🙂

Sublime with Rome “Blessings” album and Tour

Sublime with Rome have kicked off their summer with the release of their latest full length album, Blessings and a nationwide tour that was joined by SOJA, Common Kings, and Florida reggae rising stars, Seranation. The success of this album has resulted in sold out shows on the East Coast. 

I found Blessings to be a very uplifting comeback. It’s title track is a reminder to always remember to connect with the Divine for blessings no matter what cards your dealt with. 

Blackout is a track of reflection on life when you find that you’re running from yourself. 

Thank U is a reminder to be grateful for that special someone in your life and its music video which was filmed during the tour features a cameo appearance from SOJA’s frontman, Jacob Hemphill.

The tracks of this album are best enjoyed live so make sure to catch them as they continue the remainder of their East Coast run, and circle back to the West Coast! 





[AltWire Interview] Dub-321 On “Braving Babylon”

After a significant hiatus, Space Coast reggae band, Dub-321 ( have finally released their much anticipated comeback LP, Braving Babylon. Their lead, Miles once again took some time to chat with our team and share with us some highlights of its production. 

“When you listen to the album you probably notice what seems to be a conflicting message. This is because some of the songs on the album were written prior to my incarceration, some written during my incarceration, and a couple after. It’s sort of a yin and yang thing also that I deal with finding balance like the Angel and the Devil on my shoulder. A constant battle or struggle within myself. I wanted to be real and be myself on this record. 

“Out on Bond” is basically about my experience in the Corrections system and my fear of that being a reality in my future at some point again. 

“Better Days” was actually the first song I wrote while I was locked up after I decided not to give up on my passions and my dreams and I realize that what I was going through was going to end at some point.

“Dem Roots” is about the declining state of the morality of our species as a whole, from my perspective and how we need to get back to the basics, the root of it all and reevaluate what direction we really want to go as the human race and come together as one and make it happen.

“Beautiful Muse” is about a a girl who I had been madly in love with years ago that re-emerged into my life after I had finally gotten over her.”

In listening to their latest album, I’ve found Braving Babylon to be a very inspiring compilation of songs that’ll help get you through no matter where you are in your life. Make sure to follow them on their social media for their shows on the Space Coast and Central Florida.