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 – 2019 8th Annual Spring Break Reggae Fest

On the second to last weekend of March, Jerry’s Tiki Bar and Grill is the place to go in Florida’s Northeast Atlantic Coast to kick off the beginning of Spring with their annual reggae fest consisting of two stages with the best of Florida reggae and great food! This year, it was headlined by Pepper’s legendary front-man, Bret Bollinger and his band, The Bad Habits.

The evening lineup featured The Holdup, Katastro, and Orlando based sensations, Gary Dread and H0R!ZEN and was hosted by St. Pete’s reggae sensation Badda Skat who also shared the stage with Gary Dread during his set.

Check out some photos from the show below:

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This week’s BONUS edition of fast five is comprised of the latest from that fest’s lineup!

Bret Bollinger – Mama Don’t Know

One of the many songs that Pepper’s front-man performed at the fest, “Mama Don’t Know” is so catchy you’ll add to your romantic heartache playlist. If you’ve ever dated someone who your mom disapproves of, this is a track that you will surely relate to! A reminder that the heart wants what it wants.

Katastro – Giving Me Up

The Arizona based band Katastro smoothly combines trance, funk, reggae and hip hop which trademarks their signature style. This is another song to add to your breakup playlist as it explains the receiving end of it as it harshly describes a toxic relationship where you’ve held on far after its end.

The Holdup – Closet’s All Black

From the California based band’s latest album, Killing Time, this track is all about keeping it real and demanding honesty in all your relationships. With their signature mix of r&b, reggae and indie, this track goes to show that your wallet is thicker and life is easier with just a few close friends.

Gary Dread – Chalice

The Orlando based reggae star (who’s also the drummer of The Movement) has a style that combines roots reggae with hip hop reminiscent to what most may remember in the 90s as it relates to social and political justice. With the widespread awareness across the country on the benefits of cannabis, this track demands that greedy politicians legalize it so all those who need it can access it.

Brothers Within – Back Up

One of the many original songs from their debut self-titled EP, and performed at their hometown set, Brothers Within have gained local celebrity status and this track is a perfect addition to your summer playlist as you plan your next beach outing. “Back Up” is a reminder to let go of all things that are beyond your control and focus on the present moment as the music takes over your senses.

RECAP: Collie Buddz @ Cafe DaVinci – Deland, FL

Reggae star, Collie Buddz is currently on tour and our team got to catch his headlining set in Deland, Florida.

This quiet small town (winner of the 2017 title of America’s Main Street) which is 30 miles north of Orlando and 20 miles south of Daytona Beach, is not exactly the place that one would normally associate with reggae. On Thursday March 28th, however, its downtown venue, Cafe DaVinci was packed with loyal fans from all Central Florida.

The night was opened up by local reggae-rock band, The Trees of Life who recently released their album, We’re All Connected. Their set brought on a strong following of local fans.

Collie Buddz ended the evening performing his hits, among them, “Mamacita”, “Gimme Love” and closing the night with his #1 hit, “Blind to You”, along with his recent tracks from his album Good Life.

The overall turnout for this show wasn’t as huge as it otherwise would be on a weekend but it made for a great intimate setting consisting of the best local reggae and the best in the overall scene.

Make sure to listen to Buddz’s latest single “Bank” and make sure to catch him on tour at your nearest city!

Official

http://www.colliebuddz.com/

Facebook

https://facebook.com/colliebuddz/

Instagram

http://www.instagram.com/realcolliebuddz

Spotify

AltWire Fast Five – 4/20 Edition

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, posted often, “the five” gives you a taste of the best in music right now, featuring tracks from many genres. This week’s reggae edition arrives just in time for 4/20!

Broken Wings – Jesse Royal

With its upbeat calypso style, one wouldn’t associate this track with heartache but it’s worth a listen when reflecting on lost love after the crash from the high.

You + Me – Through The Roots

This sweet upbeat track is a great song to dedicate to that one person who you simply can’t let go of. “You + Me” is a reminder that love is worth fighting for and it’s OK to listen to your heart’s call.

Weed Man – Kash’d Out, Edley Shine

As the herb becomes more widely accepted, this song is a reminder to always thank your go-to person.

Pepper, Stick Figure – Warning

Veteran reggae-rock band, Pepper kicked off their tour performing this track live and it’s finally had a much deserved studio-release. Featuring Stick Figure, this single is a perfect addition to your 4/20 party playlist!

World on Fire (Remix) – Stick Figure, Slightly Stoopid, Tribal Seeds, The Green, Common Kings, The Movement

This remix of the California based band’s hit about making a difference in this world by challenging a culture of self-gratification features an all-star lineup which you can catch on their much anticipated 4/20 headline at Red Rocks! I personally found the original version to be great on its own, but veteran band Slightly Stoopid along with The Green, Common Kings and The Movement, truly set this song on fire!

[AltWire Interview] Bernie Boehm of Brothers Within

If Sublime and Stick Figure had a child, it would most likely be Brothers Within! This quartet straight from Daytona Beach, smoothly combines reggae and hints of soft rock to create their unique musical style. In only four years, Brothers Within have opened up for some of the biggest names in reggae such as The Original Wailers, Fortunate Youth and most recently, Collie Buddz.

The band has recently released a self-titled debut EP and in light of this accomplishment, vocalist Bernie Boehm took some time to chat with our team.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: Hi Bernie! Thank you so much for taking some time for this interview with the Altwire family. Could you please tell us about yourself and the history of the band?

Brothers Within [Bernie Boehm]: I was born in Daytona Beach. It is home, but has left me with many scars, even before I was born. While I was in my mother’s belly, a lady ran a redlight at the intersection of Dunlawton & Ridgewood and hit both my mom and dad while they were riding on a motorcycle. My father was in a coma for months and my mom had internal bleeding while she was pregnant. I was born a month early and was always called a miracle baby when I was younger. I didn’t quite understand how lucky I was then, even though now I think we’re all truly miracles.

I’ve grown up learning to surf, fish, and was introduced to music at a young age thanks to my parents, but I was never taught how to play any instruments. I started playing guitar about four years ago after my great friend Burt gave me a backpack guitar for my birthday. At that time, I was just hoping to just learn a few chords. I was sort of friends with Joey and Jon through a mutual friend. Then I was introduced to Eric and his house on 3108 Van Ave… where it all began! At the time Jon was also living at 3108 with Eric, and Joey was there so much he basically did too! They were all still very fresh on their instruments, but already had an idea and name for a band. The first time I walked in 3108 and saw instruments, I knew I wanted to link with these guys.

We sort of learned everything together from the start and I feel like that has helped us naturally grow very tight on stage. I was using my ears for everything, especially bass lines, I love some deep bass. Next thing you know the boys got me a lefty bass! Jon was on keys, Joey was going to drum and sing, and Eric was set on lead guitar, and I was bass. But I knew I wanted to sing also, but nobody really had interest in learning bass. I approached the boys one day and told them how I felt. So Jon and Eric agreed to learn how to play bass and start learning some bass lines so I could start singing.

During the time this was all happening we had set a goal to play 5 songs at an open mic. After that leap we set another goal to have enough music material to play a gig. A couple months went by and we felt confident we met our goal, so we approached our first gig. Our now good friend, Rick Gehris let us audition at his establishment “Rick’s Surf Bar”, after he heard us, he wanted us back the very next weekend for what would be our first paid gig! After that we literally started playing every weekend and the snowball started rolling! It’s still hard to believe that we’ve opened for some of our biggest inspirations now like Fortunate Youth, Resinated, The Original Wailers, and now Collie Buddz just last week.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: Which bands have been your personal greatest inspirations coming on to the scene?

Brothers Within [Bernie Boehm]: I’ve certainly grown much of my inspiration from Rebelution and Stick Figure  before I knew how to even play. They both bring that positive vibe & heavy bass [laughs]! But I love all genres of music, from some old school OutKast to Incubus all the way to Tom Petty. It all soothes the soul, but lately I’d have to say Iya Terra has really lit the fire inside! Lyrics, song dynamics, stage presence! I love what they’re bringing to the table! If we could go on tour with anyone, they’d take my vote right now!

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: For your recent sets, I’ve seen you bring your dog, Luna to the stage. Please tell us more about her.

Brothers Within [Bernie Boehm]: I rescued Luna from the Halifax Humane Society one year ago. She is basically a 15lb mini Husky. She is my first rescue and the most intelligent dog I’ve ever owned. I always heard about rescues giving back so much love, but It’s truly amazing to see those dogs actually do understand that you rescued them. She was super timid when I first got her, but taking her with me everywhere and keeping her socialized with people and other dogs was great. She has opened up tremendously and really has her own rockstar personality [laughs]! She’s even rocking instagram now as @white_fox_luna. She’s certainly grown to be a part of the band. I was hesitant with her being around the music at first, but I brought her to a practice and let her do her thing, she paid no mind and would just come in and chill by the bass amp [laughs]. She’s become very comfortable when she’s around the Brothers now, it’s very cool to see! Luna is definitely a blessing!

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: What was the writing process like for your EP?

Brothers Within [Bernie Boehm]: One amazing fact I love about all three of my brothers is that we’re all open to suggestions and criticism from each other when it comes to our original music. Lyrically both Joey and I write our songs and I could say we’ve fallen into a great rhythm, but also, every song has been somewhat a different process! For instance the song “Mindsurf” on our EP, I had lyrics, bass line, chords, and melody in mind, Joey put his flavor of drums on it and Jon added his texture on the keys! But our song “Back Up” came out during a practice, basically us jamming and spitting what we felt at it!

Then with “Days of Haze”, Joey already had lyrics, chords, and drum idea down while he sang simultaneously, and Eric threw down his epic guitar lead, as Jonny and I felt out our parts on keys and bass! One thing is for certain that nothing happened over night, there was a lot of frustrating times in between, but getting through those moments are what makes and breaks some bands I feel. Lyrically we lean toward spreading a positive message, but we also write what we feel and have experienced. Life has a balance of good and bad, so we try to touch both sides of the scale, and relate to what some of our listeners may be going through in life. Like our song titled “So Much Love” speaks for itself, and then we have another song titled “Withdrawals” which I wrote in a third person perspective.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: What are some things that you enjoy when you’re off the stage and recording studio?

Brothers Within [Bernie Boehm]: The ocean takes a majority of my time, especially when the waves are good! Surfing or just being in the ocean and waves has always been (and is) something that I feel completely grounds you and brings you back to reality very quickly. But honestly, even off the stage, my mind is always on the music. I really enjoy just being able to play my guitar and other instruments and learning more, something I once thought was not possible, but you should never doubt yourself!

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: What are your goals for yourself and the band for the foreseeable future?

Brothers Within [Bernie Boehm]: Personally I’d like for us to be hitting road going into 2020 and I would say we all share the same drive towards that! Maybe Reggae Rise Up? We just have to manifest it, ya know! Our goal is to spread an encouraging and positive message into the universe!

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: Thank you again Bernie, for taking the time to chat with us! What message would you like to send to your fans and our readers before we close?
Brothers Within [Bernie Boehm]: The message speaks through our name when we say we’re ALL Brothers and Sisters Within, connected through the vibrations! We love playing music. Lately the backing support from our fans lately has been un-measurable! Thank YOU for creating this dream and journey with us!

Official:http://www.brotherswithin.com

Facebook and Instagram: @brotherswithin

Spotify:https://open.spotify.com/artist/6JjSQ7X9ET1SglfHfjOw9W?si=qvOQkpQzTDCyY5YlulGAiw

Single Release – SOJA – “Morning”

SOJA ft Natiruts & Gomba Jahbari – “Morning”

This past Wednesday, SOJA released their latest single “Morning”. This track was originally performed at the Arlington, Virginia based band’s 2016 hometown show at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, of which it’s Live in Virginia album was nominated for a Grammy.

With the collaboration of Brazilian reggae band, Natiruts, and Puerto Rican reggae band, Gomba Jahbari, “Morning” brings a Latin twist to the track as it helps one to introspect on the system (“Give me back all you stole from me, and give me my time, give me my money.”) and reflect on life in general (“Give me my dreams I need them, cause everything is too different now.”)

SOJA is a band that has always been known to ask all those questions that many don’t dare ask while challenging political norms in the process. “Morning” with its lighthearted take on such topics, relates to those first thoughts when one wakes up, before the “busy-ness” of your day-to-day routine takes over.

As a long-time fan, I am pleased that this track made it to the studio with its throwback style to the band’s beginnings. With their strong Brazilian fan base and their contribution to Puerto Rico, especially during its two devastating hurricanes, this song is on my list of favorites and another reason why they hold a special place in my heart.

Make sure to catch SOJA live as they perform this track and their many hits on their “Sing to Me” Spring and Summer Tour!

Official Website:

http://www.sojamusic.com

Lyric Video:

https://youtu.be/QrgX3HgbNuE

Single:

https://open.spotify.com/album/6WGwG6JqBZew8llEk67DbJ?si=I3krSa6gRRWZ-p7N-wY-LQ

SOJA Poetry in Motion Tour 2019 Photos

SOJA has kicked off their spring and summer tour and our team got to catch them at Viera, off The Sunshine State’s Space Coast, during its annual Sea Food Festival. This show was opened up by Bob Marley’s youngest son, Ky-Mani, who performed his hits while covering his late father’s legendary tracks, reminding us that the Marley Legacy lives on.

Finally, SOJA took on the stage kicking off their setlist by performing their #1 hit, “I Don’t Wanna Wait”.  No matter the size of the venue, their sets always bring in huge crowds of loyal fans of all ages who sing along to each song word for word. As a fan myself that’s something I’ve always found very heartwarming. This same loyal fan base has also brought on tons of new talent, inspired by the band as they launched the 2019 SOJA Sing to Me Cover Contest (#SOJACoverContest). Thousands of contestants from around the world submitted their unique covers of their favorite songs on YouTube for a chance to perform live on stage at one of their upcoming shows on this tour. Since 1997, SOJA has inspired their fans to do their part in making the world a better place, while inspiring new artists coming on to the reggae scene to continue the band’s mission.

Make sure to catch this two-time Grammy-nominated band as they hit the road with Passafire, Iya Terra, Sublime with Rome and many other great artists at your nearest city, which includes the California Roots Festival at the end of May!

Official Site:

http://www.sojamusic.com

Facebook:

https://m.facebook.com/soja/

Instagram:

http://www.instagram.com/sojagram

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/user/SOJATube

Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/artist/2vaWvC8suCFkRXejDOK7EE?si=kHz4IRgFTx6zig-Mzi7nOQ

[AltWire Interview] Rob-D of Part One Tribe

Straight out of Florida’s beautiful Space Coast, meet Part One Tribe, who’s lead singer, Rob D, recently took some time to speak to us about the upcoming plans with the band.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: Could you tell us a bit about yourself and the history of your band?

Part One Tribe [Rob-D]: My name is Rob-D and I started Part One Tribe in 1995. We have toured over 35 states and the Bahamas. Part One Tribe have without a doubt helped pioneer the American reggae scene as we know it.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: What can you tell us about your musical style? Who are your greatest influences?

Part One Tribe [Rob-D]: Our style is eclectic. We play all original music from reggae to punk to blues rock, jam, funk even hip hop and rap. As long as we like it and vibe with it. We started 25 years ago and slowly got herded into the world of Sublime and Slightly Stoopid, and have acquired our own solid fan base of reggae rock fans, as well as fans of singer songwriters and lyrical content. My personal greatest influences are Bradley Nowell, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Ritchie Valens, Barrington Levy and a vague recollection of all good old music, Sam Cook, Lou Reed, Steve Miller, Credence, lots of stuff has left a mark on my brain.

Part One Tribe is modeled after the greatest bands: Led Zeppelin, Guns and Roses, No FX, Sublime, Rolling Stones, Operation Ivy, Rancid, the real shit!

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: In your experience on the scene, what has been a major highlight?

Part One Tribe [Rob-D]: Major highlights from the past 24 going on 25 years; So far the most epic hands down, was opening for Steel Pulse and then going into the studio and recording the Do It Right EP with Sidney Mills on keys and co-producing. We also at one point were signed to Long Beach Records and recorded songs with members of Sublime and Falling Idols while playing a guitar that was given to me by Eric Wilson of Sublime. We also have played with an amazing list of bands.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: What has been one of craziest experiences during a gig? What has been the most unusual venue where you’ve performed?

Part One Tribe [Rob-D]: Craziest experience at a gig? The time we played a house party in El Cajon, Cali and at the end of the night everyone had forgotten that we were the band and thought we were random party crashers and jumped us so bad they kicked our lead guitar players 2 front teeth up into the roof of his mouth. He went to the hospital, my dog went to the pound and the rest of us went to jail. That or the time in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois when our tour van caught fire and burnt to a crisp with all of our clothes, all our merch like 300 shirts and 1000 cds, our brand new PA head. Some guitars, a 1972 Gibson Les Paul just to name a few things we lost in the fire. Damn those things sucked – next question!

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: What do you enjoy the most when you’re not on stage, touring or recording?

Part One Tribe [Rob-D]: If I’m not working towards pushing my music or basic survival, I spend every second of my time with my wife and son trying to make fun memories as much as possible. We go to the beach a lot, I surf, I have a garden and some chickens at my house that keep me busy. I love nature and hiking and experiencing new things. I like feeling like I’ve made the most of everyday forward movement always no matter how little.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: Any advice to new artists working their way into the scene?

Part One Tribe [Rob-D]: My advice is, focus on your music and your plan. Let it happen. Be humble don’t beat yourself up because your band’s story doesn’t play out like another band’s story. You are you, this is your story start to finish. Document everything because this is it, you are doing it. Don’t wait for it to start because it already has.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: What message would you like to send to your fans?

Part One Tribe [Rob-D]: To my fans, thank you so much for following my career and the Part One Tribe Saga. All I can say is this new album is gonna be amazing. I’ve got the best drummer, bass player and producer in the scene working with me on it with our tentative release on January 1, 2020

Please like us on all social media, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, and iTunes. You guys keep this dream alive and, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

https://facebook.com/PARTONETRIBE/

https://www.instagram.com/PartOneTribe/

http://twitter.com/partonetribe

The Expendables Yeti Strikes Back Tour with Kash’d Out and Ballyhoo! Orlando Recap

The Expendables have launched their Yeti Strikes Back Tour, bringing along reggae-rock bands, Ballyhoo! and Kash’d Out as well as up and coming hip hop inspired artist, Amplified.

We recently got to catch them live as they passed through Orlando, Florida.

Amplified opened up and hosted the show, promoting tracks from his debut EP Not Quite There Yet.

For Kash’d Out, this was another great hometown show where aside from performing their hits, they performed their latest single “Good at Gettin’ By.” Ballyhoo!’s frontman, Howi joined in on their song “Gettin’ Easy”.

Ballyhoo! Celebrated their 23 years of being a band, performing all their hits plus the best of their latest album, Detonate, and a cover of a song by Green Day mentioning how the 90s band was a major influence in their career.

The Expendables finally took on the stage performing their fan favorites, plus the fun treat of taking on requests from the fans. Closing the night with their number one hit, “Bowl For Two” combined with a cover of Afroman’s “Because I Got High” this set was a headline that did not disappoint.

Currently touring across the West Coast, The Expendables will be ending their spring at the California Roots Festival. Make sure to catch them at your nearest city!

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http://www.theexpendables.net

https://www.facebook.com/theexpendables/

http://www.instagram.com/theexpendables

http://www.stayamplified.com

https://open.spotify.com/artist/2OpHxx1SArSMlBrIMM0aV9?si=6JDLoqmWSriiG2dvLc6dUA

[AltWire Interview] Interview with SOWFLO’s Jacob Dorris

Naples, Fl based reggae-rock band SOWFLO are releasing their latest album New Shoes on March 15th and their lead singer, Jacob Dorris recently took some time to talk to us about its production and the history of the band.

ALTWIRE: For our readers could you please tell us about yourselves, the history of the band and your musical style?

Jacob Dorris [SOWFLO]: SOWFLO is a reggae-rock band.  Our band name is an acronym for the area we’re based out of, Southwest FL.  We’ve been nationally touring the United States for about 5 years and we’re about to release our 2nd full length album titled, New Shoes on March 15.

ALTWIRE:  Who have been your greatest musical influences?

Jacob Dorris [SOWFLO]: Our musical influence comes from many different styles of music.  You’re guaranteed to hear a few of those styles come into play on this new album.  I would say, for the most part, our introduction to reggae at a young age was mostly through Bob Marley, Sublime, Slightly Stoopid… (like most American kids discovering reggae for the first time), but we all pretty much grew up listening to a lot of rock & roll too.

Nowadays, each of us are listening to way different music than the other, but this makes for great writing sessions & even better for 14 hour van rides.  We’re also constantly picking things up from other bands who we play with on the road and adding them to our sound.  The learning never stops.

ALTWIRE:  What have been a major highlight throughout your career?

Jacob Dorris [SOWFLO]: SOWFLO traveled to Kingston Jamaica to record a song called “Farmer In Suburbia” at Bob Marley’s, Tuff Gong Recording Studio.  That would probably be one of our biggest honors and highlights to date.  Our last album, Such Is Life reached top 5 on Reggae Billboard charts, and was a huge accomplishment for us because we did that with almost no resources, no label, management, PR etc. We may have had no idea what we were doing at the time, but our work ethic made up for our inexperience.  We are proud to have accomplished what we have thus far.  Now that we’ve teamed up with Space Duck Records, Earshot Media, and Ingrooves, there’s no telling what we can accomplish in 2019!

ALTWIRE: What was the writing process like for “New Shoes”? How did you decide which songs to choose for the album?

Jacob Dorris [SOWFLO]: We brought 25-30 songs to the table.  Whether it was a completed song or just a half-song with a verse and a chorus, with our producer (6-time Grammy winner) Marc Lee, we carefully selected our 10 best tracks.  Much of the music for New Shoes was written while we were at the recording studio, though not all of it.  Some of our ideas came from old voice recordings we had on our phones from the last tour, and others from songwriting sessions leading up to this album.  Lyrically I’m more inspired when the band is out on the road. You can’t pay for that experience, and it fills me up when I’m out there.  I wrote the lyrics for “Hitchhiker”, “Armagideon”, “New Shoes” and probably most of the songs from this album all while we were on tour.

ALTWIRE: What message would you like to send your fans?

Jacob Dorris [SOWFLO]: Go pick up the new SOWFLO album, New Shoes everywhere you stream or buy music.  And check out our social media (@sowflo) to see when we’re going to be touring in your area.  We’d love to see you out at a live show!  Much love.

https://open.spotify.com/artist/70SUM58r6HT86lvtwbFPsq?si=CbSI8CnYQIe6lKFpg5gg4Q