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.

Tropidelic – Here In The Heights

Cleveland, Ohio based Tropidelic have just released their latest album Here in the Heights.

This release has a great combination of reggae, punk-rock and a little bit of hip hop, and no matter which of these genres is your favorite, this record has it all and you won’t be disappointed. Each track has something that every fan can relate to from reflecting on your lowest points (“Bad One”) to finding the strength to succeed in your life goals (“Impossible”, “Cali”). 

Featuring the talents of Wookiefoot, Fishbone’s Angelo Moore, Ballyhoo! and Bumpin’ Uglies, it’s no surprise that this album is already an overnight success with it having reached #3 on iTunes’ Top 20 Reggae Albums.

Tropidelic have recently toured with RDGLDGRN and Of Good Nature, and are about to hit the East Coast with The Expendables!

Official Site

http://tropidelic.com/

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/tropidelic/

Instagram

https://instagram.com/tropidelic?igshid=1t1mj0ycm5cqo

Spotify

Cali Roots Preview: A Festival You Can’t Miss!

The Monterey County Fairgrounds is the place to be for the annual California Roots Festival, a Mecca for every reggae fan! The 3-Day event that occurs every year around Memorial Day weekend brings an all star lineup along with the best of the best in the local and regional scene.

The headliners this year are:

Stick Figure – 5/24

Slightly Stoopid – 5/25

Rebelution 5/26

As a Florida girl, I’m very excited about the acoustic lineup that features Orlando’s very own Beebs (Of Beebs and her Money Makers) and Kash’d Out!  The team from Kulchashok Muzik will be setting up their booth so make sure you stop by and check out their Irie merch. 

This year marks the 10 year anniversary and in light of that, Pepper will be doing a meet and greet at the LAW Records booth, as they’re releasing their Local Roots vinyl with 3 unreleased songs. This is a gem that will only be available at the fest so if you’re attending, be there on Friday from 2-3PM to purchase it hang out with the band. 

If you can’t make it out to Cali Roots, you can at least catch the livestream from your own home on their YouTube channel. 

Check Out The California Roots Youtube:

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

And check out music by some of the acts below:

Julian Marley – “As I Am”

At one point Julian “Ju Ju” Marley once said, “I do not plan the next step, I just continue on with Jah Works and somehow things will just come together naturally that way.” Those words have applied to his journey in his part in the conscious reggae movement, and apply to his latest album, As I Am.

This is a compilation that lifts your spirit with tracks such as “Chalice Load,” and “Magic of Love (Compassion).” “Cooling in Jamaica,” will have you drifting to the Caribbean paradise. If you’re a child of the 60s rock ‘n roll era or simply enjoy some classic rock, you’ll love his reggae twist on the cover of Tom Jones’ “What’s New Pussycat”. And finally, if you’re looking for the perfect track for romance on a higher level, “Biology” is the perfect addition to any lover’s rock playlist.

Julian Marley truly follows in his legendary father’s footsteps by keeping the legacy alive and adding his unique style. He’s currently touring the East Coast throughout the month of May. When our team asked him about this current tour, he stated that the major highlights have been “Meeting the wonderful people and being able share my music with them, that’s my main joy.”

Check out Julian’s socials below:

Official:

www.julianmarley.com

Facebook:

https://facebook.com/JulianMarley/

Spotify:

[AltWire Interview] Chris Boomer

Well known for his collaboration on SOJA’s massive hit “You and Me”, Chris Boomer had his first breakthrough into the reggae scene back in 2010. Co-written and performed in collaboration with their frontman, Jacob Hemphill, the success of “You and Me” would lead to Chris releasing his first EP in 2011, I Am Who I Am; a release that would bring heart tugging tracks like “I Know How”, which reflects on the memories of a lost love, and questioning your identity in its aftermath.

The title track of Boomer’s first full length album, Who Truly Cares makes one reflect on the shape this world is in with the question the song implies, by questioning not just whether or not our world leaders truly care, but our friends and family as well. Featuring the talents of West Coast reggae stars like Anuhea, and Bo Napoleon, this gem is a great addition to your reggae playlist.

His recent collaboration with Texas based reggae band, The San Antones, “Good Morning” reminds us to thank the Most High for the simple things in life that are often taken for granted.

I’m super excited that he took the time to chat with our team!

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: Could you please tell us about yourself, your musical style, and your time on the scene?

Chris Boomer: My name is Chris Boomer, I’m from the island of Guahan (Guam) located in south Pacific Ocean in the Marianas. I like to think that I evolved through all music! I try to apply a little bit of everything that inspires me throughout my growth.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: Who were the musical influences that inspired your career?

Chris Boomer: First of all the most high because without H.I.M none would be possible. That being said; growing up watching my Father play music, I think that was very influential, of course Bob Marley, but more unusual is that Lucky Dube has got to take the cake as far as inspiration. I was listening to them before I discovered Bob Marley strangely!

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: Was music prevalent in your life growing up?

Chris Boomer: Yes and No. I grew up on the street so there were times in my life were I didn’t even pay attention to music. But through loss and germination I was steered into a path that became unclear. The only thing that was there for me when no one could be there for me was music; So I guess it took me awhile to realize that this was what I was meant to do that was pure positive. Music ended up being the driving force in my life.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: What was the writing process like for Who Truly Cares, how did you decide which songs went into the album and which did not?

Chris Boomer: It started with “Who Truly Cares” and then everything kinda just fell into place. I know I wanted to release a full length album because my first was just extended play (EP) so my goal was 10 songs, everything else fell into place.

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: It’s been almost 10 years since your collaboration with SOJA on “You and Me”, do you see yourself collaborating in the studio again with the band in the near future?

Chris Boomer: They’re my brothers so I believe that there is a big possibility, then again they’ve done so much for me and my music career and life. For that, I respect them to the fullest to try and not overstay my welcome. As a figure of speaking, as far as adding to their already busy schedule, what will be will be!

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: What are some things that you enjoy outside of the stage or recording studio?

Chris Boomer: Surfing and basketball basically, if I’m not writing or creating.

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

Chris Boomer: Humanity over ignorance and growth over comfort!

Altwire [Omayra Lopez]: Thank you so much for taking the time for this interview with our Altwire family!

LISTEN TO CHRIS BOOMER ON SPOTIFY:

YOUTUBE:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCosSNb_lqYwl-kuleTiQfZw

FACEBOOK:

https://www.facebook.com/ChrisBoomerMusic/

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:

« 1 of 2 »

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