Iration is an alternative/reggae group of musicians who met while growing up in Hawaii but formed the band after reconnecting in Santa Barbara, CA. The band’s 2010 release Time Bomb hit #1 on the iTunes Reggae Album Chart and has enjoyed a very successful run on the Billboard Reggae Album Chart to date as well. The band's EP releases include New Roots (2006), Sample This EP (2008) and Fresh Grounds (2011). The group has been touring nationally since 2007, performing at festivals such as: Lollapalooza, Wakarusa, Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, and Sunset Strip Music Festival. Iration has headlined several successful national headline club tours with numerous sold out shows nationwide. Their third full-length album, Automatic, combines elements of reggae, rock and pop to create a truly unique listening experience. Automatic debuted at #75 on Billboard Top 200, #17 Billboard Top independent, and #1 on Billboard Top Reggae charts. Multiple songs by Iration have topped alternative radio station charts throughout the country - including Time Bomb's "Turn Around" and "Falling," as well as Automatic's "Back Around" and title track which was recently remixed for the radio and is starting to receive spins nationwide.
The Green’s latest album, Hawai‘i ’13, opens with a chant.
“From the times of ancient Hawai‘i and even up to present day, chanting has been a part of our culture,” says JP Kennedy, guitarist, vocalist, and one of the band’s five songwriters. “It’s a way to start something important. When we chant, we ask for blessings, knowledge, and guidance so that we can be ‘pono’ or righteous in whatever we do.”
The chant of “He Mele No Ku‘u Hawai‘i” prepares the album’s listener as much as the band. Hawai‘i ’13 dances through roots reggae, soul, and R&B. The album charts a journey through Hawaiian life and music in 2013, reflecting The Green’s musical upbringing as much as their vision for the future of Hawai‘i and its musical output. Following The Green’s usual modus operandi, the album was written by the group’s five separate songwriters (Kennedy, guitarist-vocalist Zion Thompson, vocalist Caleb Keolanui, keyboardist-vocalist Ikaika Antone, and bassist/multi-instrumentalist Brad Watanabe); the band’s four singers (Kennedy, Thompson, Keolanui and Antone) take turns on lead vocals, sometimes trading off with each other within a song. Once you listen to this record, there is little doubt that the chant served its purpose, as the results show the band has been righteous in their hard work.
The Green formed on O‘ahu, Hawai‘i, in 2009. The group began as a vehicle for six different members of Hawai‘i’s tight-knit music scene to record a few songs and have a bit of fun along the way. Their self-titled debut album, released in 2010, earned both critical and commercial acclaim, and was awarded iTunes Best Reggae Album of the Year.
Afterwards, the band jumped on a plane to the mainland and started a heavy touring cycle. On the strength of their debut album, The Green struck a record deal with ground-breaking independent reggae label Easy Star Records to record their sophomore album, Ways & Means. Ways & Means hit #1 on the iTunes and Billboard Reggae charts and the band embarked on more intense touring; supporting acts like Rebelution, Iration, SOJA and Damian Marley. They also played at acclaimed festivals including Vans Warped Tour, Wakarusa, Sierra Nevada World Music Festival and California Roots Festival.
Despite all the time spent away from home, Hawai‘i never left the band’s day-to-day life on the road. In almost every state, the band met Hawaiian ex-pats, driven away from their home state for reasons both economic and social. The Green’s concerts became a place where Hawaiian natives could gather and for one night, share a bit of Aloha spirit from the Pacific islands they call home.
“Hawaiians living on the mainland will come to our shows and say ‘I haven’t been home in years! You remind me so much of home,’” says multi-instrumentalist-songwriter Brad “BW” Watanabe. “I feel like that’s our service in some way.”
In early 2013, The Green retreated to Hurley Studios in Costa Mesa, CA, to record their third album with Danny Kalb (Ben Harper, Beck, Jack Johnson), the band’s first outside producer/engineer, at the helm. In addition, the group brought in Joe Tomino, drummer from Dub Trio (who also double as Matisyahu’s backing band), to handle the drums for the sessions.
“We were worried about it because we always recorded everything ourselves,” Kennedy admits. “But when we added Danny Kalb to the mix, and Joe on the drums, they just brought so much to the sound of the songs.”
The addition of an outside ear helped sharpen the band’s direction, and the 13 tracks on Hawai‘i ’13 sound focused and pointed, despite the group’s many different songwriters. “All of us contribute to the creation of a song,” says guitarist-vocalist Zion Thompson, “whether it’s lyrics or music, it’s always collaborative.”
“Everyone respects each other’s opinions,” Thompson continues. “Everyone has their place and everyone makes room for it to work.”
The album’s songs span soulful lover’s rock (“Striking Up A Love,” “Take Me On”), heavy roots workouts (“Good One,” “Forgive Me”), smooth R&B ballads (“Chocolates & Roses”), roots reggae-pop hybrids (“Power in the Words,” “Good Vibe Killah”), and herb anthems (“Hold Me Tight”).
The Green hit all the right notes with their first two albums, but the band members are still coming to grips with the personal toll of success. Bands from the mainland may be used to touring from state to state, but that’s no small step for a group from a small island in the South Pacific. “While I face a dozen spotlights, you’re crying at home,” goes “Something About It,” one of the lead singles from Hawai‘i ’13. “Sit by the phone. You think I’m alone, wishing I could be there. But the music’s got me traveling on.”
The Green struck the reggae community hard with their debut in 2010. Their sophomore LP Ways & Means solidified their status as a force in reggae music. With Hawai‘i ’13, the band aims higher. The album collects 13 stellar tracks by a group with an insatiable urge to push their music onto the global stage. Some songs punch and some songs sway, but ultimately they all blend to form a new shade of Green.
Fortunate Youth is a collaboration of South Bay reggae stand-outs. Rising from various bands, they've created a phenomenal 6-piece masterpiece bringing more fire to the stage than ever before. Combining rootsy vibes and unique bass lines united with multiple harmonies, boisterous guitar solos, and heavy keys separates Fortunate Youth from every other mainstream reggae band. With their high energy approach and positive stage presence they provide an unforgettable show to every music fan. Fortunate Youth's objective is to ensure a performance that leaves you feeling euphoric and curious of what might happen at the next show.
In 2011 they supported Tribal Seeds on their nationwide Tribal Youth Tour to spread their conscious music to the nation. F.Y. linked up The Green, from Hawaii, for a Midwest/Westcoast run before jumping back in the studio to record. They have hit the masses promoting only their 6-song EP titled "Up-Lifted EP" and just released their full-length album, "IRIE STATE OF MIND" on July 1, 2011.Fortunate Youth will also be touring very heavily through 2011 including a Naitonwide CD Release Summer Tour.
Upon Releasing their full-length album they quickly rose to #2 on the iTunes Reggae Charts and also locked in a #13 position on Billboard Top 100 Reggae Albums. Receiving great praise for early success Fortunate Youth strives to spread their interpretation of Reggae music to Music Lovers worldwide.
Fortunate Youth toured very heavily in 2012 supporting Headliners such as The Expendables and Tribal Seeds. FY also headlined their own Nationwide Summer of Sweet Love Tour proving they can pull their own weight. Making their first international departure, Fortunate Youth played 4 shows in Costa Rica spreading the love of reggae music internationally.
2013 release, "It's All A Jam", hit numerous charts including #1 on Billboard Reggae Charts, #10 Billboard Pacific Heatseekers Chart, #23 Billboard National Heatseeker Chart along with #1 on iTunes Reggae Charts and #46 iTunes Overall Charts. FY followed the album release with a 55-Show nationwide Spring Headline Tour seeing great response from the album's successful release.
Fortunate Youth just finished a Spring 2014 Headline Tour and are gearing up for their Fall with Friends Tour which boasts a solid lineup of support bands including: New Kingston, The Expanders, The Steppas, Ease Up, Thrive, Ashes of Babylon, and more. Keep an eye out for a show in a city near you. All Tour Dates can be seen at www.fortunatemusic.com
Josh Heinrichs is a stalwart in the American and worldwide reggae community. Beginning his own reggae band, Jah Roots, in Springfield, Missouri in 2001 as well as forming his own record label, GanJah Records. Josh wrote and recorded 5 albums with his band, Jah Roots, and gained a loyal independant following via Myspace and a tireless touring schedule from 2005-2009. Josh left Jah Roots in 2009 to pursue a solo career and work on blossoming his label and helping other local reggae artists get there music out. Since starting his solo career, he has released, Five, Top 10 debuting albums of his own and 3 other artists(SkillinJah, 77 Jefferson & Lance Sitton) albums all to Top 10 releases as well on his label, GanJah Records. On March 26th, 2013 Josh's EP "Rooftop Session" was the 1st of any of his albums to officially debut at #1 on the iTunes Reggae Charts and at #2 on Billboards Top Selling Reggae albums chart.
As a solo artist, Josh has toured the entire USA coast to coast multiple times and has performed 5 Hawaiian tours as well. He has also shared the stage along the way with headline acts like Bob Marleys children(Ziggy,Stephen, Damian,etc...), SOJA, Tribal Seeds and many more. Josh has made numerous appearances at music festivals all over the USA and Hawaii from 3 appearances at The largest Reggae festival in USA, California Roots to Gathering of the Vibes, Reggae In The Hills, Wildfire Music Fest, Bricktown Reggae Fest, Schwagstock music fests, Kulia Roots Fest as well as hosting his own Springfield,MO Reggae Fests which have garnered acts like SOJA, Junior Marvin of Bob Marley and The Wailers, Marlon Asher, Natty Vibes, Fortunate Youth and many more to Springfield, Missouri to come jam with Josh in his hometown.
Junior Marvin of Bob Marley & The Wailers was quoted about Heinrichs, saying ìJosh is one of those guys who comes along and fills his music with such an inspiration and with such energy that it translates so easily and positively to anyone hearing it. He is a rare talent in both his ability to craft a song with a certain timeless quality to it, and then, man, his voice, well, I mean, damn, the kid can sing as good as anyone out there; a bright future ñ that one.î
Midwest reggae music is reaching a new frontier and SkillinJah is blazing the trail. SkillinJah may seem new to the reggae scene, but is really going on his 15th year in the business. Despite having over 200 singles recorded and released through various labels (VP, Sony) and with notable producers (Dean Frasier, Donahue Baker) & doing multiple stage shows from Jamaica to New York to Hawaii(Sumfest, Sting) it seems people are just now starting to catch on to his undeniable talent and skill that he has had plenty of time to perfect. With the release of 5 albums in less than 3 years time,(Emergency Spliff, Reality, Skillmatic, Riddim Jockey and Champion Sound) on his former Jah Roots bandmates label, GanJah Records, SkillinJah has seen a #1 album in "Riddim Jockey" and5, iTunes & Amazon Top 10 best selling reggae album debuts and multiple music videos as well.
SkillinJah, who was on a hiatus from performing live for a few years has recently been performing live again touring the entire USA with Josh Heinrichs and Tribal Seeds, performing at Cali Roots fest multiple times, and just performed 2 sold out shows in Hawaii in summer 2014. With every crowd member singing along to his songs, already knowing them word for word... It seems it's only a matter of time before the rest of the reggae world will catch on and fall in love with SkillinJah as well.
Jordan describes his life as a musician as “a journey guided by Aloha and the wind… I live, breathe, sing, and search for passion, inspiration and adventure like a gypsy. I try not to plan too much – embracing the moments I have for what they are and when they come.”
His music shows characteristics of the statement with its eclectic nature and continually evolving style. You won’t find Jordan singing, playing, or writing only a single genre. His versatility reflects his intent to express all angles of emotions, experiences, and life happenings. In his live performances, you can feel this truth as he puts his heart and soul into the mic to draw you into the stories. From stories of introspection and heartbreak, to stories of dancing and sunny days, you’re guaranteed to walk away with truth about his journey in life. You can really get to know him through his music if you’re willing to take the time to pay attention. Jordan has had the opportunity to share the stage and tour with bands like Katchafire, Maoli, Common Kings, Fiji, Irie Love, Ali Cambell (UB40), The Green, J Boog, and many more.
“I can’t sit back and play a single type or style of music. Life isn’t that simple to me and for everyone else that breathes air. Sometimes I just wanna skank and enjoy the sunshine, and other days it’s the opposite. If my music was all the same I would be lying to you, my listener, about my journey. The last thing I want to create is uninspired music.” -Jordan T.