Rising conscious reggae/hip-hop band The Late Ones have just released their single “Tell Me Not” via tastemaker label Easy Star Records. The band has been bubbling on the US reggae scene for a few years, while they put together an album’s worth of material to release. Working closely with the Easy Star Records team over the past year, the group is finally ready to begin releasing material, starting with this single. A full album is due later this year.
Born in Gardena, California and based out of Laie, Hawaii, The Late Ones harness something undeniably special. Brothers Tui Avei (Lead vocals), and Tau Avei (Vocals), along with cousin Josh Brunson (Vocals), are the voices of the group. Rooted in Samoan culture, and complemented by the group’s African American heritage, the familial bond between the three members transcends throughout the group’s conscious lyrics and catchy melodies. The name “The Late Ones” pays tribute to all of the late, great revolutionaries who have come and gone like Bob Marley, Tupac, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Biko, and John Lennon, just to name a few. It is the fusion of each revolutionary story, struggle, and message that inspires and resonates with The Late Ones’ own story, struggle, and love for all genres of music. That is the “L81Z” sound.
The band’s new single “Tell Me Not” is a soulful track about authenticity in relationships. Conscious lyrics flowing over a solid beat, a funky bassline, and smooth guitar licks create a sonic appeal reminiscent of great hip hop collectives like The Fugees and The Roots. “The inspiration behind ‘Tell Me Not’ comes from the unconditional love and support that we receive from that one girl who through thick and thin, has stood by your side,” says the band.
Recorded with Noah Cronin at his studio in Kalihi, Oahu, Hawaii, “Tell Me Not” came to fruition out of pure chance. “It really wasn’t a decision to record there, it just kind of happened to be perfectly honest,” says Tau. Imua Garza from The Opihi Pickers played the guitar licks over the track, and Tau notes, “we were very happy to have him bless the track for us.”
The Late Ones bring a youthful presence to the reggae community, along with a unique spin by bringing in old school hip hop to the mix. With their upcoming release, the band hopes to push their music and message beyond their
Rising producer and artist Tony Ray Jacobo is set to release his debut single “You are the Light” feat. Frankie J on Friday, May 10th! Taking full creative freedom on the new track Tony Ray found inspiration right at home, ”It’s a love message to that special person that makes you better and becomes that light to your darkness. I definitely had my wife in mind as the inspiration for this concept.”
Tony Ray kicked off his career as a producer when he co-founded the award wining band Tribal Seeds along side his brother in 2003. The San Diego based producer has received critic and fan accolades along the way, with songs charting on Billboard’s #1 spots and Top 10 Charts. Never slowing down, Tony Ray is constantly creating new music. His influences come from a wide breadth of genres and bring forward rhythmic sounds and palpable movement.
It had been a while since Tony Ray had been interested in releasing new material and it was a serendipitous meeting with Frankie J that really brought together the new single. A mutual friend of his and Frankie J’s, Adrian Cisneros got them together at his studio, Avant Garde Music Company in early August 2018 to see what Frankie and Tony Ray could cook up together. Tony Ray recalls, “I pulled up an instrumental that I had made a couple of years earlier and within seconds Frankie started moving his head to it and throwing up melody ideas. We worked late into the night writing and recording. Later when I listened back to what we had recorded, I wanted to do a remix of the original track building something new instrumentally around the vocals he had laid down. So I got to work on it.”
The new single was produced and mixed by Tony Ray Jacobo, written and recorded by Frankie J, engineered by Adrian Cisneros, vocal mix engineer Bruce Bang, and mastered by Michael Piroli (Lil Uzi Vert, Nicki Minaj, Lukas Graham, andChance the Rapper). The chorus of “You are the Light” reflects the different dynamics in relationships one has throughout their life. Tony Ray explains, “I feel we all have dark moments in our life whether it’s our own darkness that we’re causing ourselves or others, or dark moments that happen to us that we are struggling with. I know this song is specifically referring to the partner in the relationship being the Light, but in life our “Light” can come in many different forms, whether it be relationships, family, friends, community, spirituality and so on. So I feel this song can be an uplifting and inspirational message to find your light from whatever darkness you’re going through.”
A unique release to his previous work, Tony Ray reflects, “I’ve mostly made reggae music up to this point so this is a new genre and creative outlet I got to tap into and explore. I’ve always wanted the freedom to just create good music and not be too concerned about keeping within guidelines of genres. It was extremely fun to create audio art and do whatever I felt sounded good around the vocals Frankie J blessed me with. This will be the first of many solo projects.”
Look out for Tony Ray Jacobo’s debut single “You are the Light” feat. Frankie J, dropping on Friday, May 10th! Keep your ear to the ground, and get ready for more works on the way.
Superfónicos is hot on the heels of a remarkable breakout year! In 2018, they released their debut EP Suelta that garnered national press accolades and lead to festival performances at Austin City Limits, SXSW, Auditorium Shores New Year’s Eve, and KGSR’s Blues on The Green. Ultimately they were nominated as “Artist of the Year” from the Austin Music Awards. Superfónicos are never ones to rest on their laurels and are ready to launch their next single featuring “Cumbéalo” and “Tropidelico” produced by Spoon’s Jim Eno at his Public Hi-Fi Studio and will be available on 7-inch vinyl from Public Hi-Fi Records. The record will be the first in a new series offered through a partnership between Gold Rush Vinyl and Public Hi-Fi called the Prospector Series
This release was recorded in late 2018 when Jim Eno invited the band to his Public Hi-Fi studio to record two songs straight to analog tape with no overdubs. This is the first time the band has done a 100 percent analog recording from top to bottom. Everything is recorded in real time with no overdubs forced the band to think of the arrangements slightly differently than on previous recordings. Superfónicos co-
“Cumbéalo” is a made
Jaime adds, “Cumbéalo” and “Tropidelico” represent two of our most important influences, musically speaking, Cumbia & Funk. For us, in many ways, America as a continent, not a country, is like a huge patchwork quilt, and the African element is like the thread that sews it all together. These songs show how close, through the African ancestral heritage, the cultures of Colombia and USA are related and closer than many people may think.” Come hear the lineage of Cumbia music in its glory when Superfónicos celebrates the release of the single on May 11that the Mexican American Cultural Center.
Nico concludes, “We want everyone to notice the similarities between these musical styles (Cumbia and funk) and the people that create and listen to them. It isn’t about North or South America, or what language you speak, even though governments try and sow those divisions. What’s important is we remember that the drum is our common language and the dance is our conversation.”
Jaime’s lyrics from “Cumbéalo” ring so true in these times, “No hay fronteras y todo es unida” – “There are no borders and everything is unity!”
It is fitting that in the days leading up to the release of Jesse Royal’s new single “LionOrder,” featuring Protoje, via reggae label Easy Star Records, he has been holed up in Los Angeles writing songs for his next album, in between another tireless run of live shows.
In 2017, Jesse followed an immensely successful early single with an album (Lily of Da Valley) that debuted at number one on the Billboard Reggae Chart, but he quickly learned that there can be no rest when building a career that will last. So he played countless shows to develop his live following, in America especially, and now serves notice to the world with this track release that the next part of his musical journey has officially begun. The first song from his as-yet-unnamed, impending sophomore album, “LionOrder” taps Protoje, fresh off his GRAMMY Nomination for Best Reggae Album last year, to deliver positive and constructive messages of watching the company we keep, identifying the strength of unity in our communities, and the power to transform oneself and thus the world around us. Produced by Sean Alaric (Koffee, Toian) & Jason Panton (Wrd Sound Pwr), the riddim is both uplifting and militant – setting the tone perfectly for Jesse Royal and Protoje to educate and entertain together.
“‘LionOrder’ is a spiritual, sonic, and visual reflection of the confidence exuded by my exuberant generation,” Jesse says about the song. “A generation that, while acknowledging and honoring the tremendous works of the greats of the past, also fully understands the necessity of taking more steps and ensuring that this integral message that is reggae music connects with the youth of today, as well as serves to inspire the youth of tomorrow.”
The accompanying music video was shot and edited by renowned Jamaican director Nile Saulter. A founding member of New Caribbean Cinema, Jason’s work has been screened at film festivals worldwide and includes an award winning short film and commercials (House of Marley, Pepsi, Gatorade). The video is set in Kingston, Jamaica, and captures a genuine contrast between the lush green landscape that blankets the country and the rough pockets of industrialism represented in the cities’ junkyards. Jesse and Protoje express unity and share natural vibes while celebrating life with people of all ages from across the community. This includes a number of recognizable faces in reggae who came together to support the vision, including Keznamdi, Govanna, Donisha Prendergast, Naomi Cowan, Kamila McDonald & Lila Ike.
Meanwhile, the road work put in since the release of Lily of Da Valley has resulted in growing buzz for Jesse’s stage show. In May and June, following the release of the new single, he will be performing at the massive Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores, AL, the 10th anniversary of Cali Roots in Monterey, CA, joining label mates The Skints for west coast shows, as well as headlining many of his own. He has also just announced that he will be playing SummerStage in New York in June. See a complete list of announced tour dates here.
San Diego’s own rock-reggae band Project Out Of Bounds (POB) is back with the released of their latest EP entitled “Forever“, which is out now through Roots Musicians Records on all digital platforms.
“Forever” follows the bands 2017 EP release “Sound of Revolution“. Their new EP features 4 songs, which showcases a classic roots reggae sound, perfected for every true connoisseur of reggae music. “Forever” includes two new songs with the first track on the EP being “Anthem” followed by a EP’s titled track “Forever” and concludes with new versions of “Wild Man” and “Fire“, which were initially released on POB’s debut album in 2009.
“Forever” is an amazing listen from beginning to end, as the EP begins by asking the listener “Are You Ready For Some Music”, I can safely say Yes, Yes we ready for some music. As “Anthem” rings true to what we want, while bringing the unique sound that’s distinguished to POB. As a bouncy bass rift rings, while the horns and keys bring a dubby but soulful sound to the song. The second track on the EP “Forever” begins with the sound of horns singing as they introduce the listener to a heartwarming love letter guided by a catchy guitar rift and guitar solo.
When asking Kris about the reason behind rerecording both “Wild Man” and “Fire”, he stated “We wanted to bring back two classic tracks whose original recordings never did them justice, so we had go back into the studio and do it right” Both tracks when compared to the origianls sound similar but different at the same time as the production on on the new version of these tracks really show the musically sound showmanship of POB. Both “Wild Man” and “Fire” were rerecorded at Imperial Sound Studio’s, and all tracks were mixed and mastered by Roots Musician General, E.N Young.
So give POB’s lates EP a listen and we will keep everyone updated on all things related to POB in the future. Also if you want to checkout the video we made when POB was out here in Monterey, you can by clicking here.
Ozomatli is back with a brand new cumbia/hip hop track for your ears, as they release “El Otro Lado” featuring Chali 2na and Olmeca last week through ONErpm distrubution.
“El Otro Lado” is the perfect mix of cumbia and hip hop. Showcasing an amazing array of trumpets over a bouncy bass and synthetizing sound of keys as the Ozo members in unison sing “Donde Esta Mi Amore, Esta En El Otro Lado”, followed by the Empowering rhymes from Olmeca Chali 2Na as the beat drops bringing back an old school sound that Ozomatli is known for, while speaking out against racism and xenophobia, the lyrics highlight the struggle of Latinx workers who travel great distances at personal peril to provide for loved ones left behind and encourages you to dance across the border!
So check out “El Otro Lado” by streaming it below and keep checking back to Sessiontapes.com for all new Ozomatli material.
É Arenas, bassist for band Chicano Batman has been working on several solo projects since the release of his solo debut in 2017. Ove the four-twenty weekend E Arenas released a brand new 7′ inch for his latest single “La Fila de Tommy’s”, which is a homage to the world-famous Original Tommy’s Burgers and it was accompanied by B-side track “Chili, Chili, Chili”.
Arenas brought a unique fusion of cumbia and banda, which he calls cumbia-quebradita to his latest track “La Fila de Tommy’s”. Bringing a much needed uptempo beat to the festia as he professes his love for those childhood moments of going to Tommy’s Burgers in Boyle Heights after the dodgers win.
On the other hand, “Chili, Chili, Chili” also a homage to Tommy’s is a much relaxed version of Arenas’ cumbia-quebraditaas he confesses his desire for more chili in his burger and fries.
The main idea behind these song were to be released as 7′ inch vinyl, but lucky for us they have also placed both tracks on all digitl platforms for streaming and download.
So checkout É Arenas new tracks and keep coming back to sessiontapes.com for all the latest music news.
Pepper drops a tasty dubby new single “Warning” Ft. Stick Figure with tastemaker imprint LAW Records. The new song is due to premiere today with SIRIUS XM’s The Joint and is available everywhere you stream music.
For the band, “Warning” is a perfect representation of our sound, instead of being something that was relevant to us a year ago, it’s POTENT!!!” It reflects Pepper’s sonic sensibilities and their signature “dub” sounds, clashing in a synergistic style. They continue, “it really is resetting the bar for our music, we’ve been a band for over 20 years now and all of a sudden everything seems brand new, that’s a fuckin warning if I’ve ever heard one!”
“Warning” was produced by Stick Figure, engineered by Johnny Cosmic, and record at both Kona Town Recording & Great Stone Studios. Reflecting back on the process Pepper recalls, “Working with Stick Figure and Jonny Cosmic led us to places musically we never would have gone on our own, you get set in your ways inevitably. So right away we were at a different starting point than normal, out of our comfort zone ready to grow,” they continue, “the recording process was very different than past releases, the end result sounds like us condensed down to our purest form.”
PEPPER is a Southern California based band, hailing from Kona and is comprised of Kaleo Wassman (Vocals, Guitar), Bret Bollinger (Bass, Vocals), and Yesod Williams (Drums, Vocals). For 20 years they have crisscrossed around the world performing to sold out crowds. Garnering critical acclaim and amassing a dedicated fan base along the way. And “Warning” is just the beginning with so much more to come.
Currently on tour, Pepper is sure to bring their full energy to the stage, performing hits alongside new material. Check below for tour dates near you.
- APR 19 FRI – Days on the Green Festival (April 19-20), Phoenix, AZ
- APR 20 SAT – Red Rocks Amphitheatre, with Stick Figure, Steel, Pulse, The Movement, Iya Terra, Morrison, CO
- APR 21 SUN – Aggie Theatre with The Movement, Fort Collins, CO
- APR 24 WED – Villa Hispana, Albuquerque, NM
- APR 26 FRI – Stubb’s BBQ, Austin, TX
- APR 27 SAT – South Side Ballroom, Dallas, TX
- APR 28 SUN – Brewster Street Ice House, Corpus Christi, TX
- APR 30 TUE – Joy Theater, New Orleans, LA
- MAY 2 THU – Jannus Live, St. Petersburg, FL
- MAY 3 FRI – Jannus Live, St. Petersburg, FL
- MAY 4 SAT – Club LA, Destin, FL
- MAY 5 SUN – The Loft, Atlanta, GA
- MAY 9 THU – Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre, Charlotte, NC
- MAY 10 FRI – The NorVa, Norfolk, VA
- MAY 11 SAT – Stone Pony Summer Stage, Asbury Park, NJ
- MAY 12 SUN – Roxian Theatre, Mckees Rocks, PA
- MAY 15 WED – Bogart’s, Cincinnati, OH
- MAY 16 THU – Egyptian Room at Old National Centre, Indianapolis, IN
- MAY 17 FRI, The Crofoot, Pontiac, MI
- MAY 18 SAT – The Rave / Eagles Club, Milwaukee, WI
- MAY 19 SUN – Uptown Theater, Kansas City, MO
- MAY 21 TUE – The Black Sheep, Colorado Springs, CO
- MAY 22 WED – Animas City Theatre, Durango, CO
- MAY 25 SAT – California Roots Festival, Monterey, CA
- JUL 11 THU – Diamond ballroom, Oklahoma City, OK
- JUL 12 FRI – Slowdown, Omaha, NE
- JUL 13 SAT – First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN
- JUL 14 SUN – House of Blues Chicago, Chicago, IL
- JUL 17 WED – Saranac Matt Brewing Co, Utica, NY
- JUL 18 THU – The Fillmore Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
- JUL 19 FRI – Pier 17 at South Street Seaport, New York, NY
- JUL 20 SAT – Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion, Boston, MA
- JUL 21 SUN – MECU Pavilion, Baltimore, MD
- JUL 23 TUE – Big Chill Beach Club, Bethany Beach, DE
- JUL 25 THU – House of Blues Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, SC
- JUL 26 FRI – Red Hat Amphitheater, Raleigh, NC
- JUL 27 SAT – The St. Augustine Amphitheatre, St. Augustine, FL
- JUL 30 TUE – House of Blues Houston, Houston, TX
- AUG 2 FRI – FivePoint Amphitheatre, Irvine, CA
- AUG 16 FRI – Big Sky Brewing Co, Missoula, MT
- AUG 17 SAT – Idaho Botanical Garden, Boise, ID
- AUG 18 SUN – Britt Festival Pavilion, Jacksonville, OR
- AUG 21 WED – Marymoor Park, Redmond, WA
- AUG 23 FRI – Montbleu Resort, Stateline, NV
- AUG 24 SAT – Mandalay Bay Beach, Las Vegas, NV
Miami’s own GRAMMY® and Latin GRAMMY® nominated reggae fusion band Locos Por Juana has dropped a stunning song “Don’t Tell Me No” featuring the Jamaican Reggae Legend Freddie McGregor. This will be the second release off their upcoming album, due out early this summer, after the fan and critic favorite lead single “Crazy for Jane” Ft. Common Kings. Billboard hailed the album’s debut single as “an amalgam of Caribbean sounds with Common’s South Pacific and West Coast vibration connecting effortlessly, the collaboration extols the virtues of reggae.” The new song first appeared on KCRW’s PanCaliente Blog, who called it, “a ‘lover’s rock’, bilingual jam that combines McGregor’s vocals on some sweet verses, with LPJ’s reggae groove.” The new song “Don’t Tell Me No” is out now.
With “Don’t Tell Me No” Locos Por Juana has created a beautiful and elegant Lovers Rock reggae song. Mark Kondrat, composer and guitarist for Locos Por Juana, reflects, “I knew I wanted to write in a Lovers Rock style, which is essentially a reggae love song. I spent 3-4 days writing an instrumental that just wasn’t coming to life so I decided to put that aside and started writing something fresh and wrote the entire instrumental in one session. The next day I presented the track to Itawe and he wrote the chorus almost as soon as he heard the music.” He continues, “This song was inspired by love and perseverance. The best things in life don’t come easy, and when something feels right the only answer is yes!”
Most known for their collaborative nature and genre blending sounds, Locos Por Juana has performed with and collaborated with the best. So, when it came time to lay down the new track, they knew who to turn to, Mark recalls, “Freddie McGregor has one of the smoothest reggae voices in Jamaican history. He came with an amazing energetic vibe and just blessed the song and the video.”
Mark continues, “He came to the studio and met with us and laid down his verse that same night. It was surreal to be able to work and write with someone like Freddie and we were also lucky to get him to join us in the video shoot for the song.” The video for “Don’t Tell Me No” is due to drop in a few weeks.
The new song was recorded in both Miami and Jamaica, with instrumentals recorded at Mark Kondrat’s home studio – Blue Room Studios – and vocals, guitar, and bass recorded at Studio 26 Miami’s premier recording studio. Additionally, the new tune features Jamaican Legend Dean Fraser on both the horns and crafting the horn arrangements which he recorded in Jamaica.
Signed to the Rock the Moon label, Locos Por Juana has always written and produced their own music and, in a music industry that has continuously been focused on urban genres, they represent an alternative genre of Latin and Reggae Music that cannot be boxed in by labels. With their signature, high-energy style, the band has amassed a cult following, Locos has been touring non-stop throughout the United States, and is gearing up to release their new reggae album, “Crazy for Jane,” later this year.
Los Rakas, the bilingual, California-by-way-of-Panama duo known for their seamless blend of hip-hop, reggaeton and dancehall, team up with rising Dominican-American star Amara La Negra (Love and Hip Hop: Miami) on the scorching new single “Devorame,” out now.
“Devorame,” a sultry reggaeton banger which translates in English as “devour me,” appears on Los Rakas’ upcoming album, Manes De Negocio. The group’s second full-length LP and their first in three years, Manes De Negocio is out May 10 via Delicious Vinyl Island.
Manes De Negocio combines the Los Rakas’ already eclectic musical blend with a sound that’s firmly in step with today’s exploding Latin Trap movement. “Even though it’s a trend now, we’ve been doing this,” says Raka Dun.
The pairing of Los Rakas and Amara La Negra marks the initial collaboration between two acts who are leading the way for Afro-Caribbean representation in Latin music, unapologetically encouraging Latinos and Latinas to rep their heritage.
“Amara La Negra is an icon for Afro Latinas,” says Raka Dun. “We love her style and how she reps the culture. Los Rakas and Amara together is just plain obvious, it had to happen.”