After two decades spent chiseling their unique, multi-genre infused sound, Dirty Heads have finally come into their own. Since the release of their 2008 debut Any Port in a Storm, the five-piece band -- Jared Watson (vocals), Dustin "Duddy B" Bushnell (vocals/guitar), Jon Olazabal (percussion), Matt Ochoa (drums) and David Foral (bass) -- has consistently experimented with their sunny style, leaning heavily on reggae fused with hip-hop cornerstones and scaling back for more acoustic fare, darting between extremes. But it's with their fifth and self-titled album that the group has felt fully confident in a body of work, ready to bring their unique style to the masses. "It's the most core Dirty Heads album we've done," explains Watson, who formed the collective with Bushnell in 1996. "One of the most important things about this album is the reason we self-titled it. This album has all of the elements that we've tried to play around with. We had to go through those other albums to really find out exactly who we are, where it was natural. Now, I just think our sound is better and more confident." Dirty Heads comes in the wake of their most successful release to date, 2014's Sound of Change, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Alternative Albums chart. This album is marked differently than its predecessors -- 2008's Any Port in a Storm, 2012's Cabin by the Sea and 2013's acoustic offering Home -- Phantoms of Summer, the former of which spawned the smash single "Lay Me Down" featuring Rome of Sublime with Rome that topped the Alternative Songs chart for 11 weeks. With a solid fan-base already in place, Dirty Heads are focusing their sights on something they've been edging towards for years: breaking the mainstream. "We want our fans to love it, because we love what we do and we want to keep doing it," says Watson. "But this album for me, I cannot poke a hole in any of it. From front to back, it's really so phenomenal. I'm so confident in it that I want it to take Dirty Heads from the band that we are in America, worldwide."
“I want to speak for people who don’t have microphones,” Jacob Hemphill says. “Our goal as a band is to stick up for the human race. We see the world and we try to make it better in the limited time we have here.” This is the philosophy behind SOJA’s music, a simple statement that has driven the GRAMMY Nominated D.C. area band, who blend reggae, go-go, D.C. hardcore, Latin, rock and hip-hop. Originally formed by a group of friends while still in middle school and has built a massive, dedicated fan base around the world since. In the years following, SOJA has sold more than 200,000 albums, headlined shows in over 20 countries around the world, generated over 4 million Facebook fans, and over 120 million YouTube views. The band has toured with Dave Matthews Band, Incubus, 311 and appeared at major festivals including Bonnaroo where they attract an almost Grateful Dead-like international fan base along the way, with caravans of diehards following them from city to city. After the release of their 2012 album Strength To Survive, the musicians started writing material for what would become their fifth full-length album, Amid the Noise and Haste. For Hemphill, who pens the lyrics, chords and melody, each song starts with an experience: meeting someone, reading something, experiencing something that seems pertinent to the human condition. On this album, the songwriter is suggesting that “all of life’s problems and all of life’s answers are within us. We’ve been conditioned to accumulate, compete and break others down around ourselves — not inherent to the human condition, but rather taught. Those things can be untaught. The real us is in there, somewhere.” SOJA’s music is about finding that happiness and peace we all deserve and helping others do the same, something Amid the Noise and Haste aptly conveys in its songs. “I put words in my songs that I believe to be true,” Jacob says. “The point of the album is reconnecting people to the power inside themselves, getting them to fall back in love with life again. Look around, take a deep breath. All the answers are there.”
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.