After releasing a single every month over the summer of 2016 we have followed up, as promised, with another slew of fresh new songs. The "High N' Tight EP" is a bit more of an aggressive take on our East Coast Reggae vibe and is set to release this Saturday April 1st on all major sites. The digital EP features new tracks such as: "My Light", "Lion", "Letter From The Road", "Give Up The Ganja" and "Friendship Nuggz", we have hard copies of the "High N' Tight" Album that feature all the songs mentioned above as well as ALL of the Summer Singles such as "Palm Trees" "Waiting on the Sunrise" (featuring TreeHouse!, "Finding Fame" featuring Bumpin Uglies and "I Know I Can (Just Another Day)"
We are incredibly stoked to release this new material to you all and we thank you for all the love and support over the years.
Kicking off their 2016 fall tour, San Jose pop-reggae outfit The Holdup took the Knitting Factory stage on Sunday night with support from Oogee Wawa (NY) and Brother Jerome (NJ). Each band brought their own distinct flavor of reggae to the Brooklyn venue. Brother Jerome with smooth, saxophone driven ballads, Oogee Wawa a powerful combo of rap and rock, and The Holdup's signature blend of R&B and pop hooks over reggae rhythms.
Leading things off was Brother Jerome, a quartet from Pompton Plains, NJ. Brother Jerome played much of their set as a trio because their drummer unfortunately got stuck in Miami due to Hurricane Matthew. Despite playing short-handed, the band still impressed with tender vocals from lead singer/guitarist Ryan Bria, and sweet tones provided by saxophone player Dan Chetnik. Towards the end of their set, Brother Jerome invited Oogee Wawa's Chad Chadwick to the stage to play drums. Chadwick, clearly a multi-talented musician, is actually Oogee Wawa's bass player, but he looked and sounded right at home behind the kit.
After an amazing show at New York ‘s Gramercy Theatre we sat down with the MC from Oogee Wawa, Jesse Lee, to talk about reggae music and their latest set of shows. They have been a driving force for the East Coast reggae scene and will be opening for Steel Pulse later this month at The Space in Westbury. Here is what he had to say:
Reggae In NYC (RN)
Oogee Wawa (OW)
"It's all community and unity and that's what I believe is behind reggae music as a whole."
RN: I know you just returned from touring out of state, how was that experience?
OG: It’s been great, especially the last year and a half. The last year and a half has been pretty hard, built up a real good following, pretty much a national level at this point. But the last tour we just came back from was really exciting because this was our first time in the Virgin Islands. So that was incredible, we live in New York, so to get away from the winter and go tour and play some music down in the Caribbean was a dream come true, you know.
RN: I hear you are doing 100-200 shows a year?
OG: I wish it was only that. No, I would say the last three years we have hit over the 200 mark. 2014 we did 236 shows and then last year 257 or 258 was our final count and that was with me having twin girls. It’s actually looking like we are going to hit that mark again this year, the 250 mark.
RN: The Gramercy Theatre was packed last night to see you, tell me about your fan base?
OG: It’s crazy. We are from Long Island, so when we first came out, there really wasn’t a scene. Obviously there has always been a great music scene on Long Island, but it’s usually been hardcore, punk and cover bands. So when we came out on the scene there was one other band that was kinda doing reggae/dub, that we had known and we just got a lot of love from that. The scene in the last couple of years, not just the Long Island scene, but the New York scene has grown and that’s incredible. And you’re right to be an opener and have a majority of the theatre full is definitely a great feeling and that resonated through the industry. Even the other bands like Common Kings and Tomorrows Bad Seeds, were above all incredible guys. Very, very nice, super helpful. We talked a lot about our show and how we could enhance it, talked about their show and how big it is and how incredible it sounds. So that makes it easy too, like I said though that definitely resonated through them, “wow you guys have a good following and you just helped us have a good show out here”, that’s always cool.
RN: It’s great to hear that there is such camaraderie and support between the bands.
OG: Yeah I mean, I throw out the hashtag #bandfam all the time because that’s truly how I feel. A lot of these people that we meet on the road, you just develop that camaraderie and that love, and that family bond. Right now to see, the next generation of the reggae/rock world, you know, Oogee Wawa, Sun-Dried Vibes, Treehouse!, Resinated, Tatanka. All these other bands that we played with on the regular, we all seem to be coming up relatively in the same manner because we do, we big each other up. That’s just the best way to be about it. There is no need for a competition. Let’s help each other out.
The Common Kings came to NYC last year, but the winter put an end to the show before it even started. A blizzard hit and the show was snowed out. Having missed them last year, I had to be there this time around and it seems NYC was finally ready. Nothing could be the more perfect setting then a 70 degree March Wednesday evening, putting everyone in a good mood and ready for a great show. Make sure you check back for the full interview we had with them before this show.
The show started with a set by local Long Island band Oogee Wawa. At 7:00pm there is usually an empty house, with stragglers grabbing beers, close friends and family and a few diehard fans. But Oogee Wawa is no normal band. They opened their set to an almost full house. After touring extensively, they have built up a large fan base who made sure they were well represented here in their home town. With upbeat tracks like Tips and more somber numbers like Jump Off they set the tone for the night. Oogee Wawa’s awesome mix of reggae, rock and hip hop showed why they have such a big local fan base and have been honored with opening for Steel Pulse when they come to town. I can’t wait for their next show.
Following a rocking opening set, Tomorrow Bad Seeds took the stage. They have been performing with Common Kings throughout this tour and this was my first opportunity to see them live. As soon as they started, the crowd was jumping, another group with loyal fans, no matter what city they are in. After a few songs to fire up the crowd, they paused to say, “I know it’s not legal here…” encouraging the crowd to fire up a spliff as they rocked a great rendition of Vices.