Celebrating it’s 10th anniversary, the OC Music Awards kicked off on January 4th with seven weeks of free showcases at different venues across the county. 35 local artists will compete for the titles of Best Live Band or Best Live Acoustic and a performance slot at the 2011 OC Music Awards, March 5 at the Grove of Anaheim. And, the voting is open now!
While the air may be chill right now, as Southern California residents we are lucky to have almost perpetual sunshine; an idyllic day includes the breeze coming off the ocean on a warm day and a beer in hand while firing up the BBQ. Nothing seems as perfect as those quiet, simple moments where nature provides all you need to experience joy. Huntington Beach duo, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Headshine[/lastfm], create music which conjures up these quintessential California moments with warm-bodied Latin acoustics, Bob Marley-inspired reggae riffs, persuasive percussion, and a fearless fader scratching that gives their sound an understated edge.
Much like the typical native Californian, Headshine is a musical mosaic of melodies effortlessly melting into each other, supported by luminous lyrics prompting the listeners towards self-compassion and positive action. This sound transmuted into feeling is the kind of experience that has prompted many a youthful daydreamer into finding their own dreams with the peaceful churn of the Pacific Ocean as their soundtrack.
[pullquote quote="What attracted me to (Ras') music was the positive energy and vibe about it. " credit="Jeff Maldonado, Headshine"]
When singer-songwriter and lead guitarist Ras and percussionist Jeff Maldonado showed up to the KROQ studios for their interview, the first thing they fittingly noted was how awesome it was that it wasn’t raining anymore. Organically uplifting, Headshine’s bare-boned, yet environmentally expressive sound dispels the clouds of the psyche and offers up golden rays of philosophical sagacity, hence the name Headshine. Ras explains, “It’s just being in the moment, when something clicks. All of a sudden your head shines.”
Headshine’s EP Better Things is definitely about soul-searching within your head space to create opportunity for transformation and enlightenment. Ras’ voice emits a unique form of husky vulnerability; the product of years of well-worn trials and tribulations sublimated into illuminating shards of sound reflecting an image of pain back as a vision of grounded joy.
The guitar parts in Headshine play a pivotal part in evoking an atmospheric simplicity, pushing swiftly forward into [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Carlos Santana[/lastfm]-esque latin grooves, seasoned reggae like Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds, and affirmative lyrics demonstrating Ras’ ability “cultivate your mind and soul til the harvest turns to gold/be the change that you want to see/ love your life and live your dreams” and akin to those of [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Ben Harper[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Eagle Eye Cherry[/lastfm].
Attempting to classify such a multi-dimensional band is almost impossible. Ras attributes part of their diversity to being a part of the ever-evolving Orange County music scene:
“There’s the indie rock scene that you were talking about. There’s the punk rock scene. There’s the roots reggae scene. And while they are very seperate, they sometimes blend over in certain shows…For us the music scene is just a bunch of friends. Like, the Simpkin Project. They live down the street from me. The Dirty Heads are from Huntington. There’s a lot of good music out in Huntington.”
“Everybody kind of hears things a little differently and that’s what one the reason’s why I liked working with Jim [Perkins] was because we kind of broke things down to just the basics. This is the song, just kind of jam on acoustic guitar and you can sing it and if we can actually get the message across right then and there, then that’s a good place to be versus trying to spend all this time noodling with effects and stuff like that.”
Headshine is what Ras describes as “basically a duo, a bonfire on the beach with beats and acoustic guitars” and Fullerton-native Jeff Maldonado explains that it was this sense of positivity in Ras’ words that drew them together to make music, because it reminded him of the forward-looking perspective of his equally musical parents:
“What attracted me to [Ras'] music was the positive energy and vibe about it because growing up, my parents were very positive. They’ve always been very encouraging about following my dreams and being in music and everything. My mom was a professional singer as well, so that’s something that I felt really comfortable with and I felt connected to.”
[pullquote quote="Keeping things simple. Keeping the music about life. Keeping it straight from the heart. I think certain people they key in on that and it resonates with them. " credit="RAS, Headshine"] Headshine may be booking shows with iconic bands like pop-punk’s popular Less Than Jake, but that wasn’t always the case for Ras who has been had a lot of tipping-points–both personally and musically.
“I was working with the band for a little while and we had gone through transitions like a lot of groups, just trying to find the sound. Certain people would lose their job, lose their car…so you end up having to find other musicians. I kind of chased my tail for a little while doing that. I kept writing songs.”
“I went through a little rough period where things just weren’t working out…so that’s kind of where this record started. I linked up with Jim Perkins and we just broke things down on acoustic guitar and vocals. Spent some time drinking some beers, throwing some beats in..we were fortunate enough to get the songs out on iTunes in the summer and to get the word out.”
Headshine may metamorphosed many times over, but this hasn’t kept Ras from turning those major life moments into constructive and creative metaphor. He retains the life philosophy that has been the key to his success in music and makes Headshine a glimmer of perfect California sunshine among the sometimes inevitable gloom of life:
“Keeping things simple. Keeping the music about life. Keeping it straight from the heart. I think certain people they key in on that and it resonates with them.”
The 2011 Showcase Series runs every Tuesday night, January 4 -February 15 with stops at:
Five Showcase Series finalists in each live category will then move on to the Showcase Series Finals.
2011 Best Live Band winner will receive a performance slot on the four Southern Christmas Vans Warped Tour stops!
Night Two of the OC Music Awards Showcase Series featuring nominees for Best Live Acoustic Band is Tuesday, January 11th at the The District at Tustin Legacy in Tustin with doors opening at 7:00PM.
READ MORE INTERVIEWS ON KROQ.COM FROM SHOWCASE NIGHT 2 BANDS:
Friday, January 7th-Honeypie
Saturday, January 8th-Headshine
Sunday, January 9th-Stacy*Clark
Monday, January 10th- Skee and the Motion Detectors
Tuesday, January 11th-Canvas
You have the power to send one Showcase artist to the Best Live Acoustic Finals and Best Live Band Finals.
Cast your vote and enter to win a massive prize pack from the OC Music Awards partners (To be Announced). Voting will begin on December 27 and will be open through the last Showcase on February 15. The votes will be tallied and the band with highest score will automatically move on to their Series Finals! Click here to vote
LEARN MORE AT: OCMUSICAWARDS.COM