Celebrating its 12th anniversary, the OC Music Awards kicked off on January 8th with eight weeks of free showcases at different venues across the county. 35 local artists will compete for the titles of Best Live Band and a performance slot at the 2013 OC Music Awards, March 9th at the City National Grove of Anaheim.
It’s dreary over here at KROQ. Culver City is cloudy, cold, and kind of depressing this month. Sure, we’re knee-deep in awesome music and events like the OC Music Awards, but we’re not going to lie… summer seems eons away. Here’s the good news: we found a cure to our gloom and doom! It melted away as soon as we broke out some music from Orange County’s very own Headshine. Imagine being on a long flight, getting off the plane, and realizing that you’re in the most chilled out tropical destination imaginable. That’s what listening to Headshine is like after a long day of KROQ-ing. It’s kind of like that scene in the Fifth Element when Corbin Dallas and Leeloo get to Fhloston Paradise and get a million leis and its all magical. Tangent. Sorry. In our defense, it was on t.v. the other day.
We spoke with Headshine’s main man Ras about his SoCal influences, forthcoming album, and exciting collaborations. Bruce Willis’ best movie that he wears orange foam suspenders in did not come up in the conversation. Drawing inspiration from the scenery of Southern California’s beaches, however, did: “I get a lot of inspiration from the ocean. It helps keep me calm, positive and focused” Ras told us. One can certainly hear the influence that the culture of bonfires, beach shacks, and summer love in the songs of Headshine. “I went to high school in Santa Monica and got into surfing back then” he explains. “After college I moved down to Huntington Beach because the waves were better. It’s cool to share that vibe, feeling and experience now through music.”
The origins of Headshine remind us of a simpler time: “We started playing at bonfires on the beach in. I’d bring an acoustic guitar. Some friends would show up with bongos and beers and it slowly grew from that into local bars up & down the coast” Ras reminisces then casually adds “Last year we opened some tour dates for Ziggy Marley, The Original Wailers, and The English Beat. We’ve expanded our sound for the bigger stages with a DJ dropping beats, but our fans still love it when we play stripped-down acoustic songs like ‘Better Things’ and the new song ‘One Heart’.” Not bad for a group of dudes who started out with beers and bongos.
With a new album coming this spring, we wanted to know what to expect this time around. Ras told us the one aspect that was completely different: the recording process. “The debut record (Better Things) was recorded in a garage in Sunset Beach after a couple BBQ’s and surf sessions with producer Jim Perkins. That record was about soul-searching and had a free-spirited vibe. The new record (Take it Easy) was recorded at Roshambo Studios in Irvine, and is a little more refined. All of the songs have a feel-good vibe and a positive message.”
Headshine has been working with someone you might be familiar with: Big B. Remember when he played Epicenter 2010? Ras elaborates on the collaboration: ” One of the new songs “Diamond in the Sun” features Big B. It takes you on a summer time ride to find the perfect wave and the girl of your dreams. Big B thought it was cool and is also featuring “Diamond in Sun” by Headshine on his new album “Fools Gold” that drops April 2013 with guests: Dirty Heads, P!nk, Slightly Stoopid, Colt Ford and more.”
Headshine’s rise from bonfires and beer to the House of Blues with legendary acts can be summed up by one piece of advice Ras shared: “Good music brings good people together.” We think that’s true just based on the sheer amount of talent that’s come out of the community of artists we’ve seen in this years OC Music Awards. We would say that Headshine is a force to be reckoned with this competition, but that seems too harsh. They’re more like a smooth wave that might sweep away any bad vibes in the crowd, leaving everyone with a smile. “If it’s your thing, come to a show, grab a drink and chill. Don’t be surprised if you end up singing along, or crowd surfing with a bunch of good friends”, said Ras. They perform this Tuesday, February 5th a The Tiki Bar. Fitting venue, we think.
–Robyn Luttrell, KROQ Los Angeles
You can listen to Headshine’s music through their website
Learn more at Headshine’s Facebook.
The 2013 Showcase Series runs every Tuesday night, January 8th-February 26th with stops at:
Feb 5 – Tiki Bar
Feb 12 – Founders Hall
Feb 19 – Yost Theater
Feb 26 – House of Blues-Anaheim
LEARN MORE AT: OCMUSICAWARDS.COM