What is One Love? In the Reggae fest world it’s what the vibe is all about. This vibe is central to the Sacramento music event on the river called One Love One Heart Roots Music Festival. The organizers book a variety of talent from near and far in order to bring the best collective of roots music to the capitol city. Among those talents for the 2014 lineup is the band Dread Daze.
Dread Daze was formed in 2008 when a group of long time friends and experienced musicians decided “to join forces to become a solid musical unit.” They came together to create a sound containing “a dose of Hip-hop, a dash of Rock, Ska and a whole lot of Soul.” While the birth of the band took place in Los Angeles, their vibe has an international and worldly flair due to the combined influences of the members and their musical backgrounds. Lead vocalist Najashi was actually born in New York and raised in Kingston, Jamaica then in Los Angeles. Guitarist and vocalist Brian Ward (aka Belfast Posse) is from Ireland. Drummer D-Love (Donu Durden), bassist Steve Ross and lead guitarist Billy Gray are all from Los Angeles which is itself a multicultural city. Keyboardist Zolim is from Peru and percussionist DJ Thergood is from Spain.
The band at times also welcomes special guests Al Keith, percussionist for Sugar Ray and Rian Bastillo and the Roosters, and Clinton Cameron sitting in for D-Love on the drums as needed.
Since their start, Dread Daze has taken up the task of creating positive vibe music that encourages people to embrace unity and love and to also think beyond what the world may persuade them to believe. Peace and unity are in the forefront of their creative passions and they deliver these messages with power whether the set is exploding with energy, grooving with traditional Reggae vibrations or gently seducing the audience with “Motown inspired love songs.”
“Murder in the Name of Religion” from their debut album Di Wall is a prime example of how their verse delivers food for thought while also making listeners happy with music. The entire band is focused on the positive foundation that drives their music. When asked about their perception of the term “One Love” in light of the upcoming performance at the One Love One Heart Roots Music Festival in August 2014, they all had something to say that reveals more than just a casual affinity for the term. Embracing One-Love as a reality in their lives and music is surely part of the power that makes them successful.
When dealing with busy tour schedules and multiple contact requirements, it’s a remarkable fact that all the band members chose to participate with a comment about what One-Love means to them. Drummer Donu “D-Love” says One-Love is “about unity and worldwide togetherness, the world becoming as one under the banner of love.” When D-Love drums he is beating to the sound of One-Love’s heart. The pulse drives him and propels him and this power is weaved into his music making.
Zolim says, “One-Love is much like the word God because it takes an immense concept too profound and wide to say and puts it in a simple term that others may identify with.” According to Zolim, “the premise of One-Love is based upon frequency; everything is frequency and as living beings we are blessed with the ability to emit, transmit, elate, receive, conceive and tune into frequency that other beings share.” In his Dread Daze role. Zolim expresses his One-Love view through his skill on the keyboard.
DJ Thergood understands One-Love to be “about loving all things on this Earth. It’s a universal consciousness that knows all is from One and we must Love everything as such.”
The band creates and performs from these philosophies but also makes them a living reality through their music when they share it with the world. The music isn’t about lecturing or pounding ideas into people’s heads. It’s about inspiration, motivation, beauty, energy, and common purpose as well as musical talent and dedication.
Belfast Brian uses his guitar and voice to deliver the Dread Daze magic to the world. His understanding of One-Love is that it is “the gathering of all peoples, Races, Religions and Creeds in a common love for mankind which is expressed through a music that inspires peace and treating your fellow human as a brother or sister.” Brian further explains that “One-Love is continually expressed through our music as it is our goal to spread our message to all peoples throughout without prejudice. Our songs talk of equality and religious tolerance in an ultimate goal of creating harmony and peace throughout the world.”
The Dread Daze band members speak effluent One-Love language and will make an ideal addition to the One Love One Heart Roots Music Festival lineup. Their masterful blend of genres and their approach to music and how it can help enlighten the world while simultaneously providing high levels of entertainment will undoubtedly be enthusiastically welcomed by the One-Love festival fans.
Billy Gray takes up the task as lead guitarist to express how “One-Love is the love of the Most High to all his creations” while bassist Steve E. Ross says, “I express One-Love in my music by the way I play it, the way I sing it, the words I use to express it, and the Love in the way I feel it. All are expressions of Love; all are used with Love to Convey Love and give Love for the Oneness or Unity of All.” Gray feels that the Bob Marley song "One Love" best describes how “there is One-Love because there is One World and One people.”
And lead vocalist Najashi, whose solo project “Dread Daze” was the source for the band name, says “One-Love is the true vibration that covers all things in the universe. It’s an energy field that we as human beings need to utilize to bring out the best in us all … for we are all here together.”
Dread Daze’ upcoming appearance at the One Love festival is preceded by performances with legends such as Chaka Khan, Beres Hammond, Don Carlos, Rebelution, Luciano, Steel Pulse, Roy Ayers, Pato Banton (also performing at the One Love festival), Richie Spice, Arrested Development, Israel Vibrations, Slightly Stoopid and many more.
They have recorded with “members of The Black Eyes Peas, Jurassic 5, and James Early of M.C. Hammer’s first album ….” And, in 2012 they were nominated by “Bite my Music” with nominees in the various genres being selected from thousands of musicians from over 50 countries. Dread Daze placed fourth in the World Music category for the song “Murder in the Name of Religion.”
Each of the band members are well established musicians on their own which makes their collaboration as a band a powerful force. With selections from their first album Di Wall that contain Hip-hop elements like those found in “Running Around the World,” “Who Showed you the Rock Now,” “Kitty” and “Right Now” and traditional Reggae and Ska with “Morning Time” and “Danger Signs,” Dread Daze is shaping a unique statement in the world of music. Their latest single release, “Protection,” from the forthcoming second album combines both genres and speaks about protection and making “the right selection.” The melody woos, the words soothe while making us aware. “Don’t wanna ruin your dreams … atrocities, tragedies spread across the world, slavery and poverty, things you should never see little girl….”
The One Love One Heart Roots Music Festival takes place on August 29-31, 2014. Dread Daze will bring their vibe to the river’s edge with a lineup that includes Natural Black, Everton Blender, Pato Banton, Wailing Souls, Army, IrieFuse, Alika and many others. The three day festival is in its sixth year and welcomes Dread Daze for the first time. Their style will broaden the scope of One Love’s schedule, making it a complete musical extravaganza focused on Roots music.
More information and music of Dread Daze can be found at their Reverbnation page here, MySpace page here, Facebook page here, and Podomatic page here. More information about the One Love festival can be found at their official website here. Please see the attached slideshow featuring Dread Daze and the video "Protection."