Rebelution is a reggae rock music band formed in Isla Vista, California. The current members of Rebelution are Eric Rachmany, Rory Carey, Marley D. Williams, and Wesley Finley. Each member attended and completed school at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
|Origin||Isla Vista, California, United States|
|Labels||87 Music, Hill Kid, Raise Up Music, Red Distribution|
|Past members||Matt Velasquez|
Formation and Courage to GrowEdit
Rebelution was formed in the college town of Isla Vista, California, in 2004. The five original band members were Eric Rachmany, Matt Velasquez, Rory Carey, Marley D. Williams, and Wesley Finley, who were all University of California, Santa Barbara students.
Throughout 2004-2005, Rebelution began to build momentum through consistently playing local shows and by independently releasing an EP. All four current members graduated from UC Santa Barbara, getting degrees in religious studies (Rachmany), anthropology (Finley), film studies (Williams), and business economics (Carey).
Rebelution released their first full-length album Courage to Grow in June 2007, which would become the breakthrough album for the band. The album was praised for its crafty melodies, socially conscious lyrics, and savvy musicianship. Courage to Grow went on to garner mass downloads and radio play on stations such as San Francisco’s Live 105 where their single "Safe and Sound" was played on heavy rotation, with spins on San Diego’s 91X and Los Angeles’s KROQ. The album was selected as iTunes Editor’s Choice for Best Reggae Album of 2007. In addition, Courage to Grow peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart. Velasquez, one of the two vocalists, left after the release of Courage to Grow and left Rebelution as a four-member band.
Bright Side of LifeEdit
Two years after their first album, Rebelution released their second full-length album Bright Side of Life. On 4 August 2009 Bright Side of Life was officially released and dominated the iTunes charts, reaching the #1 spot on iTunes in the Reggae music genre, and the no. 3 spot for Top Albums Downloaded in the United States in all genres of music. The album reached no. 1 on the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart and no. 34 on Billboard's top 200.
The band also played at the Rothbury Music Festival, in summer 2009.
The band performed at the 2010 Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa, California along with other well-known acts such as The Expendables, Slightly Stoopid and Lauryn Hill. They also performed at All Good Music Festival, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and Wakarusa music festivals in 2010.
Peace of MindEdit
On January 10, 2012, Rebelution released their third studio album, Peace Of Mind, through their own label 87 Music. Peace of Mind: Acoustic features all twelve original album tracks stripped down acoustic as well as Peace of Mind: Dub remixed by Easy Star’s Michael Goldwasser (Dub Side of The Moon, Radiodread, Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band). The album debuted at no. 13 on the Billboard 200 charts, no. 1 Independent and no. 1 Reggae, and the no. 4 iTunes album overall, selling 16,000 copies its first week, despite giving away half the album free to their fans over the six weeks prior to release.
In May 2014, Rebelution performed as a headlining act at the California Roots Music and Arts Festival in Monterey, California. In September 2014, the band performed as a headlining act at the California Roots: The Carolina Sessions Festival as well as The Reggae Rise Up Festival in Tampa, Florida. RRU has quickly became one of the largest and respected Reggae festivals in the country.
Count Me InEdit
Count Me In, the band’s fourth full-length release on its own label 87 Music, and partnering for the first time with Easy Star Records, marks its tenth year together. Released on June 10, 2014, Count Me In debuted as the no. 14 album on the Billboard 200 albums chart and the no. 1 Billboard Reggae album. The album, which features contributions from Don Carlos and Collie Buddz, gave the band its third consecutive no. 1 album on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart. Following the albums release, Rebelution went on the Count Me In tour with supporting acts Iration, The Green, and Stick Figure. In December 2014, Count Me In was named as the best-selling reggae album of the year by Billboard. An acoustic version of the album was released in 2015 and again topped the Billboard Reggae chart.
The band plays 100-120 shows a year. Tours have taken them to South America, Guam, Aruba, New Zealand and Europe. They've performed at many world-renowned music festivals including Bonnaroo, Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, Glastonbury Festival, Lollapalooza, Hangout Music Festival, and Austin City Limits Music Festival. They’ve headlined and sold out Red Rocks and the Santa Barbara Bowl.
Falling Into PlaceEdit
On April 6, 2016, the band announced the release of their highly anticipated fifth studio album. Titled Falling Into Place, the collection came out on June 3 as a joint venture between their 87 Music label and NYC-based Easy Star Records. A dozen years into the group’s stirring career with over 450,000 albums sold independently, the release of this new album finds the group more energized than ever. Frontman, Eric Rachmany states, “We named the album Falling Into Place because all of our varied inspirations and experiences came together into one cohesive collection of music that we all really love.” Falling Into Place mingles stories of love gained and lost with reminiscences of years gone by (Pretty Lady, Those Days, Santa Barbara) and socially pertinent songs like Know It All, which challenges the hatred in an ever-more-violent world and a fraught political environment. Jamaican deejay and one time tour-mate Protoje adds guest vocals on Inhale Exhale, an intense earworm celebrating the movement towards further legalization of marijuana.
The album debuted at number one on the Billboard Reggae chart, and remained on the chart for more than 60 weeks.
Following a special performance at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater on June 3, Rebelution’s Falling Into Place Summer Tour officially kicked off in New York on June 7, 2016, continuing through August nationwide. The band was joined by their friends The Green + J Boog, Stick Figure, Through The Roots and DJ Mackle on most dates.
On June 15, 2018, the band released their sixth studio album Free Rein. The 12 tracks on the LP fuse Rebelution’s classic reggae sound with genres spanning R&B, rock, jazz and folk. The collection of songs shines a spotlight on the band’s evocative songwriting, incendiary playing, and timely lyrical commentary. "A lot of this album has to do with being comfortable in your own skin," notes lead singer Eric Rachmany. "In 'Take On Anything,' for example, what I'm trying to get across is that it's OK to be different, different is actually a beautiful thing –if you're comfortable in your own skin every single day then you really can take on anything.
The bold move from the powerhouse band proves their artistry and experimental prowess, though their signature laidback Summery reggae sound still shines through, thanks in part to collaborations with acclaimed Jamaican producers Don Corleon [Rihanna, Sean Paul] and Winta James [Damian Marley, Chronixx]. Much of the style, the songwriting, and the quality of the instrumentals derive from Jamaican roots, and the band was honored that producers from reggae's birthplace signed onto work with Rebelution.
Free Rein, and their 2019 Vinyl Box Set both topped the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.
In 2018 the band partnered with Lost Abby & The Hop Concept to create “Take On Anything ™” IPA, which is available in stores across California and online. In addition, Rebelution teamed up with FlavRx to release all-natural cannabis oil cartridges in two strains – Sour Tsunami Sativa and Cali-O Indica, as well as a customized oil battery pen and herb vaporizer. These are available in select dispensaries in California which carry Flavrx products, with distribution growing to other legal states shortly. The band will be donating a portion of all proceeds towards Cannabis related medical research and legalization organizations.
Awards and honorsEdit
Rebelution received their first Grammy nomination in 2017 when their album Falling Into Place was nominated for the "Best Reggae Album" award.
- Eric Rachmany – Vocals, guitar, song writer
- Rory Carey – Keyboards
- Marley D. Williams – Bass
- Wesley Finley – Drums
- Kyle Ahern - Guitar
- Zach Meyerowitz - Trumpet
- Eric Hirschhorn - Saxophone
- Matt Velasquez – Vocals, guitar
Former touring members
- Khris Royal - Saxophone
- Mike Eyia - Saxophone
- Courage to Grow (2007)
- Bright Side of Life (2009)
- Peace of Mind (2012)
- Count Me In (2014)
- Count Me In Acoustic (2015)
- Falling Into Place (2016)
- Free Rein (2018)
- Live at Red Rocks (2016)
- Rebelution (2006)
- Remix EP (2011)
- Count Me In Remix EP (2015)
- Rebelution Vinyl Box Set (2019)
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- Jackson, Kevin (2019) "Rebelution takes the double", Jamaica Observer, 24 January 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2019
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