Since some of the earliest seeds of reggae-rock music were planted in Southern California, the area has turned into a hotbed for top-tier musical talent. Recently, one of the bigger names making noise in So Cal is Beyond I Sight. Now, the band features a new frontman familiar with the reggae-rock community.
As 2012 wound down, Beyond I Sight continued making moves, the biggest being Ryan Gonzales, or “Gonzo”, becoming the new lead singer for Beyond I Sight, moving forward. If you are not familiar, Gonzo was formerly the lead singer and guitarist for fellow Southern California reggae outfit, Fortunate Youth, sharing vocal responsibilities with Dan Kelly. For nearly a year, Ryan Gonzales has been working on his solo material, as well as collaborating with E. N Young, Rick Haze and Roots In Peace.
In regards to Gonzo’s parting of ways from Fortunate Youth, he told The Pier, “It is a little bit of a gentle subject, but I am still great friends with all those guys… They are really my boys. When I was in Fortunate Youth, everything happened so quick for the band and myself. One minute we are recording our EP, Uplifted, and then we were touring the country nonstop. I don’t think any of us expected those few songs to carry us for so long. And the thing was, I was young…We were all really young. None of us really knew what touring was or how to properly do it. Like I said, I was young. As far as things not completely working out with Fortunate Youth, it was just about ideas and having my voice be heard equally. Sometimes it didn’t always work out that way. They are still doing amazing things and will continue that, and I am happy where I am at now with Beyond I Sight and my solo stuff.”
Beyond I Sight initially formed in 2010, playing locally before performing at the 2012 California Roots Music & Arts Festival in Monterey, CA and the Shoreline Jam Festival in Long Beach, CA. However, since Gonzo joined the band, the demand for live performances out of state has grown, as well. One of the biggest music festivals each year is Austin, Texas’ South By Southwest Festival, which includes an entire reggae festival, dubbed the Wildfire Music & Arts Festival. In past years the Wildfire Festival has brought such notable acts as to Austin, TX like Collie Buddz, General Smiley, HR of Bad Brains, Seedless and Fortunate Youth, among others.
This year’s lineup for the Wildfire Festival includes Jamaican singing legend, Don Carlos, Hawaiian reggae band, Natural Vibrations, Los Angeles, California’s The Expanders, Las Vegas’ HaleAmano, fellow So Cal locals Sinizen, as well as Beyond I Sight.
As far as shows, Beyond I Sight will make their debut with the new lineup, featuring Gonzo, on January 12 at one of the most infamous venues, right in the heart of Long Beach at DiPiazza’s. Beyond I Sight will debut with a band, with three shows in six days, playing in Solana Beach and Fullerton on the 16th and 17th. These three shows scheduled will lead up to the Wildfire Festival in March. Although, you better believe there will be plenty of shows between January and that particular March date.
In the meantime, Gonzo will be releasing his own solo album, Rocksteady on December 25th. Rocksteady was produced by E.N Young at Imperial Sound Recording Studio in Imperial Beach, California. Rocksteady is an album that carries a soulful sensation. Its sound brings everything from island vibes to roots reggae. Gonzo describes his album as “roots rock steady trance.” The album consists of nine tracks, all of which are aimed for the reggae-loving audience. Gonzo’s smooth voice mixed with E. N Young’s production techniques and quality will leave the listeners wanting more than just nine tracks.
For more information on Gonzo and Beyond I Sight, follow the links below for more details and tour dates.
Upcoming Tour Dates
Jan 12 @ DiPiazza’s. Long Beach, CA
Jan 16 @ Belly Up. Solana Beach, CA
Jan 17 @ Slidebar. Fullerton, CA
Mar 08 @ Wildfire Music & Arts Festival. Austin, TX