The 2014 Pier Awards

The 2014 Pier Awards


Welcome to The Pier’s 4th Annual, Pier Awards. These awards include five categories with five nominees per category, all voted for by YOU, the fans! Review all of the nominees below BEFORE voting. Read about each artist nominated, which includes their 2014 credentials for each nominee. Enjoy the feature and celebrate the hard work of each group in 2014, providing us with that sweet reggae-rock music!

The Voting Has Officially Closed

And The Winners for the 2014 Pier Awards Are:


Winners Will Receive a Custom Vaporizer by Silver Surfer Vaporizers


Artist of the Year Nominees…

In most cases, a nominee for Artist of the Year can just as easily be nominated for any of the other categories, but that’s not fair. So, the ten nominees for this category hold a certain weight of influence over the scene with their art and contribution, especially in 2014. This is the most difficult category to nominate groups for, but we feel the selected ten groups had an outstanding 2014 with an impact & influence felt throughout the entire community…AND THE NOMINEES ARE…

SOJA 2014 Recap
SOJA had an exceptional year touring the world from the US to Europe & South America, playing 90+ dates and headlining many festivals. On Aug. 12th, they released their new album Amid The Noise And Haste via ATO Records. The album featured guest appearances by Damian Marley, Anuhea, J Boog, Collie Buddz, Alfred The MC and then Michael Franti & Nahko, for which they released a music video together for their collaboration on “I Believe” – This is also up for Music Video of the Year! The album has been commercially recognized being nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.
SOJA Website

Rebelution 2014 Recap
Rebelution had another big year in 2014, releasing a new record supported with continued traveling around the US and Europe, playing 90+ dates. The band played around the US twice, as well as performing at a handful of music festivals throughout the year, including, and headlining, California Root Festivals on both coasts as well as Reggae Rise Up and spots during both weekends of the Austin City Limits Music Festival. On June 10th, Rebelution released, Count Me In, the first joint venture of the band’s own label 87 Music & Easy Star Records. Rebelution’s fourth full-length studio release was recorded at Miami’s Circle House Studios and Burbank’s Steakhouse Studios. The record features contributions from Collie Buddz and Don Carlos with engineer work from Errol Brown. Count Me In came in on the charts at #14 and was the band’s second release in a row to debut in the top 15 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart and #1 album on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart. Rebelution Website

Tribal Seeds 2014 Recap
Tribal Seeds has amassed such an amazing following and they’re known for mixing up their tours. Between all of their seasonal tours, they brought with them Through The Roots, Mystic Roots, Wakane, Inna Vision, New Kingston, Ballyhoo! and more! Their new album, Representing, was met with high praise & a 4 star review by The Pier. It was released back on May 13 & features a slew of guest appearances includes Kyle McDonald of Slightly Stoopid, Vaughn Benjamin of Midnite, Maad T-Ray, Gonzo, New Kingston, Don Carlos and Mykal Rose. Their music continues to get better and as their influence grows, they use it to create awareness for other talented artists they come across. We can say Tribal Seeds has turned The Pier on to quite a few talented artists out of the SoCal roots community. If that’s not enough, they opened up a Retail store in their hometown of San Diego where they sell, not only Tribal Seeds merchandise, but other merch from other up & coming artists & musicians. Tribal Seeds Website

The Dirty Heads 2014 Recap
Dirty Heads year started out as a big build up to the release of their 3rd album in 2 years with Sound of Change. The album featured Tech N9ne, B Real of Cypress Hill and Ward-21. Following the release, they went on a summer tour with Pepper & Aer, sold out the historic Red Rocks Amphitheater, released 3 music videos for songs off the new album with “My Sweet Summer”, “Silence” as well as “Sound of Change”; which was from their Red Rocks performance. They were featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live before doing a tour through Europe and ending the year in Mexico for a Mexico Music Resort with Slightly Stoopid. For obvious reasons, their influence was felt with great impact this year. Dirty Heads Website

Slightly Stoopid 2014 Recap
Opening up the year playing a festival in Costa Rica, Slightly Stoopid is one of those bands that continue to define unique tour line-ups. Their various tours & shows include the sharing the stage with the likes of NOFX, Citizen Cope, Stephen Marley, G. Love, Cypress Hill, Dirty Heads, Steel Pulse, Ethan Tucker and more. They were also involved with the Skunk Records 25th Anniversary shows and reunited with RAS MG of Sublime for the new single “Words”. They once again sold out the historic Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO over the 4/20 weekend and for the first time ever, they’re hosting their Closer to the Sun: Mexico Vacation Destination, a four night all inclusive concert adventure in Mexico to close out 2014.
Slightly Stoopid Website

Album of the Year Nominees…

There were a ton of great albums released in 2014 and we could easily nominate 20 in this category, but we kept it to the top 10 based on reviews & general feedback from the year. Sure, some albums have really good songs that stay with you for awhile, but we nominated albums that we feel will stay with you in its entirety, from start to finish. From production to creativity, originality to its likability, we focused on ten albums, all of which received the highest star rating in our reviews, earning at least 3.5 out of five stars. (EPs have been excluded from this category). Read ALL of our Album Reviews!AND THE NOMINEES ARE…

SOJA – Amid The Noise And Haste
SOJADuring the initial Nomination process for The Pier Awards, it was announced that The Grammys have considered SOJA’s new album Amid The Noise And Haste for Best Reggae Album. This is the groups second album under Dave Matthew’s ATO Records, featuring a slew of guest appearances that include: Damian Marley, Michael Franti, Nahko, Anuhea, J Boog, Collie Buddz and Alfred The MC. The album was released on August 12th and features 17 total tracks and is the bands 6th full length album. The entire album was produced by Supa Dups and is the first album, in its entirety, that Supa Dups has committed to producing. The cover-art was designed by the British artist Steven Wilson and was carved by original wood pieces. SOJA Website

Tribal Seeds – Representing
Tribal Seeds released their new & fourth studio album, Representing, May 13th. It was met with high praise & a 4 star review by The Pier. The album includes an array of guest appearances with: Kyle McDonald of Slightly Stoopid, Vaughn Benjamin of Midnite, Maad T-Ray, Gonzo, New Kingston, Don Carlos and Mykal Rose. This is the groups first full-length release since 2009’s The Harvest. More recently, Representing comes as a follow up to 2011’s Soundwaves EP, which marked the first time that the band would work in the studio with current member and keyboardist, E.N Young. Tribal Seeds chose E.N’s Imperial Sound Recording Studio for engineering and mixing on the entire album. The highly anticipated 12-track LP was then mastered at Lion & Fox Studios by Mike Caplan.
Tribal Seeds Website

Ziggy Marley – Fly Rasta
Following his 6th Grammy win last year for 2013’s Ziggy Marley in Concert, Ziggy Marley has been nominated once again for Best Reggae Album with his 5th studio record Fly Rasta. Produced by Ziggy via Tuff Gong Worldwide, the album features former Melody Makers’s band-mates including: Cedella Marley, Sharon Marley, and Rica Newell. Hitting #1 on the Reggae Albums chart, Ziggy had a busy year of touring in support of his new record, bringing the new tunes to 3 continents, 8 countries & 29 states. Ziggy also made multiple national TV appearances, including “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “Conan.” A catchy inspirational record with topics everyone can relate to, Fly Rasta was another successful release for Ziggy with US sales of more than 16,000 copies.
Ziggy Marley Website

311 – Stereolithic
With a career spanning nearly 25 years, 311 released their 11th studio album titled Stereolithic on March 11th, otherwise known as 3/11 day! The album includes 15 total tracks and is the first record to be released under the band’s own 311 Records. It debuted #6 on the Billboard Top 200, marking 311’s ninth consecutive album to debut in the Top 10! The album was produced by Scotch Ralston who also produced iconic 311 records, Transistor & Soundsytem. The album was mixed by 311 drummer Chad Sexton and Scotch Ralston. Stereolithic is the first record in five 311 records to be produced by Ralston. Upon its release, it was touted as being one of the best 311 albums since Soundsystem.
311 Website

Dirty Heads – Sound of Change
The Dirty Heads welcomed their 3rd album in 2 years with the release of Sound of Change on July 8th via Five Seven Music. The title was a true definition to the new approach they took with the album that had more of a hip-hop influence paired with alternative rock elements alongside hints of peaks of reggae. The album debuted #8 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, #1 Independent, #1 Alternative and #2 Rock. That album has a few guest appearances with: B Real of Cypress Hill, Ward-21 and Tech N9ne. Their first single off the album “My Sweet Summer” reached every major radio station in the country and has sold more than 148k copies of the single alone. The single became a Top 10 song at Alternative Radio in only 8 weeks! Only bands with comparable success now are Coldplay and Lorde. The album was created out of Sonic Ranch Studios working with various producers that include Rome Ramirez, Supa Dups, Niles & Buddah Shampoo.
Dirty Heads Website

Live Artist of the Year Nominees…

Any artist can stay at home and record music to throw up on iTunes with crazy internet promotion, while playing sparingly at local venues. But to get in a van and do it most of the year at a new venue in a new city, each night, isn’t easy. There are challenges that go into sufficing a tour with the members not only surviving one another, but the harsh realities (and liabilities) of being on the road. It takes time, patience, networking & a lot of sacrifice to suffice a tour. You have to leave an impact when you take the stage with your live presence, crowd control and sound. Even still, when the stage is clear for them to play, regardless of the capacity or who showed up, they slay the venue with their high energy stage presence & face-melting musical art. The ten nominees in this category brought some of the best live energy to more than just their hometown and are worthy of their live presence to be nominated for Live Artist of the Year for 2014…AND THE NOMINEES ARE…

Passafire 2014 Recap
Passafire is one of the most progressive bands we follow with a quality most notable in their fusion of sound. Their influences create a well-rounded and passionate group of guys familiar with multiple music scenes. Influences that not only seep out of the latest record, Vines, but also in their ever evolving live set. The band played over 115 shows all across the US, including appearances at a growing number of music festivals.
Passafire Website

Iration 2014 Recap
Throughout the US , Iration performed over 92 shows 2014! They performed at many music festivals, including Cali-Roots Carolina Sessions and spent the year sharing the stage alongside: Rebelution, The Green, Stick Figure, The Movement, Natural Vibrations, and more! They had a StageIt In-Studio performance a long with Jambase’s SXSW Showcase. In addition, they got to play an acoustic set at AT&T Park as a pre-game for the World Series Champs, the S.F. Giants! Iration had a busy year of constant touring & performing, well deserving of Live Artist of the Year nomination.
Iration Website

The Green Recap
Have you experienced live, 3 or 4 part vocal harmonies performed at its highest level? Well we have & we do every year that The Green has toured! It’s hard not to nominate them for this category every year. The Green performed 75+ times this year, including three sold-out shows with Bruno Mars in Honolulu in April. Half of the shows on their recently completed The Collision Tour with J Boog sold out as well as their appearance at Reggae on the Rocks with Rebelution & Stick Figure at the infamous Red Rocks Amphitheater. They won three categories in the 2014 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards: Group of the Year, Reggae Album of the Year, and Favorite Entertainer of the Year. They won Best Local Band for Reggae in the 2014 Honolulu Pulse Awards. They didn’t escape The Pier Awards either as they’re up for Live Artist & Music Video of the Year. The Green Website

Fortunate Youth 2014 Recap
Fortunate Youth saw significant growth in 2014 as it was the first year that Fortunate Youth did 2 full nationwide headlining tours. Of the 133 shows they performed in 2014, none of those shows came on a tour where they supported any other band. Fortunate Youth supported themselves as headliners with a list of support openers that included True Press, The Steppas, The Expanders, Thrive, New Kingston & more. Fortunate Youth performed at many festivals, including Wakarsua as well as traveling to Hawaii for the first time. Their live set continues to transcend and we can’t wait to see the live momentum they take into 2015 as their crowd continues to grow, playing both host & influence to many up and coming groups within the Reggae-Rock genre. Fortunate Youth Website

Steel Pulse 2014 Recap
Steel Pulse is a band that we feel has moments that should always be cherished when watching them perform live. With just 34 performances in 2014, they performed in Argentina, France, Mexico as well as the US with 3 nights in Hawaii. Not to mention their memorable performance the Cali-Roots Festival in May. After a career that spans decades, to this day the band continues to play their original tracks live at to venues all over the world. With their list of hits, they have been able to keep the show going for so long, bringing their music to new fans every night. Steel Pulse is truly deserving of a life time achievement award, but this year following another year of touring around the US, at the very least, Steel Pulse should be recognized as Live Artist of the Year. Constantly delivering a high energy and well polished performance, Steel Pulse if one of the best original Reggae acts performing today. Steel Pulse Website

Break-Out Artist of the Year Nominees…

Lets make it clear that this is not the “Brand New Artist of the Year” nomination. This category is for groups, both new & seasoned, who had a stand-out year. Each year, there are bands that seem to be carrying a weight of momentum that can’t be ignored. Maybe it’s due to a new album or they’re showing up on constant festivals and being added to various seasonal tours. Sometimes these are artists that are either emerging as a ‘new unknown from out of nowhere’ or a re-emerging artist making new waves from networking, to releasing new music and revitalized touring. Maybe these groups weren’t nominated for Album of the Year, or they didn’t have enough of an impact to be Artist of the Year, but the following groups certainly had a Break-Out year, setting the tone for years to come with their presence. These ten selected groups figured it out and have worked their tail off earning them a spot as a Break-Out Artist in 2014… AND THE NOMINEES ARE…

The Expanders 2014 Recap
The Expanders made 2014 a year to remember and their biggest so far. Playing 70+ shows, including tours with Fortunate Youth, New Kingston, Passafire, Tribal Seeds, Slightly Stoopid, and GPGDS along with their own Spring Tour. On top of some insane tours, The Expanders also played at this year’s California Roots Fest as well as Shoreline Jam, Blackwater Music Festival, Good Vibes Music Festival and Summer Sessions where they shared the stage with NOFX and Stephen Marley. They were also featured, playing on The Today Show with David Correy! They are currently working on their next album which is set for release in 2015 and will be their first in three years. This was a year to remember for The Expanders as they not only found their place in the reggae rock world, they took their own path, one that pays tribute to vintage reggae harmonies and classic acoustic sounds. We can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for these guys. The Expanders Website

Jo Mersa Marley 2014 Recap
Jo Mersa Marley, grandson to Bob Marley & son to Stephen Marley saw a break-out year as the next generation Marley with the release of his Debut EP, Comfortable on June 10th. He was a guest feature on a track with Etana and appeared in her music video for the song “They Will Be Done”. He also released a debut music video of his own for his single “Sunshine”. He went on tour and shared the stage with the likes of Slightly Stoopid, NOFX, Stephen Marley and will be featured on the Ghetto Youths Intl. compilation dropping in Dec. 23rd with Set Up Shop Vol. 2. This was a coming out year for Jo Mersa and we’re excited to see this year’s momentum carry over into 2015. Jo Mersa Website

The Hip Abduction 2014 Recap
The Hip Abduction toured 78 total dates in 2014 as this was the first year they had their impact felt from the December 2013 release of their debut self-titled album, charting at #5 on the Billboard Reggae charts. They toured with Passafire in the fall through 6 east coast states as well as Texas, selling out several of their home-market Florida shows. While touring throughout the year & playing many other various festivals, they also shared stages with Easy Star Allstars, Katchafire, The Movement, Toubab Krewe, Cas Haley, Dirty Heads, Rootz Underground, & Rebelution. They’ll be taking 2014’s momentum into 2015 where they plan to release a new EP. The Hip Abudction Website

Tatanka 2014 Recap
Tatanka started the year off recording at Imperial Sound with producer E.N Young. Not long after, Tatanka played California Roots and followed their performance up with two single releases off the soon to be released self-titled album. “Reward Them” and “Make it Count” both reached iTunes top 100 songs with “Make it Count” reaching as high as #20. The band toured with Tribal Seeds, The Expanders, Through The Roots, The Steppas, Giant Panda, Passafire, Easy Star All Stars and more. Tatanka released their self-titled record on Sept. 9th. The album reached #1 on the iTunes reggae charts, while the reaching the #4 slot on the Billboard Reggae charts. Tatanka is already writing new music and prepping for winter tours with Passafire and Giant Panda in the new year. Tatanka Website

Arise Roots 2014 Recap
Arise Roots was formed in 2010 with the passion to create a new, unique roots-reggae band. Rising up from the streets of Los Angeles, the band had one goal: create a fresh reggae sound with a modern feel that appeals to the masses without compromising the true feel of roots reggae. Arise Roots linked up with E.N Young (Tribal Seeds) at Imperial Sound Recording Studio to record their highly anticipated sophomore album, Love and War. Collaborations with Young, Fortunate Youth, Rootz Underground, Seedless and more, marked new territory for the band. Debuting at number 6 on iTunes Reggae charts Love and War has brought more recognition for the band than ever before. Arise Roots has shared the stage with artists such as Barrington Levy, Sister Carol, Gramps Morgan, Don Carlos, The Wailers, Luciano, Matisyahu, Midnite, The Tamlins, Michael Rose, Gondwana, Big Youth, Dennis Al Capone, The Aggrolites, The Lions, Quinto Sol, Tristan Palmer, Sammy Dread, Ky-Mani Marley, Freddie McGregor, The Meditations, The Expanders, Fortunate Youth, Natural Vibrations Dirty Heads, Rootz Underground, Tribal Seeds, Anuheau, and hip-hop legends, Public Enemy. Arise Roots Website

Music Video of the Year Nominees…

For those of you who don’t know, music videos have not gone away. They may appear to be less relevant without the vintage outlet of MTV or VH1, but they’re still being done and they’re being done well! Some bands have put in crazy production into their videos, some using actors/actresses and it’s a cherry on top to a professional sound, to include a professional music video. We feel that if you’re a group and you decide to do a full production music video, then it should be recognized. Plus, music videos are rad when quality production is used to compliment a new song. There are ten solid music videos nominated for Music Video of the Year and we hope you watch each one, before just voting for the band you’re most familiar with… AND THE NOMINEES ARE…

SOJA – “I Believe” (ft. Michael Franti & Nahko)
This is well produced video, not only featuring, but also starring 2 of the guest appearances with Michael Franti & Nahko in the video for the single “I Believe”. This was the first single off SOJA’s Grammy nominated album, Amid The Noise And Haste. The video shows Jacob Hemphill, Michael Franti & Nahko on the way to a show when their vehicle breaks down. They have no cell service and rather than freak out, they decide to soul-search into nature beyond the roads and before the video ends, while in search of direction, they’re found and joined by the rest of the band.

Slightly Stoopid – “No Cocaine” (ft. Inner Circle & Capleton)
Video Director Jeff Pliskin of Raised Fist Propaganda went across the country to get exclusive footage of each artist. He captured Slightly Stoopid in the Red Rocks of Denver, CO as well as San Diego, CA and Inner Circle at Circle House Studios in Miami, FL. The shots with dancehall artist Capleton were filmed on the beaches of Long Beach, NY. The song, “No Cocaine” is an older Slightly Stoopid song that was remixed for the 2013 release of the Dub Rockers compilation. This video provides the visual aesthetics of the song and a well-deserved nomination for Music Video of the Year.

The Green – “Something About It”
Here is The Green with their song “Something About It” off their 2013 Hawai’i 13 album put out via Easy Star Records. The video follows the band on the road across the globe and we’re proud to say The Pier makes a cameo during our hosted Meet N Greets at Cali-Roots. The video was filmed and directed by Jesse Yonover, with additional editing and direction from Ryan Miyamoto. Here’s what Jesse Yonover had to say with regards to the video: “Something About It was put together using film captured over the past two years on the road with The Green as they traveled all over the world. The music video includes footage from the U.S. West Coast, O’ahu, Maui, Big Island, Kauai, and Aotearoa (New Zealand) during various tours and festivals such as Raggamuffin, Big Island Ho’olaule’a, and California Roots Festival. Unlike a Hollywood style video, it takes a real, behind the scenes look as the band gets to share their music and culture with fans, friends, and family. The video also pays tribute to some other dope artists like J Boog, Fiji, Rebelution, SOJA, Stranger, Cas Haley, New Kingston, and so many others that The Green has been able to play alongside. Ultimately, “Something About It” represents just a handful of the amazing experiences the band has had along the way and hopefully helps portray the Aloha that is overflowing in their music.”

Ziggy Marley- “I Don’t Wanna Live On Mars”
Ziggy Marley choose the first track , “I Don’t Wanna Live On Mars,” as his lead single off new album Fly Rasta. The track was a focal point of the albums campaign, showcased with a well produced music video. This is also the first music video that truly encompassed Ziggy’s earthy message. Notably directed by Roboshobo, the music video features Ziggy’s wife, Orly, daughter Judah and sons Gideon and Abraham. Shot on a barren stretch of a California desert, the setting was perfect for the videos science fiction storyline.

Alborosie – “Rock The Dancehall”
Released on April 15th, 2014 this is the official music video to Alborosie’s “Rock The Dancehall” that is off his 2013 album released of Sound the System. The album was released via VP Records and provides a unique visual approach to showcasing the song.