In support of their latest release, Far From You, in October of 2019, San Diego-based One Drop took to the stage at One Love Cali Reggae Fest in Long Beach on Saturday, February 8th and bringing the party with their roots/reggae/dub sound blended with the perfect mix of R&B, pop and rock. The band met in the early to mid-2000s in a college music class and started playing together by 2006. With the quick success garnered by their first release, a self-titled EP in 2007, the band released the debut CD Mission Blvd next, with hit songs “Little Black Dress”, “She’s Gone” and “No Good Reason”.
… One Drop is soulful with brutally honest lyrics, rooted from true life experiences of love growing up in a dysfunctional home and social and political taboos.
Inspired by the likes of Steel Pulse, Gregory Isaacs, The Police, The Clash and Sam Cooke, One Drop is soulful with brutally honest lyrics, rooted from true life experiences of love growing up in a dysfunctional home and social and political taboos. The band played with Brewfish last summer and has shared the stage with Steel Pulse, Ben Harper, The English Beat, G. Love, Dirty Heads, Stoopid, SOJA, Rebelution and so many more.
I was lucky enough to chat with the guys about their musical journey. See what they had to say!
Where do you find inspiration for your lyrics?
- Most lyrics come from life experiences or historic events that I felt needed more attention or another perspective. It’s kinda been the unofficial formula of our albums: mostly love songs, with one song about an interesting historic event. If you check out Mission Blvd, we have “1492”, a narrative of the events surrounding Columbus and the discovery of the Americas. On the Black Book Diaries, we have “Hector Pieterson”, a song about a young South African school boy who was killed in the Soweta uprising.
How do you feel your music, sound wise and lyrically, has developed over the years?
- Our sound and lyrics have evolved based on personnel, those involved in the project at the time of recording/writing, and lyrics always evolve with maturity. As you get older, our priorities shift and we begin putting value on different things and tend to talk about those things more. As the band has gotten more popular, I guess we feel a little responsibility or at least an opportunity to influence someone. We would rather encourage, inspire our listeners towards positivity and hope. Sonically, we are currently experimenting with different tempos and post-production tools. We also want to work with outside producers. Everything we have done to date has been self-produced. We want to receive more creative direction now.
Who do you find is currently influencing you musically?
- Great question, but readers will probably be surprised to hear our answers as a band display a wide range of musical taste. Reggae is our common denominator, but we love all sorts of genres.
- For me, lately, I have been listing to a killer acoustic folk musician named Brett Dennen. Great songwriting and lyrics. My recent go-to playlist on Spotify is Trevor Hall and Aswad radio also. Quality content and music.
Who would you like to collaborate with?
- Another great question. For producers, I think it would be great to work with Daryl Jenifer of the band Bad Brains. He did amazing work with Bedouin Soundclash — one of my favorite reggae rock bands out of Canada. Stick Figure would be awesome to work with as a producer, too. [He’s a] super talented dude crushing it right now with production.
- It would be awesome to have a guest verse by Trevor Hall, Caleb Keolanui (from The Green), Micah Puesche (from Iration). I dig all their voices.
What’s your dream venue to play?
- Red Rocks in Colorado and The Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington state!
If you missed them at One Love, you can catch One Drop on the east coast in April and at SoCal venues, like Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach, May 15th and 16th.