Another San Diego Music Awards have come and gone this week, leaving many southern California acts extremely happy to have won their respective categories. It seems most artists and bands are grateful just to be nominated, as the annual award show grows in popularity year after year, enveloping 28 categories from Americana to electro to good ol’ fashioned rock-&-roll. Winners for 2014 included Jason Mraz walking away with Best Music Video of a San Diego Artist on top of overall Artist of the Year. If only all San Diego music groups could be as popular as Jason Mraz. Fortunately, bands that have not had a big global breakthrough still get a shot in the running.
Before announcing the winners, I want to elaborate on how it is seemingly unheard of for music award shows to integrate or even recognize a Best Reggae Music category into their trajectories. Even the Grammy’s are behind: they include Best World Music and Best Alternative, but all reggae is left with – which is a RECENT addition – is Best Reggae Album. If the highest music awards show on the proverbial success ladder only recognizes reggae bands for their albums to date, the industry has a long way to go before ranking the genre and handing out blue ribbons becomes particularly fair.
Despite reggae not having its own competitive section, the night was a smash hit.
That being said, this year –as in previous years – the Best World Music category incorporated a mixture of world beat (as in the nominees Cumbia Machin, Todo Mundo and Patric Petrie), hip hop/reggae (Tribal Theory), ska/reggae (The Devastators), funk/reggae (B-Side Players and Restoration One), and roots/dancehall reggae (Piracy Conspiracy). Stretching the category a little thin, San Diego handed Todo Mundo the award; at least the award was true to its name. Maybe reggae will have a better shot at the win in 2015.
A reggae victory did happen within the Best World Album category, as San Diego-bred Tribal Seeds snagged the title with their latest release Representing. Tribal Seeds is one of the bigger bands known within the genre, home before their national fall tour kicks off on the 17th out of Durango, Colorado with Ballyhoo! Congratulations to Tribal Seeds on all their achievements this year! Other San Diego bands nominated for Best World Album fitting the reggae genre included Project: Out of Bounds, SM Familia and Maka Roots.
Thank you San Diego!!! @tribalseeds #representing Best World Music Album!!!!! #tribalSeeds my 3rd SDMA!!! Blessed �� #grateful
Throughout the rest of the evening, reggae bands popped up in several other categories such as Best Live Band, Song of the Year or Best Music Video although none of the nominees were rendered victorious. Despite reggae not having its own competitive section, the night was a smash hit. San Diego continues to be one of the forerunning cities in commemorating its artists for their creative visions; more cities should follow suit to San Diego’s tenacious attempts in manifesting and preserving its unique culture.
For a complete list of winners, please visit the SDMA's website.