April 26, 2013

This past Saturday night I had the opportunity to celebrate 420 with one the greatest reggae bands to come out of Fallbrook, California: Raiz Muzik.
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Photograph: David Cruz (WOR)
Their name defines exactly what they’re all about. Raiz which literally means “root” in Spanish along with the uniquely written “muzik” imply a simplistic reggae, the original reggae.  Raiz Muzik’s so far seven year career, consists of one full length released album (Reelection) and a recently released single (Calloused Hands). They are gradually proving to all of southern California that they are one of the best local reggae bands around and that roots reggae is ready to make a comeback. Their sound is nothing like the current mainstream reggae that we’ve grown accustomed to hearing on the radio. The brothers Sonny Romero on vocals/drums and Sergio Gonzalez on keys along with band mate Jerome Cruz on guitar/vocals use their clean beats, ingenious melodies and smooth licks to crawl inside your body and take your soul out for a dance or two. With the assistance of guest bassists and sometimes even a horn section the trio takes you on a voyage to a carefree world where love and music intertwine majestically to create a true paradise.

I met up with vocalist/drummer and Raiz Muzik front man Sonny Romero after their first set that night and got the scoop for all our reggae enthusiasts here on Creative Edge Music. 
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Photograph: David Cruz (WOR)

Lilly: Can I get a brief history of the band?

Sonny: Well the band started in 2005. My brother [Sergio] and I were playing in another band at the time, and actually Raiz Muzik, the whole band was a bunch of cats from another band, everybody left midway through the recording. My brother and I decided to keep it going because we were recording an album and that's pretty much it. My brother and I we've been going through players and just keeping the name Raiz Muzik alive because we believed in it and we love to play music.

Lilly: How many albums have you released?

Sonny: We actually only have one that was released in 2006 and it is called Reelection. We've got another album in the studio but due to money and stuff like that we can't really release it yet. We just need to raise some money to be able to put that album out. And that album is going to be called The Deception of Babylon; it's pretty much done.

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Photograph: David Cruz (WOR)
Lilly: How does the new material in the studio differ from your first piece?

Sonny: You know, the first album is more along the lines of spirituality and issues that have to do with current events back in 2006 but the new album is a little similar. It's a little more on the darker side, the roots edge on it. There's no horn section on the new one like there was in the old one. The writing has definitely progressed a lot more. My brother is the one that comes up with most of the rhythms and I come up with the vocals and lyrics. We go back and forth together, we present it to Jerome then he adds whatever he want to add to it and we put it together.

Lilly: What do you use as your inspiration?

Sonny: I use a lot of life experience of my own. A lot of the stuff you hear, especially on the Reelection album, I was going through some things back then where actually I just wrote it out; that's pretty much my life. Now, what I see, a lot of times you see people being mistreated and we use reggae as a vehicle to express that...make people aware and reflect.

Lilly: When you guys play a gig what does your set mainly consist of? Reelection or The Deception of Babylon?

Sonny: We do a little bit of both. We try to play 99% original music, so we bring stuff out of the new record and we always play the old stuff because people seem to really like the older stuff as well, so we got to keep that going.

Lilly: What do you expect people to take home whenever they see you perform at a venue?

Sonny: You know our music has a message, so like you were saying a minute ago hopefully people go home thinking about one of the songs they heard and maybe it captured somebody and it made them go home with a message about what we're singing about, you know what I'm saying? We're not singing about anything bad... we don't glorify the whole party aspect of life. We kind of try to stick with real issues and real things that are going on so hopefully people go home with that. And a good sense that they had good night and a good vibe.

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Photograph: David Cruz (WOR)
Lilly: So what's next? Any upcoming tours?

Sonny: You know right now our calendar is pretty spread out so we're playing like once a month. As far as touring goes we won't be touring anytime soon... but really right now what we're really doing a lot is writing. That album's been sitting in the studio for so long that for us it's getting kind of old. So we're already writing new material on top of that. We didn't write for a long time and we just started up again and it's been good and everybody feels good about it.

Lilly: Why should someone check out Raiz Muzik, what makes you stand out from the rest?

Sonny:  A lot of the reggae that is coming out now is a lot of the surf reggae and it’s got that real heavy rock edge like even punk sometimes. What we do is we keep it roots, we play more of a 70’s styled reggae. We do kind of drift off a little bit in songs during a show, but what we play is what inspired me you know? That real 70’s reggae; that’s my favorite kind of reggae to listen to and that’s what we do that’s different from a lot of the other bands… Hopefully people will latch onto and be like “wow I really like these guys’ style; they’re keepin’ it old school."

You can download, Raiz Muzik's new single Calloused Hands online on iTunes
Order the Reelection CD here.
Check out their music on Reverb Nation
Stay updated on everything Raiz Muzik on their official Facebook page www.facebook.com/raizmuzik 

Lilly Lopez (@lilly_lopez_ )


  1. Big ups Lilly
    Great story and thanks for the support... the WOR crew and i'm sure Raiz Muziks is exited about this article!!! Much love and respect and all the best wishes to all!! ♥

  2. Thanks Patty :) glad you liked it.