Thursday, December 7, 2017

Artist Spotlight - Yeshua & the Hightones

San Jose, California’s reggae-rock Yeshua & the Hightones are living proof that raw talent, ambition and honesty can still prevail in a ever changing music industry. What else would explain a meteoric career that has found over hundreds of shows leaving a trail of sweaty fans in their wake. With buzz continuously building enter the next step in their rise, Their debut album “Book of Life.” For 5 years, their unwavering dedication to song perfection, their work ethic has become part of their signature sound. So much talent in one band hasn’t been seen or heard like this in a reggae genre they are unknowingly changing forever. The album runs the gamut of emotions but always with an underlying message of unity. Infectious and undeniable, Yeshua and the Hightones want to know who you are and share a moment of honesty set by music.

1. When did you all start making music?

Yeshua & the Hightones started 5 years as a group of friends who hung out and jammed frequently at a friends basement turned night club “The Velt.” I was the last piece added to the group as a mutual friend suggested I check them out. Immediately as the first chord was strummed, I knew there was something special there and became immersed in the possibilities.

2. What elements and/or characteristics made you say to yourself that you wanted to do music for a living?

From the onset, I knew music was and is going to be everything for me. It was a curse during my school years but now a blessing to have music 24/7 non-stop playing in my head, as we speak now I’m breaking down A Perfect Circle song I heard the other day. From lessons, to concert band, jazz band to a major in saxophone performance in college, there is and was no other avenue I wanted to walk. 

3. Who are your influences/heroes/role models?

Miles Davis, my instructors, rock, latin and funk music in general have been are my heroes role models who set the example of how I conduct myself musically today. As of recently it’s been producers such as the legendary Rick Rubin who I seek the knowledge of as my producer ear grows.

4. If you could compare yourself to an already established artist, who would that be and why?

This is hard to say. I mean musically we have the energy of an Ozomatli, Making Movies or dare I say Steel Pulse but now were in the stage (finally) where we can work to reach the amount of fan reach they have with our new album finally entow.

5. What do you think your listeners will get out of your music?

Listeners will get something they have honestly never heard before or expect. We're labeled as Reggae but we merely use that as a platform for all the other influences we have to springboard off of. We take our skills as musicians very seriously so you’ll always hear us at our best with strong intensity in our live performances.

6. How do you prepare yourself to write certain songs?

I would never say that our songs are ever prepared in the writing process. It’s always been while jamming that we might hear a bass line or guitar chord progression where we'd stop everyone, point and say “that right there, keep doing that.”…piece by piece everyone adds their layer on top till we are happy with we have.

7. What is the most difficult thing you've had to endure so far when it comes to getting your music heard?

The difficulty in getting our music heard has basically been our own reluctance to get an album out. I could say every member is by far a perfectionist and the recording process went on for years until we finally decided to buckle down and just get it done. Our fans have been waiting long enough and we would never want to let them down. They are rabid and loyal, and we sincerely love them for that.

8. Everyone in life goes through adversity of some sort. Is there anything in your life that has any influence on the kind of songs you write?

I could only speak personally as awhile back I was hit with a disease that most people don’t survive. It put a 2 year halt on my jazz career and after recovery, I literally had to start all over again learning the saxophone. I knew I wouldn’t be the fast bebop player I had strived to be so I re-invented my playing to tell a story instead a barrage of chord changes. I pride myself on writing simple but memorable melodies in every song.

9. How do you feel when you see that people enjoy your music and are affected by it?

Performing live is where it’s at. I feel so confident in our music that we could win over any crowd in any venue and setting. It’s undeniable and when you work a crowd into dance, smiles or even a bobbing of the head, we know were doing something right.

10. What do you hope to accomplish with your music?

We just want the opportunity to share our music with every human being across the globe in any capacity that may be. 

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