Ozomatli's Marching On releases today, with in-store appearances at Amoeba and Fingerprints Record Stores to celebrate
Today, the three-time Grammy Award winning Los Angeles-based band, Ozomatli, release Marching On, their first studio album since the critically acclaimed, 2017 reggae twisted Non-Stop: Mexico to Jamaica. This new album also marks their debut on our label.
Produced by David Garza (Fiona Apple), the album features the six core members: Asdru Sierra (lead vocals, trumpet, keyboards), Raul Pacheco (lead vocals, guitar), Willy (Wil-Dog) Abers (bass, vocals), Justin Poree (rap, vocals, percussion), Ulises Bella (saxophone, melodica, clarinet, guitar, requinto, keyboards, vocals) and Jiro Yamaguchi (drums, percussion). Guests on the album include B-Real (Cypress Hill/Prophets of Rage) vocalist Gaby Moreno, Lisa Lisa of Cult Jam fame and the ladies of J.J. Fad.
Listen to Marching On here.
Release week and the following days are going to be very busy for the sextet, beginning with a special release day in-store signing and performance at Fingerprints record store in Long Beach. The following week, the band will make an appearance on KTLA’s popular morning TV show on July 18th and perform at the iconic Amoeba Records in Hollywood on Tuesday, July 19th. The band also continues their weekly sold-out Wednesday residency at Verse - Los Angeles.
The 11 songs on Marching On are a unified blend of the members’ influences and ideas. Or, as founding members Jiro Yamaguchi and Uli explain: "You drive down Sunset Boulevard and turn off your stereo and roll down your windows and all the music that comes out of each and every different car, whether it's salsa, cumbia, merengue, Hip Hop, funk or whatever, it's that crazy blend that's going on between that cacophony of sound is Ozomatli, y'know?"
While the basic tracks were all completed at Sonic Ranch, due to the pandemic, other parts of the record were completed remotely. Despite the often-terrifying uncertainty of the world in 2020, ultimately Ozo were able to complete Marching On, which turned out to be an almost prescient song and album title, especially given today’s world climate. As the lyrics to the track clarify: “Yeah we keep marching till the justice reigns / And the world sings the freedom’s song / Yeah we keep marching while the battle rages / As the new generations born / Till we right the wrongs.”
No matter the circumstances, Ozomatil are driven: Driven to make themselves, their music and the world a better place. And that begins at home—which, for Ozo, is music and lyrics. “The song is kind of like a sacred responsibility,” concludes Raul. “It takes hard core passion to push whatever the song is to the best it could be. I take it very personally.”