North Hollywood, CA
CIPES AND THE PEOPLE
"Cipes and the People are one of the most conscious new reggae/pop bands out of California. They have the spirituality and mystic vibe to take reggae to the next level. "And one love is our love/We can free the world"- 'Free Me' should be a smash" - Native Wayne Jobson, Indie 103.1 Radio Los Angele
"Reggae is the weapon of the future," explains Greg Cipes about The Conscious Revolution, the debut album from his group Cipes and the People. "It's the music that unifies everyone and everything.
An accomplished actor on hit TV shows House, Ghost Whisperer, Without a Trace and Deadwood, a voiceover artist on Disney Channel's W.I.T.C.H. and Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! along with Cartoon Network's Teen Titans. A professional junior surfer, the Florida-born Cipes comes from a show business family. His grandparents both acted professionally and his father was a TV director who became successful in real estate, then traveled extensively with his family, often taking them to the Bahamas, where Cipes heard reggae music for the first time
"I was divinely placed in a position to see how the music made those living in poverty feel so good," he says. "The culture and the warmth of the people always intrigued me.
Citing reggae, hip-hop and rock as his main influences, the 27-year-old packed up and moved to Los Angeles to study directing at USC, but dropped out within weeks when he landed a pilot at Warner Bros
"Music has always been part of my life," he says, citing such disparate inspirations as Bob Marley, the Doors, Sublime and Miami bass rappers 2 Live Crew, whose battle for freedom of speech attracted a young Cipes as much as their music. "But it only started to take this form seven years ago.
Recently Cipes has taken his "Conscious Revolution" on the road touring with the B-Side Players for the My Space-sponsored "Fire In The Youth" tour. The tour took place over a 2 1/2 month period in 2007, stopping in a different city every night. This experience offered Cipes a great deal of exposure, "I gained so much experience and was able to connect with people from all of the U.S., I received confirmation on the appeal of the music, as people in places like Spokane are connecting with it (the music) and feeling it.
The album's lead single, "Free Me," is also the first song Cipes ever wrote seven years ago, inspired, he says, by his dog Timber and the spirit of Bob Marley
Cipes' music is part of his Conscious Revolution, his attempt to unite people's beliefs and bring them together. "I'm being lifted up so I can shed light on others who have the knowledge, experience, heart and drive to unite cultures, religions and races. Reggae is all about the positive message, the positive vibration. It's a music that unifies everyone and everything.
When on tour this year, Cipes was able to visit numerous pop-formatted radio stations, giving interviews and receiving spins between the likes of 50 Cent and Christina Aguilera. These radio appearances formed a "channel" for his positive message to get out amongst waters not often charted for this type of music
The song "Free Me" has received airplay on Top 40 formats including Sirius Satellite Radio, and stations throughout the US from KQMQ Honolulu, to WFLY in Albany, New York. Indie 103.1's reggae formatted program "The Smoke In" hosted by Jamaica-native "Native Wayne" Jobson embraced the album in the late summer of 2007 and invited Cipes to join him in-studio for an interview
The album's musical styles range from the hip-hop dancehall toasting of "Ones Up," featuring Houston rapper Big Boss, and the Two-Tone speeded-up ska of "Pain," which tells the story of visiting an ex-girlfriend in the middle of the night and getting picked up by the police, to the singer/songwriter balladry of "Fly," detailing his decision to leave Florida and go to California. "That's about letting to and putting myself in God's hands," he explains." This album, produced and co-written by newcomer and friend 24 year old Greg Whitman, is about unifying all races, religions and genres of music. All of those things are in me.
The video for "Fade Away" gives a plug for Save the Earth, while "Jah People" is inspired by Marley's assertion that "God loves everyone.
Cipes and the People has coalesced into a core 8 person line-up, which includes two back-up singers, lead guitar, acoustic, bass, keyboards and steel drums. The band was featured in the MTV show Twentyfourseven, which spurred more than 200k people to check out their music on MySpace, where they were the site's 1 unsigned reggae band earlier this year
For Cipes, it's not about either fame or success, but bringing people together. "Music is a celebration, a time for people to rejoice in their connections," he says. "We're uniting people that ordinarily wouldn't come together because our message is so universal.
"I want people to realize they have a choice. We're at a place and time where many people think it's too late. That humanity is doomed. But that's not the case. There is a fork in the road and we will turn the right way. The Conscious Revolution is about letting people know they have the power to create their own reality.
"Life seems to fly away today," sings Cipes on "Free Me." "I woke up in the morning/And things don't feel the same.
"With you by my side/We will win the fight/In the battle of dark and light," he declares in "Fade Awa