PapaFish
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PapaFish

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010

Los Angeles, California, United States
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Alternative Ska

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Here’s is our interview with PapaFish, winner of Marley’s Mellow Mood Marley Uprising contest!



Can you give us a brief history of the band?
PapaFish was founded in 2010 after guitarist Greg Menjivar and singer Nancy Rae found a group of musicians after hosting weekly jam sessions on the college dorm balcony at Cal State University Northridge. What started as just a bunch of friends coming together to make noise and play cover songs, quickly turned into something much more substantial and PapaFish was born. After releasing a demo in 2011, PapaFish gradually earned buzz by playing countless events and shows throughout Southern California. Their high energy shows and perseverance earned the band placements alongside notable acts such as Damian Marley, SOJA, Matisyahu, Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution, Iration, The Dirty Heads, Sublime W/ Rome, Don Carlos, P-Nut from 311 and many more. In March 2013, PapaFish released it’s debut 6 song EP titled ‘The Lab’ which has received rave reviews amongst the reggae/rock community, especially in Southern California.

What’s the first tune you learned or wrote as a group?
The first song the band wrote as a group is a song called “Attention” released in 2011 off their self-released demo.

What was it like going through Marley’s Mellow Mood Uprising competition?
The Marley’s Music Uprising experience has been amazing in so many different ways. The contest brought our band into the lives of so many new people, we can not believe how fast our fan base is growing and how many people are contacting us because of the competition. No one in the band came from any big connections, we are all financially strained musicians and we built this band from the ground up so this opportunity is exactly what we needed to take ourselves to the next level. We are far beyond grateful for all of the exposure Marley’s Music Uprising is bringing to our growing band.

What would your life be like without music?
We’re not sure but we bet it would be pretty boring! Everyone has a soundtrack to their life and taking away music is like taking away meaning. Music is literal part of our nature and It connects us and brings people together. life without music is like life without unity and meaning, which would make a very bland life. Luckily, we have music to enrich our lives and express ourselves in ways that normal communication often cannot.

What is your favorite Bob Marley song?
Nancy Rae: “Could You Be Loved
Greg Menjivar: “Trenchtown Rock”
Tony Sangiacomo: “Redemption Song”
Dante Chocano: “Stir it Up”
Jason Fragoso: “Is This Love”
Seth Perez: “Get Up Stand Up” - 1Love.org


Marley’s Music Uprising is a national band search for the next great band or artist inspired by the sound of reggae music and the legendary Bob Marley.

Members of the Marley family, including Cedella Marley and Ky-Mani Marley, selected 25 artists and bands from all submissions to be featured on marley.sonichub.com.

Fans across the country voted throughout the summer and selected the top three of them for the final round of the competition, which is perform live at one of three major music festivals – Sierra Nevada Music Festival, Electric Forest Festival and Gathering of the Vibes.

Check out some footage from the performances of the 3 big finalists: PapaFish, Paul Anthony and Indubious.

All three festival winners entered the Final Voting Round from 8/5-8/25. The artist with the most votes will record at Tuff Gong Studios with Stephen Marley.
- Reggaelize It



Papafish, a local band based in Northridge with roots in the Santa Clarita Valley, have a chance to record with Stephen Marley at the world-renowned Tuff Gong Studios founded by reggae legend Bob Marley.

Papafish members Nancy Rae (vocals), Greg Menjivar (Guitar), Jason Fragoso (Drums), Tony Sangiacomo (Sax/Keys), Dante Chocano (Bass) and Seth Perez (Percussion) began jamming in the dorms at California State University Northridge in 2010 and haven’t stopped.

Playing a number of shows throughout California, Papafish have been frequent visitors to the Santa Clarita Valley.

“Growing up in Santa Clarita, and now playing shows here, really make it all the more special when we get the support that we have,” guitarist Menjivar said. “Playing in Santa Clarita is really great -- it’s a homecoming and the people seem to gravitate to the music really well.”


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Earlier this year, Papafish won the Marley’s Mellow Mood contest, which gave them an opportunity to play in Northern California at the California Roots Festival headlined by Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution and Matisyahu.

Related: PapaFish Rocks Santa Clarita Valley On SCVTV's 'House Blend'
Through social media, Papafish fans were able to get the band onto the stage and a chance to play in front of thousands.

“After that great experience we found out of another contest called Marley’s Music Uprising,” Menjivar said. “We decided to submit our stuff and give it a shot.”

Hundreds of bands submitted material to make the final top 25 of the Marley’s Music Uprising Band Search presented by Marley’s Mellow Mood and Sonicbids.

One of those 25 slots would belong to Papafish,and they have put everything they have to make this happen, Menjivar said.

The finalists will be voted on by the fans with the winner to have a chance at recording at the famous Tuff Gong Studios in Jamaica with Stephen Marley.

Do you have a news tip? Call us at (661) 298-1220, or drop us a line at community@hometownstation.com.

“Even more than just being able to record at Tuff Gong, which is great by itself,” Menjivar said. “We get a chance to be in touch with reggae and experience everything Bob Marley, Kingstown, Trench town and get to the roots of the music.”

For Papafish, “a ska band that tripped over rock (music) and face-planted into reggae”, a trip to Jamaica is more than the music, which is a philosophy that legend Bob Marley shared.

Voting ends on August 26 at 3 p.m., for your chance to vote and send Papafish to Jamaica go to http://marley.sonicbids.com/artist/papafish/vote/.

For more about Papafish, visit the Papafish facebook page and Papafish Youtube Channel.

For more information about the Marley’s Music Uprising Band Search, click here.
- Andrew Delgado - KHTS AM 1220


For Cedella Marley, keeping her father's legacy alive is a full-time job.

The daughter of music legend Bob Marley is the author of multiple children's books inspired by her dad, the designer of a fashion brand named for the Wailers album "Catch a Fire," and CEO of Tuff Gong International, an organization he founded to support creativity. She's also worked with her brothers to launch Marley's Beverage Company, featuring a new line of relaxation beverages. The aptly named Marley's Mellow Mood recently kicked off Marley's Music Uprising, a competition that will offer the winning band (LA's PapaFish) a recording session with Stephen Marley at Tuff Gong Studio in Kingston, Jamaica.

We caught up with the entrepreneur and mom of three to chat about her recent projects and famous family.

Why did you want to start Marley's Mellow Mood?
Our father was an entrepreneur. And he was also a farmer. And we’ve all been foodies growing up. We love being in the kitchen and we love creating. We always wanted to be in the food and beverage arena. And we said what if, instead of it being something that keeps you going and going, it’s something that can be calming and keep you a little bit more mellow? It's all about relaxation and a positive way of life.

What made you want to write children's books?
Being the mother of three boys and an auntie of 18 nieces and nephews, it just seemed like the right thing to do at that time. And being inspired by dad’s lyrics, to write these children’s books ... just to show the awesomeness of my father, he speaks to everyone. He can speak to a child and he can speak to an adult, all through his music. I plan to probably do a couple more in the next year.

Where do you get inspiration for your clothing line?
My inspiration comes from music, of course -- 1970s Jamaica dancehall. Even the artists themselves. I was looking at a picture of Marcia Griffiths the other day and I said, what a beautiful afro this woman had. So I'm always inspired by my environment, but definitely music and 1970s fashion. I’m really a retro girl at heart.

What's the best advice you got from your father?
He always said to be true to yourself. I think a lot of people, when they see the family ... apart from probably five out of my seven brothers having dreadlocks, and we all wear a lot of denim, the religion wasn’t really forced on us and to wear our own hair in a certain way wasn't forced on us. Dad always said just be true to yourself and everything else will just fall into place.

What artists today do you think are most influenced by him?
From Snoop to Bruno Mars to Rihanna. We just did the "Legend: Remixed" album. We have a bunch of artists on there that actually did Bob Marley remixes. So, we're not only in hip-hop or pop, but we’re also into the whole dance world now. And I think it’s cool for dad to be in that space. The influence is broad.

If Bob were around today, whom would he collaborate with?
First of all, his sons. Ziggy, Julian, Ky-Mani and Damian -- I think they would be an awesome group. Dad was very easygoing and laidback and I think anybody who came to him and said, "Bob, let’s do some music together," he would do it. He used to hang out with Mick Jagger and those guys and come up with different riffs. But it would be awesome for him to record with his sons. And I’ll do backup.

Do you think today's music should be more socially conscious?
I think it actually is, but it’s just not what radio’s playing. You have those conscious artists out there, not only from Jamaica, but all over the world. It’s just not airplay-friendly. It’s not what can get you the sponsors on your radio spots. And I think what Marley Music Uprising was able to do was to find that connection with young artists throughout America. It’s our dream to take this concept to other countries outside of the U.S. What we need next is Marley Radio, to be able to play some of these conscious artists.

What's one aspect of your father's personality that gets overlooked?
He could be a comedian. He was very funny. He was always cracking jokes. And I think people get the competitive side of him, but even with his own children, he was not one to lose a race to make you feel good about yourself [laughs]. You’re going to win the race because you’re actually going to beat him. He wasn’t one of those parents who said, "Just let my child win and it’s going to help their self-esteem." Even my younger siblings who didn’t have the chance to know dad that well, I think it’s something that's born in them. If you want to be better, you’re going to have to work at it. It’s not just going to happen.

What did he teach you that you'd like to impart to your own children?
Believing that you can do anything, but again, it’s going to take work. Nothing is going to drop in your lap. If you want something, you’re really - Huffington Post


Sonicbids : Where did your band name come from?

Nancy Rae: (singer) I was on vacation in Lake Tahoe, we were in desperate need of a band name because we had some shows coming up and didn’t know what to call ourselves yet. While brainstorming over the phone I was wearing pajamas with fish all over them and somehow we came up with the name PapaFish.

Greg: (guitarist) The name definitely grew on us and our fans seem to love it so we are happy with the way it all came together.

Sonicbids: What advice would you give to bands who are trying to increase their fan base?

Greg: I would tell people to always think outside the box when looking to engage people and utilize social media in a creative way to keep people talking about you. With all of the social media outlets available to everyone today I think it is really amazing how people all over the world are able to connect with a band and their music, in spite of physical distance. We really enjoy doing live feed shows so that our fans who are physically far away can still tune in and get the full experience.

Nancy Rae: “I agree with Greg, staying on top of the latest social media is extremely important. I also suggest researching bands you relate to yourself and see what types of marketing they use, study the way bigger bands reach out to their fans. As a band we are constantly researching ways to spread our music, the more you learn the more you can utilize in your own life.

Sonicbids: If you were stranded on a desert island with only ONE musician to listen to who would it be?

Greg: If I were stuck on a deserted island I would definitely need Bob Marley’s positivity there with me. I already listen to his music on a daily basis so it wouldn’t be far out of my usual routine haha

Nancy Rae: It entirely depends on the type of deserted Island I was on. If it was a situation where I only had a few days to live I also would want Bob’s music there with me to carry me through or fight to survive. I could imagine being upset being on a deserted island, I would need the strength of people I look up to and the type of music that pumps me up and gives me hope. If I could choose to have a personal mixed CD on that island it would consist of Bob Marley, Tracy Chapman, Alanis Morissette, Pink Floyd, Sublime and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Sonicbids: What was your favorite thing about performing at the Sierra Nevada festival?

Greg: The overall atmosphere of the festival was amazing; It’s hard to pin point one favorite thing. Working with the Marley’s Mellow Mood crew and connecting with new fans are definitely two huge highlights for me personally.

I would say for the band as a whole that the opportunity alone was a big highlight, we gained so much together through this experience.

Nancy Rae: The festival in its entirety was amazing. The people were great, weather was great and to be able to play alongside so many amazing performers that we look up to really made it that much more memorable. One of my favorite parts of being at a festival, besides playing on stage ourselves, is to watch all of the other acts and to learn from those who are more experienced. Stephen and Damian Marley really brought a high energy and strong presence to the stage. I love watching how each performer delivers their message and connects with their audience, festivals are places that inspire and grow the creativity in others. I am grateful every time I step out onto a stage and the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival was a very special experience.

Sonicbids: How has Sonicbids impacted your music career?

Nancy Rae: Sonicbids continuously helps our band earn amazing opportunities by connecting us to people searching for acts. We have been booked for many shows through Sonicbids and each show benefited us greatly. The Marley’s Music Uprising contest brought our band into the lives of so many new people, we can not believe how fast our fan base is growing and how many people are contacting us because of the competition. No one in the band came from any big connections, we are all financially strained musicians and we built this band from the ground up so this opportunity is exactly what we needed to take ourselves to the next level. We are far beyond grateful for all of the exposure Mellow Mood and Sonicbids is bringing to our growing band.

Greg: What I love the most about Sonicbids is the EPK feature. Even when we are not specifically using it for shows posted on Sonicbids we are able to send it out to opportunities presented outside. Self managed bands like us have a lot on our minds between, writing, booking and playing shows, recording and keeping on top of our social media. To have a website like Sonicbids where we can keep everything organized and professionally presentable is really amazing. This entire contest is such a special opportunity for PapaFish and I am thankful every minute. You really have some tough days as an independent artist, it is a labo - Andrea Hudson - SonicBids


You will not want to miss PapaFish perform on Main Street, Thursday, July 19, for the SENSES Beach Party in Old Town Newhall. PapaFish takes from various musical styles such as reggae, ska, rock, metal, and punk, which has developed into its own unique formation of sound. Bringing an undeniable stage presence and a ridiculous amount of fun and energy, PapaFish looks to combine a fresh and engaging live show to a brand of music that they can confidently call their own. Let’s just say it’s SKA tripped over ROCK and face planted into REGGAE. - SensesonMain


MarsBands Review

Papafish has been compared to a lot of different bands such as No Doubt and Sublime, which is pretty obvious when you listen to their music. And while those comparisons seem mostly valid in terms of the actual music, the vocals of Nancy Rae remind me of a mix of Cassanda Ford, the original front woman of The Vincent Black Shadow, and Gwen Stefani.

Papafish is super fun Ska music laced with Rock. If you don’t know what Ska is, shame on you! The music has a wonderful beat to it, and many of their songs have fantastic vocal harmony. And while I am hesitant to compare Papafish to No Doubt (because Gwen went all crazy, sell-out, gangsta’ on everyone), I see a lot of similarities (baselines, vocals, etc.) between Papafish and the good No Doubt (see: Tragic Kingdom). Honestly, at times, if I didn’t know any better, I’d swear that I was listening to Gwen Stefani singing. It’s pretty awesome.

Nancy Rae has one of those voices that oozes attitude. And that attitude, combined with the exceptional talents of the rest of the band, and the amazing music Papafish makes, will propel this band into big time success. You heard it hear first, folks. Also, be sure to check out their Facebook Page, as you’ll find more songs there that I couldn’t find videos for on YouTube. - Mars Bands


Papafish, a CSUN student band, may seem typical – they love playing music together, they have chemistry, they hope to be playing music forever and they understand that failure comes before success. But, when saxophonist Brian Tran starts singing Shanghai Opera during an interview and guitarist Greg Menjivar wants to expose his chest in every band picture, Papafish proves to be unique.

“I once heard Nick Hexum, the vocalist and guitarist of 311, say in an interview something along the lines of ‘If I can tell you anything about making it as a band that will tell you otherwise, then you won’t make it,’” Menjivar said. “You can’t take no for an answer. That has been my driving force for Papafish.”

The name “Papafish” came from a pair of pajama pants that vocalist Nancy Pride was wearing on vacation with Menjivar. The pants had fish all over them and the fish only had one eye. They started experimenting with different names, including “Blind Fish,” but realized it was taken by another band.

“We just started putting different words in front of ‘fish,’” Menjivar said. “We tried ‘Dogfish,’ ‘Daddyfish,’ ‘Papafish’ and Nancy is the only one who really liked ‘Papafish,’ so she kept talking about it and it eventually stuck with us.”

The members of Papafish, vocalist Nancy Pride, 21, a psychology major; guitarist Greg Menjivar, 21, a multimedia major; saxophonist Brian Tran, 22, a graduating film major; bassist Dante Chocano, 24, a graduating business marketing major; and drummer Sam Sobo, 20, a music major, came together during the Fall 2009 semester after playing together the first half of the year in the dorms and decided to form a band.

Menjivar said he was eager to pull the band together.

“We really did not have a distinct sound in the beginning,” Sobo said. “We were literally just playing whatever until we found something.”

Papafish’s sound essentially became reggae patterns, fused with rock, punk elements and ska (a fast-paced reggae style).

“None of us listen to the same genre of music,” Sobo said. “All of us liking a different genre of music is what gave us our sound. The band started because of the love of playing music and just evolved from there.”

Music is considered a collaborative art, Tran said.

“For a band to work, there has to be chemistry,” Chocano said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re the best drummer or the best guitarist. Being the best soloist isn’t going to make a band good.”

Every good idea comes from another, Pride said.

“If we sound like something else or we act like someone else, it’s not done on purpose,” Pride said. “We’ll go to concerts and get ideas on how to work the crowd and be confident, but it’s not copying.”

As a band, Papafish does not emulate any other band’s image as their own, Menjivar said.

“When I’m on stage, I feel like I’m Ritchie Blackmore from Deep Purple,” Menjivar said. “That’s how I want to play and that’s the feeling I like.”

Papafish realized in the short time they have been together that nobody is willing to give handouts. Through the hardships they felt of deceiving and jealous friends, which led to having a distrust in others, Papafish still believes that to succeed is to never hold back.

“There are thousands of millions of bands,” Menjivar said. “Nobody is looking for you.”

Every industry has its own worries and fears.

“The scary thing about the music industry is that it’s scary,” Menjivar said. “I’m constantly thinking ‘Will you make it? Did I just waste my time?’ But, you have to risk it.”

Everyone is now in a band, Menjivar said. The line between who has substance and who is just in a band can be quite narrow and taking that risk will determine it, he added.

“You can never stop,” Chocano said. “When you think you’ve reached where you want to, there’s someone who is doing something else and better than you, so you have to keep pushing forward.”

There’s a lot of repetitiveness in making music, Pride said.

“It’s come to the point now that we don’t even have to look at each other anymore,” Pride said. “We just know. We repeat until it meets our own standards.”

The advice that Papafish keeps repeating over and over again is the importance of not being afraid to take a risk.

“If you really want something, you can’t have a fall-back (career),” Tran said of making it in the industry. “You can’t have a Plan B if you really want it.”

Sobo said it’s better to take things a step at a time and not look too far down the line.

The biggest accomplishment for Papafish in the year they have been together is being called to play at a venue instead of making the calls themselves.

“In reality, we haven’t accomplished anything,” Pride said. “But for us, it’s everything.” - CSUN Daily Sundial


Veer away from the weekly grind and feel good with the fresh sounds of reggae rock band PapaFish at Rusty’s Surf Ranch on the Santa Monica Pier tonight, Oct. 7.

Other bands scheduled to play include Jason Reid who will open the evening with some pop rock at 8 p.m. The funk rock of Uncle Charlie will follow at 9:15 p.m.

Headliner PapaFish will hit the stage at 10:30 p.m. and feature a quintet of talented musicians rocking out to the catchy lyrics of female singer Nancy Rae Pride and the bumping saxophone of Tony Sangiacomo.

Senators of Rome will follow PapaFish at 11:45 p.m.

Anyone familiar with PapaFish will know their songs are idealistic in nature, especially when it comes to their song “Attention,” where Pride sings the poignant story of a girl’s naïveté while pining away for unrequited love as she blossoms into womanhood.

“Attention” is a highly intuitive song that comes from the “perspective of a girl and is about a guy playing with her and not really being honest because he doesn’t really want to commit,” said Greg Menjivar, lead guitarist of PapaFish. “Twenty-first century relationships are very shallow and no one wants to be honest with their feelings anymore. We’re too scared to be honest with ourselves or get to know (our significant other) as a person. The girl (in the song) is frustrated because the guy doesn’t want to be real with her.”

Members of PapaFish began playing together a few years ago after meeting as undergraduates at Cal State Northridge. Eventually jam sessions led to practice sessions, finally leading to the formation of a legitimate band.

“I organized a jam session every Thursday night on our balcony,” said Menjivar about the origins of the band. “We developed a core group of people who decided to stay and become part of our band (that) we eventually named PapaFish.”

Other notable songs by PapaFish include “Alpha Dog” and “Siren,” which succeed in fusing the quintessence of reggae and rock by adding ska-styled tempo changes to strong bass beats, rock guitar, and hard drums, creating refurbished sounds somewhat similar to those made by 90’s rock bands Sublime and early No Doubt.

Menjivar said their music mixed a number of different types of rock sounds influenced by bands such as Incubus, Rush, Jimi Hendrix, Coltrane, Muse, and Third Eye Blind.

Menjivar, who plays a Gibson Les Paul Classic electric guitar, has been performing with PapaFish at Rusty’s Surf Ranch for about two years. The band has been called upon multiple times this summer by Rusty’s to play right after the Twilight Dance Series events wrapped up on the Santa Monica Pier.

“It’s given us great exposure,” Menjivar said. “We were looking on getting our music out there and Rusty’s was really nice to us and did a good job helping our band get started.”

Rusty’s Surf Ranch restaurant and bar is open to all ages. A $7 cover will be charged to anyone 21 and older from 7:45 p.m. $12 wristbands will be issued to those underage who want to enjoy the night. - Santa Monica Mirror


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Bringing an undeniable stage presence and an eclectic new sound, PapaFish looks to combine a fresh and engaging live show to a brand of music that they can confidently call their own. With influences in reggae, new wave, electro-funk, rock, ska and being one of the only female lead bands in the Reggae-Rock community PapaFish is unique in more than one way.

In Summer 2013, PapaFish was announced the winner of Marley's Music Uprising, an international contest held by the Marley family & SonicBids in order to discover the next big innovative reggae act inspired by the legendary Bob Marley. After winning the contest, PapaFish was sent to Bob Marley's renowned Tuff Gong studios in Jamaica to record with Ky-Mani Marley.

Since its formation, PapaFish continuously goes full throttle, playing countless events and shows throughout Southern California. Their high energy shows and perseverance earned them stage sharing opportunities with notable acts such as: Damian Marley, Slightly Stoopid, Iration, , Don Carlos, Ky-Mani Marley, Tomorrow's Bad Seeds, Passafire, Fortunate Youth, P-Nut from 311, Stephen Perkins of Jane's Addiction and many more.

In March 2013, PapaFish released it's debut 6 song EP titled 'The Lab' which has received rave reviews amongst the reggae/rock community, especially in Southern California. The EP was recorded at 17th Street Recording Studio under the guidance of renowned music producer Lewis Richards (credits: Sting, Mary J. Blige, The Dirty Heads, Sublime w/ Rome, Slightly Stoopid and more)

Be on the look out for PapaFish as the band continues to make lasting impressions at every performance offering a fresh and progressive take on reggae/rock/ska that keeps the masses wanting more.

In Summer 2013, PapaFish was announced the winner of the first ever Marley's Music Uprising contest held by the Marley family, Marley Beverage Co. and SonicBids. In doing so, the band earned a 7 day trip to Jamaica to record at the Legendary Tuff Gong studios with Stephen Marley. Out of hundreds of submissions, PapaFish was hand picked by the Marley family to participate in the contest.
In March 2013, PapaFish released it's debut 6 song EP titled 'The Lab' which has received rave reviews amongst the reggae/rock community, especially in Southern California. The EP was recorded at 17th Street Recording Studio under the guidance of renowned music producer Lewis Richards (credits: Sting, Mary J. Blige, The Dirty Heads, Sublime w/ Rome, Slightly Stoopid and more)

PapaFish has performed alongside:

Matisyahu
Slightly Stoopid
Rebelution
The Dirty Heads
The Expendables
Collie Buddz
Iration
The Green
Don Carlos
Rome (Sublime w/ Rome)
Unwritten Law
Taylor Hawkins of The Foo Fighters
Stephen Perkins of Jane's Addiction
P-NUT of 311
Tomorrow's Bad Seeds
The Voodoo Glow Skulls
Mod Sun
Seedless
Fortunate Youth
Pacific Dub
Vokab Company
Sono Vero
Krooked Treez
DJ Soulman of the Phunk Junkees
Zen Robbi
Katastro
UpRooted
Cherri Bomb
True Press
Beyond I Sight Ft. Gonzo

and TONS more!