GREEN BAY, Wisc. (WFRV) – Unity The Band is up for the Wisconsin music industry’s highest award.
While the Northeast Wisconsin band has been nominated and received awards before, this is the first time they’re nominated for Artist of the Year at the Wisconsin Area Music Industry or WAMI Awards.
“We’re very excited,” said band member Pita Kotobalavu. “It’s not a cliche. For a reggae band to be nominated in this category. It’s a big crossover.”
Kotobalavu is originally from Fiji. Love brought him to Wisconsin. Like all his bandmates, they call Northeast Wisconsin home. They’re marking nearly 20 years of bringing their unique take on reggae to audiences across the country.
They’ve opened for Shaggy and Cheech and Chong, but they’re sober on and off stage. They invite families to their gigs and dare you not to dance.
“The basis of reggae music is not really something that different,” explained the band’s musical director Tim Perkins. “You can find the blues, jazz. and country within its origins. When you come to one of our shows you’re going to be familiar with what we’re doing with the exception of reggae as something exciting and new.”
The band has been offered to relocate. The assumption usually is that musicians have to move to the west or east coast to achieve success. But Unity The Band doesn’t think so.
“We think Wisconsin has a vibrant enough music scene,” explains Perkins. “This is where we can all have our families, have our homes, and have our music.”
The nomination is actually for 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the ceremonies until this Sunday.
By the time the date came around for the awards presentation, Unity The Band already booked Door County’s Fall Fest and they won’t be there in person when the winner is announced.
However, Local 5 News will be there! So, be sure to stay tuned!