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Reggaelar People: Carrying Their Fans to Sunnier Days with Each Song


Reggaelar People (From L to R; Garret Grube, Brandon Gratta, Justin Gratta, Vinny Dragonette) by Cody Williams
Reggaelar People: (From L to R) Garret Grube, Brandon Gratta, Justin Gratta, Vinny Dragonette by Cody Williams

Reggaelar People are a band that brings the sounds of reggae music to life with their soulful melodies, groovy beats, and positive messages. Their music has captivated audiences around the city with their infectious rhythm and catchy lyrics. With a unique blend of traditional reggae influences and an alt-rock musical style, Reggaelar People are making a name for themselves as their song, "Shawty Left Me", has amassed over ten thousand streams on Spotify. The group has released two songs with a few more in the making, and has performed at numerous venues, winning over fans with their authentic sound and dynamic live performances.


But what sets Reggaelar People apart is their commitment to spreading a message of love, peace, and unity through their art. The tunes serve as a beacon of hope for people of all ages and backgrounds, inspiring them to come together and celebrate the power of music.


Enjoy as we take a dive into the world of Reggaelar People, and get to know the band members behind the music that has touched the hearts of many.


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What's the story behind the band forming?

Brandon: It started with just having the desire. We joined a pop punk band in high school called Anything Goes. I didn’t even play an instrument then. I just tried to sing because I always admired the frontmen in rock acts. I started to play a bit of guitar and as we got older, we toyed around with different genres, and I found a home with reggae-rock after Justin introduced me to some bands. That lit the fire for us to pick up our instruments and develop our songwriting more which turned into the first song we ever made together, “Shawty Left Me”. Justin and I had played in some other side projects around the same time in 2015 and realized we weren’t interested in making music that we didn’t love anymore, so we doubled down on playing Reggae. We haven’t looked back since.


How is it being in a band with your brother?

Justin: Yeah, Reggaelar People always kind of existed. It’s a band that was formed over many years playing stuff with my brother, Brandon, and then we started writing little hooks and verses and they just kind of lived in our minds for 3+ years before we ended up playing any of our stuff for people regularly. Something is rewarding about making something out of nothing with another person whose goals and tastes are almost perfectly in line with your own. Post lockdown we just didn’t have any excuse to not be playing for others and getting better at our craft. We moved in together and that’s when Garrett came along and Vinny jumped on board – the rest is all still happening.

(From L to R) Justin and Brandon Gratta by Cody Williams

What's the story behind your new single coming out, Bonfire?

Brandon: We really started coming into our own musically during lockdown, playing and practicing religiously. It didn’t feel like a stretch to call ourselves musicians anymore. This was our first attempt at composing a song after all the hard work. Channeling what we learned musically with positive energy, the idea of having a party on the beach with all our best friends suddenly took over, and we started thinking of some of our nights having bonfires and stumbling home with friends and family in Montauk. We’ve been visiting yearly since we were in diapers, so we definitely took from personal experience there – but really, we feel like everyone can relate to hanging together with all the people you love, partying around a fire.


How would you describe the music you’re working on now?

Vinny: I would describe it as emotional and relatable. The stuff we write comes from a real place in each of us and ends up forming something awesome when we all bring those pieces together.


Justin: I’d call it real, I guess? I just feel like times are hard all around, so we try to play our party songs about celebrating with as much intensity as the songs about mental illness or having to work through difficult things in our lives.


Garrett: In one word: fun. To me, our music is about realizing the best things in life are free and they should be enjoyed. Spend more time with your family, and friends and if you just happen to be on a beach somewhere, with the tunes cranked up and a case of cold Narragansett, well you’re doing something right.


(From L to R; Garret Grube, Brandon Gratta, Justin Gratta, Vinny Dragonette) by Cody Williams
(From L to R) Garret Grube, Brandon Gratta, Justin Gratta, Vinny Dragonette by Cody Williams

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Garrett is right. A while back, I reached out and asked to take pictures at their show. They agreed, and Brandon was nice enough to pay for my ticket, so I knew I had to do a good job. Let me tell you; they killed it.


The atmosphere was amazing. The crowd was super engaged and dancing along to the music, and it just felt like the perfect mix of a house/bar show. The lively show went on for around an hour and played their classic songs, iconic hits, as well as their new single, Bonfire, which the crowd could not get enough of. In fact, they played one more song after the crowd screamed for an encore.


Reggaelar People at the Cutting Room by Mark Bluemle
Reggaelar People at the Cutting Room by Mark Bluemle

Their next show is taking place April First at Bowery Electric, and I would highly suggest going if you are looking for something fun to do.

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Who or what is your biggest music inspiration?

Brandon: Alt-Rock baby, Reggae-Rock adult. Linkin Park and The Killers inspired me to get behind a microphone and to pick up a guitar. Right now though, I’d have to say The Dirty Heads. They got me hooked on the Reggae-Rock genre and renewed my love of playing music.


Garrett: Travis Barker (pre-Kourtney Kardashian era). He treats the drums like lead guitar and isn’t okay with just taking a backseat which is a mentality I bring to my playing.. The drums on Enema of the State specifically always inspired me. I learned, and ripped-off, a lot of those parts over the years. They are just so straightforward and yet creative at the same time. He really hits the drums, man


Vinny: I take everything I’ve ever heard as an inspiration. Sometimes it can sound like other bands or artists but I just try to sound like me and play what’s in my head.


What movie or show would you want your music in?

Vinny: A remake of Weekend at Bernie’s called Weekend at Vinny’s where I’m dead at a beach house but Justin, Brandon, and Garrett try to keep an awesome party going. We can play our music in every scene, plus it would also be hilarious.


Garrett: The inevitable beach volleyball scene if they ever make a third Top Gun.


Justin: The Last of Us. I’d probably want them to play like 9 seconds of “Bonfire” at a pretty intense part and make no mention of why they decided to do that, and see if it could drive more traffic towards us as we release more songs.


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As you can see, these guys have such a positive energy surrounding them, and I can't wait to see what's in store for this crew and hear the new music coming out. Their new single, Bonfire, will be out tomorrow, March 17th, just in time for your Saint Patricks Day celebrations.


You can listen to all their music below!



Interviewed and Written by Mark Bluemle

Photography by Cody Williams


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