Many famous artists got their start in Santa Barbara. In addition to making the occasional homecoming concert, these local musicians also set the stage for the city’s vibrant music scene.
Jack Johnson is an internationally renowned singer, songwriter and former pro-surfer. His soft rock reflects the laid-back lifestyle he promotes and many of his songs mention places located in Santa Barbara. “Bubble Toes,” for example, mentions the DLG, which is the USCB dining hall where he met his wife. To get a vibe for where Johnson found his roots, check out some of the music venues Downtown. Who knows, maybe you’ll catch one of his occasional surprise shows!
Bringing only good vibes, this band is from the small town of Isla Vista, which is located next to UCSB. The college town is a prime place for college students to get together to jam, which is just how Rebelution was born. Rebelution planted its roots here, but they can now be found headlining major rock or reggae festivals all over the country. Luckily for us, they frequently return here to their hometown to headline major shows, especially at the Santa Barbara Bowl and have been known to take part in some of the small, local reggae events throughout the year.
Katy Perry’s passion for California and the beach life comes through in top-ranking pop hits like “California Gurls.” Perry grew up living a fairly normal life and attended Dos Pueblos High School before she became the cupcake-bra wearing, blue haired singer we now know her as. After attending the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, Perry caught the attention of Steve Thomas who whisked her off to Nashville to pursue a singing career that quickly blew up. In 2010 she made a surprise return to Dos Pueblos for a student-only Homecoming week concert that made it an afternoon they never forgot!
This long haired, electronic DJ, also known as Jeff Montalvo, is one of the most popular modern EDM artists. His mystical melodies and heavy metal-inspired dubstep has places him alongside top headliners at major festivals—like EDC New York and Electric Forest—all over the world. Check out his 2016 tour schedule for a list of places to catch him playing this year!
Another band born from the heart of Isla Vista, Iration could be looked at as Rebelution’s cousin. Their reggae rock style is soulful and reminiscent of the sunny beachside days spent here in Santa Barbara. All of the group members are originally from Hawaii and they came together while living here to form a band that holds strong to the classic reggae sounds, with some Hawaiian influence. Iration often returns to put on shows here in Santa Barbara, so keep an eye on their tour schedule here.