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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Atomic reggae rocks SF State

Blair Nishio, center, vocalist for the band “Iridium,” sings on stage of a night club at Cesar Chavez Student Center at SF State Thursday, Nov.19, 2015. (Qing Huang/Xpress)

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Iridium is one of the chemical elements, but at SF State, it is a student band’s name as well.

“It is very, very metal,” said Blair Nishio, the lead vocals of the band. “We have seven members in the band, and Iridium’s atomic number is 77.”

Nishio also said the number seven represents vibrations and energies.

The seven members include lead vocals-Blair Nishio, guitar/vocals-James Khougaz, bass-Jack Sakai, drums-Jake Zeleznick, keys-Karl Force, sax-James Gatz, and trumpet-Justin Klava.

“James Khougaz came up with this band name idea,” Blair said. “We keep on looking to this element, and keep (digging) deeper and deeper. It is super cool though. We have chemistry together.”

Blair and James started the band at SF State in Fall 2014.

“We are looking things like that,” Blair said. “Several members played for other bands, and got experience before, but we firstly formed and owned a band.”

“They are all music majors, but also talented in other fields, like artist, web designer,” Blair said.

The genre of this band is jazz-influenced reggae rock.

Until now, “Iridium” has created six songs.

“James and other members write progressions, and I like to write lyrics, so the songs are sometimes collaborative, and sometimes from my experiences,” Blair said.

An album for “Iridium” will come out on February next year. “(It’s) for commercial sale – it spreads out our energy and music,” Blair said.

For the future, “Iridium” is going to keep the band at seven people, according to Blair, who said they don’t want to get too big, both for matching the atomic number and for management reasons.

After graduation, touring with the band around the United States, Europe and the rest of the world is his goal, Blair said.

“Music is the best way to spread out my energy,” he said. “I just like to perform and get people excited.”

“I am the front man, and this is all my dream,” Blair said. “If you want a dream, you have to work for it.”


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Atomic reggae rocks SF State