Pepper, originally from Kona, Hawaii, doesn’t play traditional Hawaiian music, instead offering a unique blend of alternative pop/rock, punk, and reggae. The band gained popularity in the late ’90s with regular touring and albums like 2001’s Kona Town and 2009’s Kona Gold. While reggae remains a part of their sound, Pepper’s recent albums, including 2013’s Pepper and 2016’s Ohana, showcase a modern pop influence.
Pepper was formed in 1996 by Kaleo Wassman and Bret Bollinger, who bonded over their love for 70’s reggae and bands such as Sublime and the Police. Yesod Williams joined as their drummer, and the trio moved to Los Angeles, where they opened for reggae legends such as Burning Spear and Pato Banton.