17 Artists to Look Out for at This Year’s San Diego Music Awards

Turn the Volume Up: Listen to These Top Nominees

Written By: Keana McGrath San Diego Music Awards 2017

The San Diego Music Awards are back and they are featuring our sunny city’s finest talent!

Celebrating their 26th year, the Awards Ceremony will be held at the House of Blues in Downtown San Diego on March 21. Leading up to the awards is a week jam-packed with performances from nominees, a TV taping of “Tonight San Diego,” acoustic showcases, and more. With over 20 categories, the San Diego Music Awards recognizes genres all across the music spectrum!


All proceeds from the awards will be donated to the San Diego Music Foundation, who has paired with El Cajon’s Taylor Guitars to purchase and donate guitars for music programs in over 85 schools from San Onofre to San Ysidro. In the past 26 years, 2,978 guitars have been placed in schools, keeping the music scene alive, well, and jammin’.

 San Diego Music Awards 2017

The nominees are here! Whether you’re in the mood for slow jamming, head-banging, or getting low on the dance floor, local artists from all over San Diego will be competing for their chance to be your top artists. So turn your volume up, tune in, and get your voting vibes on. Here’s just a little taste of the competition.

 San Diego Music Awards 2017


Sierra West: Winner of San Diego’s Best Singer/Songwriter of 2014 and 2015, Sierra is back with more mesmerizing melodies and sweet earthy sounds.

Check her out here!


Raelee Nikole: Raelee Nikole just released her debut album “Answers,” last summer, landing her a number six spot on Spotify’s US Viral 50 Playlist. With her groovy acoustic tunes, she is definitely an artist to keep an eye on! Follow her on insta to keep up with her latest jams!



Tolan Shaw: The sole male nominee this year, Shaw romances the crowd with his soft voice and romantic lyrics. In 2015, Shaw won “Best Pop Album,” through the SD Awards, for his album “Chin Up” making him a versatile artist.

Wander further with him here.





Main Flow: Main Flow, also know as Dante of Mood. A hip-hop/rap artist and producer originally from Cincinnati, OH, Main Flow has relocated to San Diego with a goal to keep hip hop alive and well in our city! With a rebellious and enigmatic tone, Main Flow holds true to the hip-hop standard of counter-culture.

Check out his discography!



Odessa Kane: With eight albums, Odessa Kane is not new to the hip-hop scene. Originally part of the underground rap crew Masters of the Universe, Kane reemerged in 2012 with his politically charged album “Cuetes & Balisongs EP (translation: Guns & Knives).” Check out more of Kane here!





Schizophonics: Nominated for Best Rock as well as Best Live Performer, the Schizophonics are the artist to watch! Literally! Not only are they two-time nominees, but they are also one of the Awards’ featured live artists and will be playing during SDMA week! Give em a listen!



Dead Feather Moon: Their first full-length album won “Best Alternative Album” in 2014, and they are back for more! With spacey beats and haunting vocals, their music gives a futuristic vibe to the rock scene. Check out their sound here!




Tribal Seeds: Reggae roots straight from our sunny city! Tribal Seeds has toured nationally and internationally, spreading the love through their irie good vibes and slow jam roots music. Give them some love on their website or follow them on insta!



Andra Day: Andra Day just performed at the 2017 Grammys, Bottlerock Music Festival in January and was featured on America’s Got Talent in December 2016. Day is on fire and definitely a woman to watch, listen, and follow.



Gilbert Castellanos: Castellanos is not new to the San Diego Music Awards, claiming Artist of the Year and Jazz Album of the Year in 2013, as well as Jazz Artist of the Year in 2001, 2002, 2013, 2014, and 2015. With his Latin jazz sentiment, Castellanos keeps it classy, playful and ever-changing. Check him out Facebook!





KI: Made up of five young artists, KI keeps it fresh with an eccentric sound. Influenced by rock, soul, and folk, KI is a myriad of sounds woven together to create something new and fun, with an aim to keep their music “transformative.” Give them some love!



Dani Bell and the Tarantist: Part of the RedWoods Music Collective, Dani Bell and the Tarantist bring a haunting and playful vibe to the pop scene! Always wearing masks, the group gives a sort of mysterious draw to their performances! Check them out!


Dani Bell and the Tarantist – Crave (OFFICIAL VIDEO) from The Redwoods Music on Vimeo.




Blink 182: She’s Out of her Mind


Blink 182 is back with their anticipated new album “California,” hitting over seven million views on youtube up to date. Their song She’s Out of her Mind holds true to their upbeat and rock n roll vibes. Can you say nostalgia?



Hirie: Renegade

One of San Diego’s live performers this year, Hirie is bringing some reggae vibes to the competition with positive vibrations and summer feelin’ tunes.



Slightly Stoopid: Hold it Down

With ska mixed with reggae, Slightly Stoopid makes you wanna get on your feet and dance with this fun song! Is it summer yet, San Diego?




Pierce the Veil: “Misadventures”

This San Diego quartet debuted their fourth album “Misadventures” on May 13, 2016. A reflection and reminiscence of the lives of the artists over the past few years, the album holds emotional weight as well as romantic and playful undertones. Read more about the band and their album here.



Switchfoot: “Where the Light Shines Through”

Claiming “your wounds are where the light shines through,” this album gives a positive feel-good vibe and an overall nostalgic vibe to Switchfoot’s newest album. According to the band’s website, lead singer Jon Foreman claims this about their new album: “Built out of the dichotomy of what it means to be human, the album unapologetically dives into the big, honest questions of why we’re here with a broad view of both darkness and light, pain and healing, church and state.” Explore more!



These are just a few of the talented artists nominated this year for the music awards! Head over and check out the rest of the nominees and cast your vote!

See the San Diego Music Awards on March 21 at The House of Blues SD  San Diego Music Awards 2017

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