By Lisa Morgan

Local roots Reggae lovers all over the desert have come to know Soul Opus, probably THE most popular Coachella Valley original band within its genre, and for good reason. Soul Opus has shared the stage with legendary reggae artists like the original Wailers, Eek-A-Mouse, the lead singers and founders of Big Mountain Quino and James McWhinney, The Sunset Temple and Fortunate Youth. As a band, Soul Opus, with Mikey Reyes at guitar and vocals, Pedro Cancino on drums and backing vocals, and Juan DeLara Jr. on bass has been dedicated to promoting unity and love through their music across the Coachella Valley. But recently, front man Mikey Reyes has been seen flying solo working on an acoustic project. I got the chance to catch up with him to find out what the future holds for Soul Opus and this very talented songsmith and performer. Who is Mikey Reyes apart from Soul Opus? What I discovered was pretty awesome.

First of all, let me put any fears to rest that Soul Opus is not disbanding or losing it’s lead singer and songwriter. The Date Shed will be booking them sometime around November, so be watching for them. If anything, Soul Opus is going to come at us in 2014 better and stronger than ever before. With some serious introspection and new songs underway, we will be hearing from a band reconnected with the love that inspired them to play in the first place. Meanwhile, Reyes is creating and performing music from his own introspective journey.

It’s been more than a string of life experiences that has influenced this artist’s music today. Since the age of twelve when he first picked up a guitar and starting singing and crafting songs, Mikey Reyes has been an observer and deep thinker. You don’t have to know him for very long without understanding that he truly believes and tries to live the messages inside the lyrics that he writes. This songwriter is as much on a spiritual journey as he is a musical one. I asked him if there was one song that most closely reflected where he is at today. He answered, “I think that would have to be the song Existence.”


Time moves fast so live patiently.
Spend time wise with your friends and family.
Choose not to hate and have no enemies.
Because existence is now says we.

“I believe we all need to be in a more loving state, cherishing the time that we have together. For me, that means being present in my performing and with the people who love me for what I’m doing, instead of being worried without understanding. You get so blinded by society, that you won’t practice what you preach. It’s kind of like, ‘Wait dude your writing these songs, what are YOU doing.’ That’s what a lot of us are lacking right now, musician wise and society wise – being in the now, existing amongst each other in the now, happily with understanding.”

Like every artist, Reyes shared his struggle between wanting to make money at this business of music without turning his music into a business. “When I was young growing up, it seemed I didn’t really have a say or a voice in things. When I picked up a guitar and sang, suddenly people were listening to me. So now, when I play, I really want to be heard. So I struggle sometimes. I played this solo gig the last couple of weeks and it seemed nobody was listening. I played my first song, and there was no response. I played my second song… no response. Then I started getting kind of negative in my head until I told myself, ‘Man, these negative thoughts aren’t going to help you!’”, he laughed. “It’s a struggle. I need the money, but I don’t want the music to be about the money. And I want people to hear what I have to say, but I don’t want it to all just be about me.”

Soul Opus and Mikey Reyes fans can truly look forward to some great new music being recorded in the very near future. To give you just a glimpse, here are the lyrics to a new song Reyes has written that Soul Opus played recently when they opened for Afro Man at Willy Boys:

Typical Human Beings:

Think wise brother don’t you fright no more
It’s time to dry ya eyes and watch the truth unfold
The gift that we’ve been given helps to guide the soul
But what good is the gift if you’re not in control
It’s up to us to break the mold
Of this ego trip mind control
And if you’re not careful it will swallow you whole
So let the unity
strengthen our ability

This life is filled with tricksters who disguise their core
It’s no surprise to me that they all fit the mold
Of typical human beings who all think the same
My feelings for you they will suppress
Those typical human beings are driving me insane
But the truth behind you will surface
Until then I can handle it
I find it so much harder to harbor hatred
Uprooted from such neglect
and with his I’ve chosen to see and redirect
my inner most powerful being
through something worth seeing and being my very best.

Who is Mikey Reyes apart from Soul Opus? The same guy that’s true in heart and musical soul. Just a little softer without the drums and bass. But rest assured, the music of this artist will grow with him, will remain relevant and will only get better with time.

Follow the Mikey Reyes Acoustic Movement at

Listen to Soul Opus at and check out upcoming events at