From left, Tim Frankeny, Pete Fontes, Michael Belk and Daniel Tello, of The Originalites, play a mix of reggae, rock and ska. (Don Leach, HB Independent / January 15, 2013)

At times, their music can be more than just selling CDs and playing venues across town. Sometimes it's all about finding their identity, even if it means claiming Huntington Beach as their new home.

Fontes and the band didn't like the looks people from Fountain Valley would give them as they walked around the city. Frankeny's long dreadlocks and Fontes' unique hairstyle — a mohawk and beard combo — certainly draw the attention of passersby.

"No one [cares] about Fountain Valley," Fontes said. "I want them to, but it's so bad there that it's way easier to promote [that we're from] Huntington Beach."

He added that most of the band's activities, whether skating, surfing or performing, are centralized in Huntington Beach.

Because Huntington Beach is a well-known spot for bands and artists to build their music careers, it was a no-brainer for the group to head to the coast.

"There's no music scene in Fountain Valley," Fontes said. "That huge difference right there is why the feeling is almost distressing. We're from Fountain Valley, but our heart and soul is in Huntington Beach."

The Originalites have certainly used that sense of displacement to fuel their music, and it has essentially boosted them to a level where they are now nominated for Best Surf this year.

You can catch the Originalites playing at Gallagher's Irish Pub, where they have claimed residency every Monday. Winners of the OC Music Awards will be announced March 9 at the City National Grove of Anaheim.

Twitter: @acocarpio

In the Running

Other Huntington Beach/Fountain Valley artists nominated for OC Music Awards:


Reel Big Fish

Nominated for Best Album ("Candy Coated Fury") and Best World. Best known for the '90s hit "Sell Out," Reel Big Fish continues to bring the ska flavor to Huntington Beach.


The Dirty Heads

Nominated for Best Album ("Cabin by the Sea"), Best Song ("Dance All Night") Best World and Best Music Video ("Dance All Night"). After exploding onto the scene with their debut album "Any Port in a Storm" in 2010, the Dirty Heads are now a household name in the Orange County ska community.


The Offspring