An excited, intimate crowd jammed along with Umojah Nation, a reggae band out of Akron, at Northside on Saturday. The bar was packed by the time the band’s set started and everyone was ready to be carried away by the smooth sounds. The people in the crowd were from all walks of life, feeding right into the Umojah name. The Swahili word for “unity,” umojah describes the purpose of the band’s music — to bring people together. “It’s all about the people,” singer Tracey Nguma said. “Whites, blacks, hippies, gays. Reggae music brings all those people together.” Umojah Nation started the show with a few covers, including two from Bob Marley, giving everyone a reggae reference point before jumping into the originals. In typical reggae fashion, the songs were uplifting, which is exactly what the band strives for. “I try to give conscious lyrics about how to live life in a more joyful way,” Tracey said. The music was pure reggae, smooth and easy listening. It’s hard not to move while listening to Umojah Nation, as the swaying crowd proved. It didn’t take long for the audience to really get in the spirit of the show. After the first song, a group of dancers formed in front of the stage, just an example of the music bringing people together. Every patron of Northside may not have been there to see the band, but Umojah Nation’s liveliness and alluring sound drew in the entire crowd. Stefano Nguma, a singer and the bass player in Umojah Nation and Tracey’s husband, lived in Ethiopia from 1970 to 1989. He came to the Akron area for school, but music was always on his mind after seeing a dictator stifle culture for so long. “One thing I realized through his dictatorship is by suppressing culture, by suppressing music, you can stifle,” Stefano said. “I believe in the power of music to unite.” The band has slowed down on the number of gigs this year to focus more on recording. An album is already completed, but the group wants to start recording another before they release it.