November 2nd, 2012
Kaipo Kapua is ready for the spotlight. After years of recording and touring with some of Hawaii's biggest island contemporary and reggae artists, he believes the time is right to introduce Hawaii — and the rest of the world — to his style of R&B music.
This weekend, Kapua's self-titled EP will make its debut alongside a new documentary film, "Beyond Kaipo," produced by Visionize Media and Slapp Symphony. Following a premiere screening, he'll perform select tracks off the EP with help from special guests Maryanne, C Gutta, Tripple Los and Papa T.
EP Release Party
Featuring live performances by Kaipo Kapua, Maryanne, C Gutta, Tripple Los and Papa T, plus a screening of 'Beyond Kaipo'
» Where: Yogurstory, 815 Keeaumoku St.
» When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3
» Cost: $5, all ages (under 18 must be accompanied by an adult)
» Info: www.facebook.com/kaipokapuamusic
The Pulse caught up with Kapua earlier this week at UFC Gym BJ Penn in Kakaako, where he works as a member specialist when he's not making music, playing shows or spending time at home with his two young children.
Honolulu Pulse: Tell everyone a little about yourself.
Kaipo Kapua: My name is Kaipo Kapua. I'm 25 years old. I've been doing this since '05. I started (professionally) when I graduated high school … (but) I've been singing since I was a kid.
My two older brothers are musicians (and) my mom are singers. Dale is the oldest. He plays music at Manele Bay. And then my brother Kaleo Kapua, he was the original drummer for Koa'uka, he's played with Ka'ala boys … he's talented. Both of my brothers are talented.
I can play every instrument, except horns. Drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, ukulele.
HP: Do you have a favorite? Are you better at one instrument than everything else?
KK: I try to stay equal with everything. I discipline myself to … play every instrument and keep it pretty equal and not favor any one thing.
HP: Your three biggest musical influences?
KK: Number one, Musiq Soulchild. Big fan of Usher. And from the jazz side, Ella Fitzgerald. She really introduced me to scatting. I'm a big fan.
HP: What's up with your new project being introduced this weekend?
KK: This is my second album, an EP. My first album was released in 2005 under GoAloha Entertainment. That was called "Waiting on a Dream." But it's been about seven years.
It's self-titled. "Beyond Kaipo" is the documentary that we're releasing with it.
It's not local, and it's not reggae. It's soft R&B. I've always done R&B, but I've never done recordings or released anything locally that was R&B. Now I can really show what my passion is.
I'm trying to be worldwide with it. I don't want to focus on any one type of music.
HP: Why the delay in putting out something new?
KK: I've just been sitting and soaking in … all these different types of music. There's this new style of local reggae music going on. What J-Boog and Laga (Savea) did, they started a whole new category. In Japan, they call it 'H-Pop,' or Hawaii pop. It's a big thing in Japan.
HP: You also tour with a lot of local bands.
KK: I've been blessed to share the stage with a lot of musicians. I've done gigs with Kimie, played shows with Fiji them … I've done shows with Anuhea, The Green, Katchafire, Three Houses Down. Pretty much everyone in the local scene here, I've touched the stage with (them).
HP: Part of this weekend's release party is a screening of "Beyond Kaipo." What can fans expect from the documentary?
KK: It kind of gives everybody a basic general knowledge of Kaipo as a just person. More than just a musician, you get to know me personally. You get to see where I grew up … in Waianae Valley, to Salt Lake where I moved when I was six or seven years old.
I'm just trying to build product, just get more promo and get the Kaipo name out there. I want to show people I'm hungry. I've been sitting for too long.
HP: What's coming up next?
KK: After this, I'm planning to release a single locally, and then I'm going to do a full-length hip-hop/R&B album. I've got my own studio at my house, so I'll do all the preproduction work at home.
I've already linked up with some guys in Canada and this dude from Texas. They've been shooting me beats. But the ball is rolling. This is the main goal right now.
My biggest motivation is that I have kids. I've got mouths to feed.
Jason Genegabus is Entertainment Editor/Online at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.