Archive for the ‘Audio’ Category

Kaipo ready with new EP

November 2nd, 2012

<em>Kaipo Kapua. (Courtesy photo)</em>

Kaipo Kapua. (Courtesy photo)

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.

Kaipo Kapua

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:

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.

<em>Kaipo Kapua performs with Kimie Miner at The Republik on Sept. 29. (Star-Advertiser File)</em>

Kaipo Kapua performs with Kimie Miner at The Republik on Sept. 29. (Star-Advertiser File)

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

Related Audio:

'With You'
'Rock & Groove'
Posted in Audio, Bars & Clubs, Music, SA | Comments Off on Kaipo ready with new EP

Slapp Symphony drops new compilation CD

November 25th, 2011

While most of the island was getting ready for the long Thanksgiving weekend, Na Hoku Hanohano Award-nominated production duo Slapp Symphony were still on their grind.

'Drown 'Em in Beats, Save 'Em With Rhymes

Slapp Symphony (Slapp Symphony Music Group)

Leti "Let-T-Let" Leti and James Westbrook stopped by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser newsroom on Wednesday, Nov. 23, to hand-deliver a copy of their new compilation CD, "Drown 'Em in Beats, Save 'Em With Rhymes," and talk about their collaboration with the Nocturnal Sound Krew on the project.

With Slapp Symphony's beats providing the foundation for each of the album's 10 tracks, "Drown 'Em…" is a showcase of various Hawaii-based recording artists they believe best represent the different sounds our islands have to offer. From reggae and gospel to hip-hop and R&B, Leti and Westbrook speak softly and let their beats do the talking.

Tracks have been leaked from the album since May, when Kimie Miner's "Is This Love" hit the airwaves on local radio stations and also got airplay in Australia, New Zealand and Paupa New Guinea. Other songs have showed up on local hip-hop radio shows, including 102.7 Da Bomb's "Mind Tactics" with DJ Jimmy Taco and KTUH's "Got Rice? Show" with DJ Bone.

Slapp Symphony gets work done in the studio. (Courtesy Slapp Symphony)

Slapp Symphony gets work done in the studio. (Courtesy Slapp Symphony)

The latest single to drop is "Ice Palace," a realistic look at Hawaii's meth problem, which Slapp Symphony hopes to use as a strong anti-drug message in working with groups like the Hawaii Meth Project and the E Ola Kahiau Foundation.

"Drown 'Em in Beats, Save 'Em With Rhymes" was released today, with CDs available at local retailers Fitted Hawaii, Prototype, In4mation and Kicks Hawaii; the album is also currently available for purchase online via iTunes and other sites.

Along with sharing a few unreleased samples from the compilation, Leti and Westbrook spoke about their experiences producing the album, what it means to have sound engineers Tatsuya Sato and Jay Franco of New York City's Stirling Sound working with them on the project and more.

Interview Clips:

Clip #1 - The Interview Process

Clip #2 - The Mastering Process

Clip #3 - "It's All Different"

Clip #4 - Getting Mainland Exposure

Clip #5 - "It's Mature Music"

Clip #6 - Favorite Tracks

Song Samples:

Sylen and Maryanne - "Can't Let Go"

Kaipo Kapua and C-Gutta - "L.O.V.E."

Leti Twins feat. Let-T-Let - "Thank You Lord"
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

The Throwdowns return to Oahu

November 3rd, 2011

The Throwdowns were joined by Marty Dread, right, during their Maui CD release party in August. (Star-Advertiser file)

After releasing their new album, "Legs of Our Own," and hosting a CD release party on their home island of Maui in August, the Throwdowns are ready to head back to Oahu. Led by vocalist/guitarist Erin Smith, the band will be in Waikiki on Friday, Nov. 4, for the official HIC Triple Crown Pro party at the Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu.

'The Throwdowns CD Release Party'

» Where: Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu, 280 Beach Walk Ave.

» When: 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4

» Cost: No cover (21+)

» Info: 955-7383 or

Smith checked in from Maui last week to talk story about the band's new material, the difference between "Legs of Our Own" and their previous release, "Don't Slow Down," and what else the band will be doing in Honolulu while they're in town.

She was also gracious enough to share a few tracks off the new album with Pulse readers; check them out along with a video for their single, "Shake Your Bones," below.

QUESTION: The EP you guys released in 2010 was "Don't Slow Down." The Throwdowns have really taken that to heart in 2011, huh?

ANSWER: It felt like we were slowing down, to me. I didn't think we were ready to make another record, but we did.

"Don't Slow Down" was great and we were getting lots of really awesome opportunities, but the general consensus in the band was that we needed a full-length album to take advantage of those opportunities. We wanted to put our best foot forward.

Q: Creatively speaking, is there a big difference between "Legs of Our Own" and "Don't Slow Down," or is just an extension of what you guys were already doing?

A: We already had most of the material, but we did some tweaking. I think the big change is the whole punk versus pop thing. It's a lot more pop than "Don't Slow Down." It's still got some drive to it, but then there's also a more polished vibe. It's definitely a lot less raw.

It's more refined, I'd say. We're not a pop band. We're rock and pop with some reggae influence. We were just looking for the broadest sound for what we do.

I'm even jumping around a little less on stage to make sure it sounds good!

Erin Smith performs during the Throwdowns' Maui CD release party in August. (Star-Advertiser file)

Q: I'm familiar with how hard it is to be a musician on Oahu, let alone on Maui. How does a rock band like the Throwdowns keep busy on Maui? Do you get a lot of hometown support?

A: Oh yeah, Maui's great. They're always in our corner. It seems like on Maui, there's been a definite kick start to the rock scene over here. It just feels like there's a surge happening. So we're trying to push the boundaries of what you can do as a rock band from Hawaii.

But we don't play that much on Maui. It's not like Oahu where you can play a bunch and hit a bunch of people and expand your fan base. We don't play a lot because you can burn out real quick. Our focus is on the mainland. We want to go that way.

Q: Anything lined up for the mainland that you can talk about?

A: We're just kind of trying to play our cards the smart way. It's all about working with the bands we already know. We might be at SXSW (next year). We're talking it out right now. We're cautious about that stuff. We're all about having a game plan, but we're also cautious about what we spend our money on.

Our theory is, you can just go and do something, or you can club someone over the head with the biggest thing you've got and make a big splash. We're more in that second category.

Q: What do fans have to look forward to in Waikiki this weekend?

A: Well, the Hard Rock show is free! I'm kinda stoked about that. It's also HIC's Triple Crown Pro party, so we'll have the surfers there. And we're going to do the Road Runner Music Hall before that. It's gonna be broadcast live on at 2 p.m.

It's been a long time since we've headlined our own show, so I think it's going to be good. We've got a new set and new songs and we're stoke to share them with everybody. And we got some of the Maui crew coming over, so it should be fun.

Q: What else is coming up for the band?

A: In November we'll be continuing to Kona and Kauai for the CD release tour. And then we're going to do a Maui show in December and take a few weeks to chill. The new year has some exciting stuff, but I'm not really supposed to talk about it yet.


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

The Throwdowns - "Stay HI (feat. Marty Dread)"


The Throwdowns - "I'm a Warrior"


The Throwdowns - "On the Radio"


Related Video:

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82Fifty celebrates new CD single

September 23rd, 2011

82Fifty will share their two new tracks with fans during a show at Tropics Cafe Bar & Grill this weekend. (Courtesy Sheena Marie Photography)

If you're a fan of local surf rockers 82Fifty and were expecting a new album in 2011 — keep waiting.

Rest assured, however, that lead singer/manager Jessie Campania and the rest of the guys are working on it. It's just that real life (i.e. money, and the lack of it) keeps getting in the way.

82Fifty Single Release Party

» Where: Tropics Cafe Bar & Grill, 1020 Auahi St.

» When: 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24

» Cost: $10

» Info:

"Everybody's been asking for it," Campania acknowledged earlier this week. "But we're doing everything independent, so we have to come up with all the money ourselves. It's expensive, and we're mainly getting money (for recording) from gigs and saving it, so it's a process.

"It's taking a bit longer than it should, but it is what it is. It's a struggle."

In the meantime, the band was able to get into the studio this year and record two tracks ("Once Again" and "Bad Dream") that have been pressed up and are ready to distribute to fans. 82Fifty will celebrate with a CD single release party tomorrow, Sept. 24, at Tropics Cafe Bar & Grill.

"We really wanted to get the second album going, but it's taking too long, so we decided to release the single," said Campania. "This is an in-between release so we can get everyone's attention again."

Campania added that while there is a definite lack of rock radio support (the biggest push they've gotten was from Phat Joe of reggae station Island 98.5, he said), the local scene is actually enjoying a bit of a resurgence, thanks to increased gig opportunities at venues like Anna O'Brien's, Kemoo Farms Pub and Lakeside Lanai, Rock Bottom Bar & Grill and Hawaiian Brian's Billiards. Fans still have options when it comes to enjoying live music, and 82Fifty keeps pressing forward despite the difficulty in raising enough funds to record more songs.

"When we first came out, it was difficult to play at different shows," Campania said. "But it seems right now that the scene is opening up. … Venues are a little more open-minded, and to see that change is exciting."

It's going to take a while for 82Fifty to make enough money from gigs to get back into the studio — Campania said he expects the new album to be done "after summertime" of next year — but fans should enjoy the tease the band will serve up live for the first time this weekend. The two new songs represent the sound fans know them for, but will also push the envelope a bit.

"We do a lot of different styles. We have that reggae feel, but we also have some hard-hitting heavy rock sounds," said Campania. "On 'Once Again,' it's that surf rock kind of vibe, but there's a distortion part that hits really hard. 'Bad Dream' has an oldies feel to it. The way we made it, it's got a Weezer-slash-Beatles vibe. Kinda weird, right?

"That's us, though. It's cool."

Want to take a listen? Campania was generous enough to share both tracks with Pulse readers (see below), and added that everyone who pays the $10 cover at Tropics will receive a complimentary copy of the CD single.


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

Related Audio:

82Fifty - "Once Again"


82Fifty - "Bad Dream"


Creed pulls ‘Vanishing Act’

August 5th, 2011

Creed Chameleon performs at Tropics Cafe Bar & Lounge. (Courtesy photo)

As the current wave of Hawaii-based hip-hop artists continues to swell, one of the scene's more well-known faces is keeping track of what's going on from thousands of miles away.

Creed Chameleon has represented the Hawaiian Islands to the fullest for the better part of a decade, with three full-length releases ("Love Potion Cyanide," "Siq of Lazy" and "The Ultimatum") to his credit and one of the state's more formidable labels (Flip the Bird Entertainment) in his corner. But like so many others in search of better opportunities, he decided to make the move across the Pacific Ocean, ending up in Phoenix, Ariz.

"I am … trying to delve into my new career, family, and hopefully more music endeavors," he explained. "Living in Hawaii was great, but I needed a new change of pace and get myself to seek new plateaus. And I think moving to the mainland will help me spread my music further and gain more fans than just in the islands."

Despite the move, Creed still considers himself a Hawaii hip-hop artist, mainly due to the subject matter of his rhymes — you can take the man from the island, but you can't take the island from the man — and his self-professed desire to keep it local.

"Does the mainland take away the island mentality? Most instances, it doesn't. (And the sense of) aloha is much more stronger," he said. "I believe the homies Fortilive are perfect examples of MCs from the islands who have paid their dues and are now doing big things on the mainland."

And after being on his grind in Honolulu the last few years, he's more than willing to let the next generation of local hip-hop artists get their shot.

Flip the Bird brethren Creed Chameleon, left, and Prie. (Courtesy photo)

"The scene in Hawaii has definitely grown, but I believe it's the youth who make it all much bigger," said Creed. "From artists like Prie and the Broke Mokes to the Ill Hill Society and Pro — as long as these cats pave the way and enlighten the upcoming youth, I believe the scene will continue to blow up.

"At the same time, the scene has got to unite and support each other so that the whole thing can flourish. It's gotten better in some ways, but the scene as a whole still needs work."

With "The Vanishing Act," Creed said his goal was to reflect on his move to the mainland and the associated lifestyle changes to his personal life that came along with it. It was also an opportunity for him to work with some of his friends and peers from the hip-hop industry both in Hawaii and elsewhere — along with production by local names like Osna and Bad News, the mixtape features a track produced by DJ Babu of Dilated Peoples plus guest verses by mainland-based MCs Copywrite, Dirtbag Dan and Mic Phenom.

"For the fans who have listened to my music before, this mixtape will still be the same type Creed Chameleon material that I usually do," he said. "It will just have more emotional content that I haven't really expressed in my past projects."

"The Vanishing Act" will be available Tuesday, Aug. 16, via; Creed will also have CD copies of his mixtape available a week earlier in Los Angeles, where he will perform during "L.A. Got Aloha" at Hollywood bar the Dragonfly on Aug. 9. He also plans to release at least one music video from the mixtape before settling into the recording studio to work on his next full-length album. Creed said his hope was to get the new album finished early next year in time for him to present it at the annual South by Southwest Music Festival.

Get a taste of what's to come — three tracks off the upcoming mixtape. Enjoy!


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

'The Vanishing Act'

Creed Chameleon (Flip the Bird)

Presented by Dissizit & Nakama; mixed by DJ Jimmy Taco

WARNING: Explicit lyrics

Creed Chameleon feat. Prie - "The World is Cold"


Creed Chameleon - "Bad News" (Produced by Bad News)


Creed Chameleon feat. I.A. and Kwalified - "I Be On That (Remix)" (Produced by Osna)

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AUDIO: Donnis – ‘Me & My Boo’

February 18th, 2011


To help you get ready for Saturday's "Pow Wow" afterparty at NextDoor, here's a quick audio/visual introduction to rapper Donnis, who is flying into Honolulu to perform.

"Me & My Boo" is the name of his latest single, which was produced by Free School. Take a listen via the link below.

"Pow Wow" goes down at Fresh Cafe's Loft in Space from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday; doors open at NextDoor for the afterparty at 10 p.m.

MP3: Donnis - "Me & My Boo" (WARNING: Explicit Lyrics)

Related Video:

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AUDIO: Family Dinner – ‘Soul Surfer Shakedown’

February 3rd, 2011

Get ready for "a sporkful of funk" this weekend, as hip-hop/funk/jazz band Family Dinner takes to the stage at NextDoor on Saturday with opening act Takeout Special.

The band describes its sound like this: "Sly and the Family Stone invites the Red Hot Chili Peppers over for tea and cookies, then Biz Markie gets back from a guru retreat and starts playing the ukulele!" After bursting onto the Chinatown music scene a few years ago, they hope to make strides in 2011 to increase their fanbase and get some actual product into the marketplace. Family Dinner's full-length debut is scheduled to be released in March.

According to founding member Joel Speier, the band was formed after he, Reggie Padilla and Alfredo Rivera met at a weekly family dinner hosted by one of Padilla's friends. That night, the three discovered their common musical interests, and it was decided on the spot that the three would form a band.

In 2008, Family Dinner released their first EP, "Come and Get It," which got them a deal with local label Pass Out Records, who will help them to put out the full-length album.

These days, Speier, Padilla and Rivera are joined during performances by bass player Aaron Friedman, guitarist Gilbert Batangan and backup dancers the Dinner Rolls.

Here's a sample of Family Dinner's music, courtesy the band:

AUDIO: Family Dinner - "Soul Surfer Shakedown"

Family Dinner album fundraiser

» Where: NextDoor, 43 N. Hotel St.

» When: 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5

» Cost: $7

» Info:

Posted in Audio, Music | Comments Off on AUDIO: Family Dinner – ‘Soul Surfer Shakedown’

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