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Red Bull Thre3style Qualifier - The 5 W’s with DJ SSSolution

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

DJ SSSolution
Twitter: @sssolution
Music: soundcloud.com/djsssolution
URL: djsssolution.com
asianavenue.com/djsssolution (under construction)

Riana: Where exactly were you when found out that you were competing in the Redbull Thre3style? How were you invited?

DJ SSSolution: I was at KICKS/HI when Travis from Red Bull came by and invited me to do it again.

What was going through your mind when you accepted the invitation? Were you already thinking of the set you were going to play?

I honestly do not remember what was going thru my mind at the time. There was some type of set forming at that point. Although I am always think of new sets, transitions etc.

Where does your inspiration for your music pull from? How would you define your style or sound?

In a poor attempt to not sound default, I get inspired from many things. This question could take a while for me to answer but for the sake of all the readers let’s just say my taste in music is very open.

What do you think of your fellow competitors?

I think this year will showcase a good measure of diversity with the competitors. Everyone, good luck!

Why do you think you should win the Red Bull Thre3style Qualifier? If you won, how would you rep Hawaii in the West Regional final?

You know who should win is SSSWERVE LORD. Red Bull should invite SSSWERVE_LORD next year. As a matter of fact, I am officially falling back and openly inviting SSSWERVE LORD to take my place. Thank You SSSWERVE LORD.

Red Bull Thre3Style Qualifier - Hawaii

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

As the rest of us mere mortals go through the motion of our 9-5 jobs, a few hand-selected individuals are either preparing or finalizing their 15-minute Red Bull Thre3Style Qualifier sets, which they will be battling out this Friday, Jan. 25 at Ginza Night Club. The winner of this competition will go on to represent Hawaii in Seattle’s West Regional final and then go on to the national Red Bull Thre3Style.

The DJs that are competing are Kowai Kowai, Mike D, Packo, SSSolution, and the Hawaii champion defending his title, Compose. All their names link to blog interviews we had with each competitor leading up to the main event.

Hosted by Flash and judged by Hawaii’s heavy hitters: G Spot, DJ Delve, and DJ Jimmy Taco, will decide who will rep Hawaii through track selection, creativity, mixing skills, stage presence and crowd reaction. DJs must play a minimum of three genres.

The event is first come, first serve. But if you RSVP you can receive priority since the entrance to event is subject to capacity.

That night be sure to tag all your social media posts with #RB3STYLE & follow @RedBullAloha on Twitter. For more information on the event and to RSVP, click here.

Red Bull Thre3style Qualifier - The 5 W’s with DJ Mike D

Friday, January 18th, 2013

DJ Mike D
DJ & Producer
Twitter: @djmiked
Music: soundcloud.com/djmiked
URL: djmiked.com

Riana: Where exactly were you when found out that you were competing in the Redbull Thre3style? How were you invited?

DJ Mike D: At the Surfer Poll Awards DJing and I was invited by Red Bull rep Travis, pretty straight forward.

What was going through your mind when you accepted the invitation? Were you already thinking of the set you were going to play?

Thinking, “Here we go again, hope my schedule isn’t like last year (I literally got off a plane from LA and went to the venue to compete) and yes, I’m sure every DJ who was asked immediately thought of what they were going to trump the other DJs with.

Where does your inspiration for your music pull from? How would you define your style or sound?

My inspiration in music comes from everything, and that’s why I feel I’m a very well-rounded DJ. I guess I’d define my style as a crowd pleasing, hype set, random “where’d that record come from” kinda guy.

What do you think of your fellow competitors?

Well, I can only really speak for two of them, as I am not familiar with DJ Kowai Kowai and only really know DJ SSSolution through last year’s competition. DJ Packo is as crazy as I am, and DJ Compose’s determination is always to his advantage. I think that this year will have a very unique sound, with everyone pulling towards their strengths… I believe it really will come down to who has a good night.

Why do you think you should win the Red Bull Thre3style Qualifier? If you won, how would you rep Hawaii in the West Regional final?

Why should I win? Because…I want to. I really want to and I’m willing to put in the work to make it happen. I’d represent Hawaii by letting the music do the talking. Hawaii gets overlooked quite a bit, that winning would be a great way to make people be quiet and take notice.

To check out more details about #RB3STYLE happening on Jan. 25, visit the event page.

Meet Caleb Taosaka

Thursday, December 13th, 2012


“The things I create are the odd products of my overactive imagination.”

Q: What/Who inspires you?
A: Friends, family, hapa, skateboarding, works by Chris Pottinger, cigarettes, pizza, hot showers, hair, weird textures, wrinkles, smells, raw ground beef, beer, science fiction, objects of disgust, fighting giraffes, works by Michael DeForge, comic books, tastebuds, inappropriate humor, and all of my experiences on this planet.
Q: Describe your artistic process.
A: Usually I just write down or draw whatever weird things my imagination decides to give me. I used to like doing collage-type drawings with a lot of cutting out and hands-on work, but most of my recent stuff was made using photoshop.
Q: Describe your artistic style in 3 words.
A: Firm but gentle.

*Editors note: this is the series start of an intro to some Hawaii-based art students. Letting them show their early work and share their thoughts.



We Makin’ Music Doe

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012


Local emcee Kwalified is set to release his latest mixtape, We Makin’ Music Doe, on December 18th.
The mixtape, which is entirely produced by local producer Bad News, is the third offering from Kwalified. His previous two releases were Songs for Listening and The Kevin Arnold EP.

Kwalified: This is my favorite solo release so far. People can expect many different styles, and a lot of fun from this project. Bad News really gave me a lot to work with as far as the beats. I’m stoked.

BadNews: I think what really makes this mixtape work is that we are both fans of many different genres of music. It’s evident when you listen to the mixtape and hear the beats. We could both go from listening to The Naked & Famous and Two Door Cinema Club, to Juicy J and Rick Ross.

Kwalified will be having a free listening party for We Makin’ Music Doe on December 15th, at Lotus Downtown (34 N. Hotel St.) from 6 PM – 9 PM.

We Makin’ Music Doe will be available for download on December 18th at thehouseofwork.com.
Amazing album art from Aaron Kai / LemonHI.

About The Goods Grand Opening

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Tomorrow is the grand opening (and Small Business Saturday!) of About The Goods, a space located in Pearl Kai Shopping Center (inside of Advanced PCS, next to Sugarlina) specializing in exclusive brands for men & women, sneakers, snapbacks, and local underground music.
This is a collaborative effort headed by brands Murder Mainstream, Hawaii Sneakerheads, IDK, and The Majorz.

From 12PM-7PM, there will be a live DJ, giveaways, signing of the Prolific Tape by The Prolific Unknowns as well as a fixed gear only race hosted by About The Goods and TNRoahu (Thursday Night Ride) called the “Ali’i of Pearl Harbor.” Helmets are preferred and the winner of the race gets a prize from ATG. Meeting time and place will be at 4:30PM at the ATG location.

Later on that evening will be the official after party of the grand opening with the Workhouse family, who is also celebrating their anniversary, at Station Bar & Lounge. No cover, party starts at 9PM.

Please come through and celebrate with us!

Visit abouthegoods.com for more information.

The 5 W’s with Bambu

Friday, November 9th, 2012


As a mestiza (tagalog for mixed ancestry, usually Filipino combined with another ethnicity, in my case caucasian), Los Angeles emcee Bambu, has a stage presence that is unforgettable and empowering. He had me shouting out, “Who’s that BRRROWWWWNNNN?” at the top of my lungs during his Rent Money Tour show at Nextdoor. This was my third time seeing Los Angeles emcee Bambu perform in Hawaii and after introducing myself formally to him during his visit with Blue Scholars (just to make sure he wasn’t a diva, best part was that he remembered me!), I knew that I had to get some kind of interview with him.

Riana: What is the Rent Money Tour?

Bambu: The Rent Money Tour is a continuation of a series of tours I’m branding. We did The Smugglers Tour last year and we’ll probably bring that one back in the Spring, and we might bring The Rent Money Tour back in the Fall… Traditionally, I usually just travel with my DJ and my manager and find local acts to fill the support (just like Honolulu’s stop), but this time around we decided to take the whole package out on the road. For the majority of the dates we brought along an artist new to the touring world, Kixxie Siete, and he’s been killing shit. Also, we rolled out with one of Northern California’s newest noisemakers, Rey Resurreccion — amazing live performer. DJ Felt1 has been our ringmaster and he’s been holding the turntables down strong!

What was your inspiration for your new album “One Rifle Per Family?”

My family. After the last 30+ city tour with Blue Scholars, I needed to just chill and find a comfortable space to create. It was a challenge trying to juggle writing and recording for a new album and maintain any kind of structure or schedule with my family, but it ended up being a great source of inspiration.

Who designed the album cover?

Manila Ryce. He also created the …paper cuts… EP cover. He and I are really good friends and comrades, and as the cover shows, he’s an amazing visual artist. He hates that I do this, but I literally asked him to complete both of those covers in such short periods of time — like a week. Haha. He’s awesome though. If you look in the woman’s left boot, you can see Manila’s signature in the laces.

Would you say you feel a strong connection to Hawaii? Why?

I do! For a number of reasons. The most superficial, but still very important, is that there are a gang of brown people! Haha. You know, some folks might take this as an opportunity to call me a racist and say that I ‘hate’ white people, but that usually comes from some deep guilt. Walking around in an America that doesn’t feel like my own (even though I’ve sacrificed my life and health to defend it via USMC/USN) is difficult. This isn’t something I’m making up either… It’s hard to feel empowered growing up where I did and living where I live. We are treated as second class citizens and we truly feel as such — with that said, to be around a bunch of brown folks is empowering. So, I enjoy Hawaii a lot. The other reason is that on a socio-economic level, this is one of the greatest examples of colonization at work… From the education structure (or lack thereof) to the exploitation of the culture and the people secondary to tourism — Hawaii’s a great place for study and political work.

Why is there rumors going around that the Nextdoor show is possibly your last show here in Hawaii?

Oh NO! Not at all! I’m trying to come back in January! Haha.

Creed Chameleon Back In Hawaii

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Hawaii hip-hop veteran Creed Chameleon Back In Hawaii with DJ Packo on Wednesday, August 1 at Nextdoor with performances by Creed Chameleon with/ DJ Packo, Prie with Sample, Ill Hill Society, Mox, Jim Hurdle, and more.

Doors will open at 9PM. Ages 18 and over are welcome.

Entry will be sold at the door: $10 for under 21, $5 for 21 and up.

Brought to you by:
Flip The Bird Entertainment
Got Rice? Show
Rudified Media
Renegadez of Funk
Enemy Groundz Streetwear
and Defend Hawaii

For more information, visit NextdoorHNL.com or GotRiceShow.com.

No Suck Fest Hawaii 4

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Attention enthusiasts of DIY, punk rock, music festivals, and NO SUCK! No Suck Fest 4 is around the corner kicking off on July 26, Thursday at Mercury. This is the 4th NSF and it’s definitely not one to miss. This year, they have Toys That Kill and FYP gracing Hawaii with CHOKE local bands and I don’t know about you but I’m EXCITED.

Three days filled with ear happiness. Don’t miss this.

To purchase your tickets (AND THEY ARE CHEAP) and more event information including the tentative set list for all three days, visit NOSUCKFESTHAWAII.

“The city with the golden sound…”

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Today I had the pleasure of talking to a lecture hall of UCLA & UH students about the visual representation of Hawaii, courtesy of Professor Rod. For a lot of them, this was their first time in Hawaii and a lot of them had misconstrued perceptions of Hawaii. Some imagined a lot of beaches, some imagined grass shacks, let’s just say that they had no idea what they were about to be served up.

It was crazy, my friend Jon, Made You Look, another fellow photographer in the hip-hop scene, showed these students how Hawaii looked through our eyes and showed our perspective through photos. We showed photos we’ve taken not only in the hip-hop scene but the Water Writes mural, potlucks, fashion, other music scenes here, basically all the different cultures that Hawaii had to offer. We showed them that hey, just because we’re on an island, Hawaii can be urban too.

After talking about our cultures, it made me go back and reflect that we are so lucky we have so many different kinds of music scenes here and what sucks is that nobody outside of Hawaii is aware of them. All those students had no idea how rich our music culture was and after seeing footage, they were curious and I do love some curious thinkers.

So for them and of course you, this is a special Hawaii hip-hop edition, all tracks bred in the 808.

Of course you have to have EMIRC or now Tassho Pearce’s “Honolulu.” I love this track and music video because if you’re from here, you’ll know how difficult it is to get shots like fire dancers and hula dancers in the background.

I’m in love with Maryanne Ito. And to put Dilla beats and her together? Magic. She’ll be releasing a very special Dilla album pretty soon…

Check the rest of her tracks here.

Take Em To The Hill. I feel like Ill Hill Society is pretty much every local girl’s boy crush band. Just listen to the lyrics, how can you say no to that? I swear I’ve been waiting forever for them to release another album but only time will tell…

To listen to more of their music or solo stuff, click here. Free downloads, say what?

Navid Najafi, Na Hoku Hanohano hip hop album of the year “Illnomadic” never ceases to amaze me. Every time I see him perform live, he has a whole different set-up and is always experimenting with either a live band, an MPC, or even an acoustic guitar. To see an artist adapt and change up his style is something I admire because it keeps the performances interesting. Be sure to check him out live.

One of my favorite Audible Lab Rats’ songs, named after one of the most searched local man…”Manapua Man.” They’re always looking for new ways to put out their music whether it be producing tracks on their iPhone or even recording and chopping up iPhone footage to make a music video. They’re one of the few local hip-hop groups that actually press their albums and have tracks on iTunes.

Buy their new album now, available on iTunes.

What is there to say about K-Luv and Pro? Every time they put on a performance it’s always high energy and a good time. They actually opened up for Donnis at the most recent In4mation party and they repped Hawaii hip-hop hard. And that’s the thing with them, they could be performing in San Francisco and they still rep Hawaii with full force.

Mo Illa Pillaz…do yourself a favor and purchase ANY of their albums. Hawaii hip-hop veterans and lyricism at it’s finest.

Check their albums here on iTunes.

These are only a handful of the amazing talent we have here in Hawaii…if I could put everyone in this blog post I would…

Enjoy :)