The WhatItDo catches up with urban island music artist Kaipo Kapua. He brings a smooth rhythm and blues sound out of the Hawaiian Islands and after being on hiatus for seven years, he’s back and he’s ready to the bring the heat.
TWID: Tell us a little about yourself?
Kapua: I’m a local boy from O’ahu [Hawaii]. Born and raised here on the island. I’m 25 years old. I’m originally from Waianae Valley then from Waianae I moved to Salt Lake where I went to high school and grew up there. I’ve been doing music for as long as I could remember. Professionally, I’ve been doing music since the end of my high school year. I released my first album in 2005 right when I graduated high school. Its been seven years and my EP just came out.
TWID: Have you always been a musician?
Kapua: I started in elementary. My whole family does music. My two older brothers are musicians as well. My brother right above me is an all around musician. I usually use him in my live band. My older brother plays hawaiian music in Lana’i in one of the hawaiian islands that we got here. My mom is a singer and my mom’s mom is a singer.
TWID: Who are some of your music inspirations in Hawaii?
Kapua: There’s a lot of inspirations out here in the island, but majority of my inspiration comes from the R&B side. I’m a big fan of Musiq SoulChild. I’m a very very big fan of him. I can take it way back with Ella Fitzgerald. The list goes on and on.
I would say my style is more like Musiq SoulChild. That’s the look that we are going for – a lot of people here on the island are going for. This album we broke out and did this whole R&B feel. I’ve been blessed enough to have two tracks on the radio stations here in Hawaii. This album is actually a soft R&B album. It’s not heavy on the R&B side but its not hard either.
TWID: Who writes your music and production of this EP?
Kapua: I make sure that I write all my music. I try to get other people’s point of view, but as far as the ending process, it all comes down to me. On this album, I was blessed to work with Slapp Symphony. We got the final mastering done out of New York City. It took us two and half years to do this EP. I’m very happy with the outcome. There are five total tracks on the EP.
TWID: What’s the theme of your EP?
Kapua: The theme of my EP is trying to show another side of Kaipo – the musician. The songs are friendly love songs. There’s one track that was a huge success on youtube called, ”Back Before You Know It.” The track explains to the female that every time I leave for work, she thinks I’m leaving her. Every time I pack my stuff and leave her, I’m actually leaving for work and coming right back.
TWID: Is the EP available on ITunes?
Kapua: Yes it is. If you just time in ‘Kaipo’ then it will pop up. My EP is $5.00.
TWID: What do you hope to accomplish with your EP?
Kapua: What I want to get out of it is that I just want to be heard. That’s the goal. A lot of people on the mainland look at Hawaiian music artists as still soft. There is so much talent here. I wouldn’t mind to be the one to represent Hawaii on the R&B side.
I want to be heard. I want to be doing shows around the world. I want to stay busy with the music.
TWID: What is the next step now that your EP is out?
Kapua: I just want to keep the ball rolling. I’m booking gigs… I just want to stay busy with the music. Doing a lot of studio work so just staying hungry for it all. I’m trying to link up some stuff right now in the mainland. The last time was in the mainland was last year with Kimie. We were picking up gigs as we were touring for a whole month. It was so much fun.
TWID: How can people find you online?
Kapua: I’m on facebook and my fanpage is Kaipo Kapua Music. I’m on twitter at Kaipo Kapua. I’m also on Instagram at Versaiah. You can type my name in on YouTube at Kaipo Kapua. I’m on reverbnation at Kaipo Kapua.
TWID: What would you like the fans to know?
Kapua: Now that I have my EP, I’m hungry and there’s no stopping now. I want everyone to know that I’m coming and I’m ready. I will be working on a single for the island and then from there I’ll be working on my LP. It’s still going to be R&B and I’m going to mix it up with some Funk and Jazz and I’m trying to branch out.