Free Hallowbaloo Kanikapila
Sunday, October 27, 2013 • 3pm-6pm
Grass lawn adjacent to Waikiki Bandstand
Aloha, my name is Mike Love. For those of you who don’t already know me, here’s a little info:
I was born and raised on the island of O’ahu in Hawai’i and grew up in Kalama Valley about 5 minutes from Sandy Beach. I am first and foremost a father and a husband and a son. I am a vegan. I am a spiritual person, but I’m not religious. I am a musician. Music has been an integral part of my existence since before I can remember. I can always remember singing, just singing wherever and whenever, no matter how bad I sounded, I just always loved to sing. I played a few different instruments and finally settled down on the guitar at around 16. Soon after, I started writing songs, many horrible songs. I wrote at least 50 before I actually produced one I was proud of.
My main musical influence came from my family and friends. I never really had any formal musical training, besides some piano lessons when I was young, so I really just learned from listening and watching. I was blessed to make music with so many talented musicians, and I really credit most of the skill and style that I’ve developed to that. I feel so lucky to have been raised in a musical family, growing up watching my Dad and Grandpa write songs, it really had a big impact on me. I watched people I knew around me making incredible music, and it amazed me. I thought to myself “I can do that!” Seeing them do it before my very eyes somehow made it tangible and possible. So here I am, doing my best to fulfill my dreams of being a professional musician. Somehow against all odds and the opinions of my high school counselors, I am successfully raising a family and paying my bills by playing my own original music. How amazing it feels! I can’t put it into words, but I thank the Creator every day for blessing me with this life immersed in music.
I also feel heavily influenced by the beautiful land I was so lucky to be raised in. These islands that we call home are filled with such diverse beauty and mystery, that you can’t help but develop a poetic nature from living here. The beautiful forests, the deep carved valleys, the rivers that run to the sea. The immensely powerful ocean, with its healing energy, and the long sandy beaches and rock cliffs. I feel like growing up here has given me a perspective you just can’t get in most places. It manifests itself in the lyrics that repeatedly show up in my songs, reflecting on Mother Nature and her gifts, and our responsibility to protect Her.
Over the years I have been so blessed to share the stage with many of the artists I have admired and looked up to, including Groundation, Steel Pulse, Dave Matthews, Jack Johnson and many more. I have been able to work directly with musicians whom I hold in the highest regard, Paula Fuga, Jah Gumby of Father Psalms Studios, Bambu Station, Ooklah the Moc, John Cruz, Tavana and many others.
I played in many live bands, doing my first club gig at 16. It was about 5 years ago that I played my first solo gig. I was really hesitant to do it, but we needed the money, and the timing of it made sense. After a little while I began to like the freedom of it, and also the accountability. If it didn’t sound good or the timing was off or the pitch was flat, there was no one else to blame. It really made me reevaluate myself as a musician. I think that was the main turning point in my career. I started thinking of new creative ways to make long shows interesting with only one musician on stage. I started to use a loop pedal to record loops live. Beatboxing, basslines, rhythm parts, harmonies, whatever I had to do to keep it interesting and unique, but stay true to myself and my musical message. That was when people really started to pay attention to what I was doing. I started writing all kinds of different music I had never felt free enough to write before, and I loved it. I really started to feel a more pure connection with my audience, and I noticed how much more affected they were by my music and message than ever before.
Over the past few years my fan base has grown immensely and the support I feel has driven me to work harder than ever, musically. I have crafted a live show that continuously draws in new fans and keeps the old ones coming back again and again. I just returned from a tour of the west coast with my trio, featuring Paula Fuga and Sam Ites. We had a great time and were met with great enthusiasm everywhere we went, planting many seeds for future ventures.
After working for nearly a year in the Soul Sound studio, I released my first solo album, entitled “The Change I’m Seeking,” in December 2012. I really feel, that after all I’ve accomplished, musically, this album provides a good representation of where I’m at currently. Listening back now, I feel really happy with what we captured, and I am happy it has been well received. The musicians that have helped me on this album are all amazing, as well as producer, Shawn Livingston Moseley, who did a great job helping me to capture the elusive “vibe.” I am thrilled to have been able to release this record and finally get all these people to stop bugging me about “when are you going to put out an album?!” Just kidding.
Having enjoyed such a great experience recording at Soul Sound, I decided to jump back into the studio and begin recording a new album, “Love Will Find a Way.” Things are starting to take shape, it’s really exciting. All the musicians I’ve been working with are so inspiring. There will Definitely be some tracks on this album that you have never heard before as well as many of the tunes you’ve all been asking me to record. I’ve been in the Father Psalms Studio as well with Jah Gumby, trying to finish up a project we’ve been working on for a while, entitled “Jah Will Never Leave I Alone.” I’m hoping that will be released by the end of the year – keep your fingers crossed. Lastly, I’m really excited to be going on tour with Groundation, a band that has been a huge inspiration and influence on my music. We’ll be going out with them to the mainland in November. In December, we’ll return home to the islands to do four more shows with them here. For the shows in the islands, we’ll be playing with Father Psalms Band and backing up none other than the legendary Abyssinians. The Abyssinians were one of the first groups I fell in love with when I first started listening to roots reggae music, and to be able to share the stage with them is truly one of the greatest honors of my musical journey.
Well, I hope that this has given you a little more insight into who I am, and if not, just listen to the music. The songs come straight through my heart and soul. It’s who I am and what I want to be and what I want to say straight from the source.