Friday - March 23, 2007
If old-school Toyotas, Braddah Iz,and Hawaiian bracelets are familiar nouns, then chances are you’ll be able to connect with the songs on Ill Valley’s Straight Out Da Ill Valley CD that released last week. If not, then there’s always their original hip-hop Island beats.
“Our catch phrase is Island fresh rhymes and original urban beats, so we just kind of mashed the two styles together and came out with a modern-day version of hapa-haole music,“says lead singer and song writer Kahokule’a “Hoku"Haiku.“I don’t think you could actually put a finger on our sound exactly. There’s nothing else like it.”
The other half of Ill Valley is Patrick John - he’s the man behind the beats and the production. The two met about two years ago shortly after John moved to Oahu.
“I put an ad out for my studio and Hoku was one of the artists that came through,” says John. “And when I heard him I was like, this is the style that is going to blow up Hawaii and put Hawaii on the map - original island rap music.”
Ill Valley’s sound is a derivative of Hoku’s Maui roots,love for poetry and jam sessions blended with John’s Mainland hip-hop production experience.
“Roots and reggae is real big on Maui, so that was a big influence,” says Haiku. “I was a boarder at Kamehameha from the seventh grade, and a lot of musical influence came from the dorms because a lot of the outer-island kids in the dorms. Everyone is playing their own music from rap to Braddah Waltah and that’s kind of what Ill Valley is like.”
And with songs like Seeds & Stems and Green Harvest Choppa, I wonder that other familiar noun influences their lyrics?
Their full-length LP is available on CDBaby.com and selected stores. For the live version, catch them every Tuesday at On Stage Bar at 10:15 p.m. or connect with them online at www.myspace.com/ill-valley. And to check out Haiku’s poetry, visit www.islandpoetry.blogspot.com
What color best describes your personality?
Patrick: Orange because it’s cool to the eye and it has a sense of warmth.
Hoku: I like green, but I like a particular green. You know when you look up into the mountain and you can tell which one is the kukui nut tree because of the type of green. I like that kind of green because even among other greens it stands out.
What’s your favorite late night snack?
Patrick: I try not to eat past 7.
Hoku: I seem to always do the ice cream sandwiches. I like the Neapolitan one.
What in life are you most passionate about?
Patrick: I would say my family first and then my music.
Hoku: Yeah, I would say of course my daughters, but writing is a very close second. I love to write.
What’s the most money you ever got from the tooth fairy?
Patrick: I believe it was $2, but I found an old tooth somewhere else and I put both of them. So I put a new tooth and an old tooth, and I think I got paid for both.
Hoku: I would say like dollar at the most.
Patrick John and Hoku Haiku
What was your favorite cartoon as a kid?
Patrick: Scooby Doo.
Hoku: I liked Thundercats.
Where’s your favorite hangout spot on the island?
Hoku: For me, Sandys.
Sandys is the spot. I get couple secret spots, but I can’t divulge them.
Patrick: We’ve been going to Kailua a lot. I like the beach over there.
What website do you visit most?
Hoku: youtube. I like looking for old Thundercat episodes.
You can find everything there.
Patrick: I’ve been hitting myspace a lot.
What’s your hangover remedy? Patrick: Burger King.
Hoku: Apple juice.
If you could go on a shopping spree at any store, what store would you choose?
Hoku: I don’t do too much shopping, but you know what - Tamura’s. They get all the grinds. Patrick: Easy Music.
Do you have any bad habits? Hoku: What would my girlfriend say? You don’t pay enough attention to me. (laughs) I should recycle more, definitely.
Patrick: I can get sidetracked easily.
What’s your favorite animal at the zoo?
Hoku: I like the rhino. He just does his own thing and doesn’t need anyone’s attention. And it looks like he’s content with it.
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