Kolohe Happiness, von Baron Raps

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - March 23, 2011
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Kolohe Kai

It’s what frontman and songwriter Roman De Peralta describes as “kolohe happiness,” and it gushes from the group every time they perform. It’s even managed to make its way to his group Kolohe Kai‘s sophomore album Love Town, released earlier this month. Now that band members De Peralta, Noah Cronin, Jasmine Mo’ikeha, Jordan Agustin and Warren Estencion have graduated from high school, De Peralta says that this album shows the group’s maturity in the lyrics and the sound.

“There’s been a lot of new experiences happening, and the 12 songs that I wrote on this CD really came from my heart with a lot of deep messages,” says De Peralta, who wrote all the songs on the first album This Is The Life, which released in 2009.

Produced by Imua Garza and Brett Ortone, the same production team responsible for the band’s debut album, Love Town is packed with upbeat feel-good messages, stories of young love and even a pop/rock song that De Peralta penned for his parents.

“I wrote the song The Man I Am because I want people to remember the important things in life, which is respecting their parents,” he adds. “I want to thank them for everything that they’ve done for me.”

The group also features two guest vocalists, Mailani on The Lighthouse and Bubba of Rebel Souljahz on At First Sight.

Kolohe Kai

Rounding out the album are songs Love Town, First True Love, Contagious Smile, Temptation, Typical Heartbreaker, Written In Stone, More Than Meets The Eye, Where I’m From and K-O-L-O-H-E.

Catch Kolohe Kai at its official CD release party aka The Mayjah Rayjah happening April 16 at Waikiki Shell.

Kolohe Kai returns to do a knockout hana hou performance, along with Katchafire, Ho’onua, Ooklah The Moc, Cease Fyah and Sheriff Brown. It’s an all-ages concert and doors open at 4:15 p.m. For tickets or more info, visit mayjahrayjah.com.

“We really enjoy performing,” says De Peralta, a 2010 Castle graduate. “I know for all of us that when we get to play for people and put a smile on their faces, it’s such a nice bonus to be able to do what we love, because we really have fun on stage, and to see others having fun too is awesome.”

Check out facebook.com/kolohekai for more on the band ... von Baron‘s music resume since he moved to Hawaii in 2000 includes performing and recording with Honolulu Jazz Quartet, Jimmy Borges, Gabe Baltazar, Teresa Bright, DeShannon Higa, Ginai, Mihana Souza and countless other local talents.

A phenomenal drummer, Baron decided to take his talents to a solo project, and in 2007 he released a fresh jazzy newage album Pangea, followed by his sophomore release Souljourner in 2009.

This July he will celebrate the arrival of his third solo project that has yet to be named.

von Baron

“As I evolve as a composer, more elements of who I am are coming out,” says Baron. “So, for this album, I decided for the first time that I was going to write lyrics, and so I’m actually rapping. I also brought in other elements that I like, such as house music, hip-hop and film-score music. I really want people to dance when they hear it.”

To jump-start the celebration, Baron will showcase his new music this Saturday (March 26) from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at The Venue.

“This one is going to be bigger than the previous shows,” says Baron. “I’m going to be singing, drumming, rapping and dancing.

“I think some people were pretty surprised that I rap, but they’re going to be even more shocked that night when they see me dance.”

The theme for the evening will be “Using our gifts to make the world a better place,” and Baron will be joined by his band Jeff Peterson, Mark Tanouye, Dan Del Negro and Rocky Holmes.

“The message in the evening and the album is centered about using our gifts and helping people identify and explore their gifts,” adds Baron. “And these gifts are three things: something we’re good at, something that makes us really happy and something that makes others happy.”

Presale tickets are available for purchase for $15 at vonbaronmusic.com or $20 at the door. Ten percent of ticket sales will go to Red Cross of Japan ...


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