Rebel Souljahz

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - February 08, 2008
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The 411

Nothing To Hide
Nothing To Hide

Resonating from the back yards of Waipahu, Rebel Souljahz’s debut album Nothing To Hide is packed with 11 all-original Island reggae tracks that, band members say, sets it apart with their “tight harmonies.”

What began as a high school a cappella group quickly developed into a full band with gigs at various parties around town. The guys - Mike Maglinti,Will Su’a, Bubba Hodges and Kulani Cozo - got their big break when Kevin Okimoto of the Opihi Pickers heard them play at a couple of backyard parties.

“My uncle down the road would throw big parties, and wen’ call me up and was like, ‘Kevin from Opihi Pickers is jamming over here,’” says Mike.“He was like,‘You guys like jam?’ So we wen’ call everybody and go to the house. We started jamming our originals, and I guess Kevin sort of liked how we sounded. One to two years later we were doing one party and Kevin was there, and that’s when we had our full band already. So it was through Kevin.”

Nothing To Hide is the ninth CD release for GO Aloha Entertainment, home of the Opihi Pickers, Kaipo and Imua Garza and Kamu Sing. Produced and arranged by Imua Garza, the album is the first taste of success after years of challenges and hurdles.

“There were others looking at us, telling us, ‘You guys not going be nothing,‘and our drive was telling them,‘Brah, watch one day, I going smile at you and we going be at the top,’” says Bubba.“That was our fuel for keep going.”

Besides making an appearance at Bob Fest tonight (Feb. 8), Rebel Souljahz will be at Ryan’s Grill Feb. 20 from 9 p.m.to midnight for a meet-and-greet to celebrate the release of the album.

“It’s one good feeling to have this CD, because who would have thought that a bunch of local braddahs from the country would be making an album?“says Will.“We’re blessed.”

The group also is working on a music video for its title song Nothing To Hide, which has already received a very encouraging radio response throughout the state.

For more information about Rebel Souljahz, visit www.myspace.com/rebelsoulz

Rebel Souljahz: Will, Mike, Bubba and Kulani
Rebel Souljahz: Will, Mike, Bubba and Kulani

 

Q’nA

What do you bring to the group?

Bubba: I guess energy. I would like to think that when I go to practice that I make everybody laugh, just so everybody can get a better vibe.

Will: I think love and respect, because without love it’s kind of hard to get along.

Kulani: I think what I bring is love and a little bit of hard work and heart.

Mike: I bring a little organization amongst harmonies.

Who or what has been your biggest musical influence?

Bubba: A lot of musicians inspired us.Gotta be Bob Marley.Bands down here like Natural Vibes, B.E.T. and the boys like Mike - they kind of influence me because they have nicer voices. They make me try to make my voice sound like them, but not working.

Kulani: When I was little it was Braddah IZ and all the old school Hawaiian bands.

Mike: My biggest influence is people who doubted us. That made me want to get that prize even more.

Will: I can name a lot that made me become this way, but my main guy would be Bob Marley, and my family. What influenced me is seeing other bands and hearing other people’s voices.

Besides music, what else keeps your days busy?

Mike: Cruise, barbecues, play Madden, get stuff done.

Bubba: Work at Highway Inn, the No.1 best Hawaiian food.I just come home and play with the chickens and play sports, go beach.

Kulani: Besides music, all I do is play games, go beach and go fishing.

Will: Go to the beach, go fishing, work out, hiking, that’s about it.

What do you think is the difference between good music and bad music?

Will: I think every music get their own style and every person has their own ways of hearing music.

Mike: I think the difference between good and bad music is the guidance behind it. If you’re not trying to bring a positive vibe, then you’re stuck.

Kulani: To me, there’s no such thing as bad music. Any kind music is all right.

Bubba: Yeah, no more such thing as bad music because, to those people’s minds, that’s the best that they can do. Another thing is that good music has nice, good harmonies,and the instruments all come together and play tight and on track. And, to me, not repeating verses. I don’t favor when people repeat verses.

 

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