Truth, Music And The One Drop Way

One Drop’s laid-back roots, rock, reggae sound offers an island music mixed plate - and it’s all wrapped up in the band’s new self-titled CD

Melissa Moniz
Friday - August 11, 2006
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The One Drop ohana (clockwise from top left ) Michael Joor, Jordan Kurahara, Kaia Lopez, Kenneth Ball, Cyd Kamakea, Brandon Berinobis and Eli Lopez are planning a CD release party at Pipeline Cafe Sept. 23
The One Drop ohana (clockwise from top left ) Michael Joor,
Jordan Kurahara, Kaia Lopez, Kenneth Ball, Cyd Kamakea,
Brandon Berinobis and Eli Lopez are planning a CD release
party at Pipeline Cafe Sept. 23

The legendary Bob Marley once said, “As long as there is truth, there is music” - and for One Drop, that is exactly how their group is modeled.

With a newly released album featuring all original tracks, a blended sound that showcases their individual talents and a humble, laid-back persona - that leaves no question about who they are and what their music is about, right?

Well, yes and no. Yes, that the guys definitely have a no fillers, no preservatives and no artificial flavors type of personality - they are as real as they come. However, having the guys try to describe their music isn’t so clear cut.

“Our music is roots, rock, reggae - that’s exactly what it is.” says lead vocal-ist Eli Lopez. “We’re not totally root-sy, we’re not rock ‘n’ roll, but we’re not completely reggae. So we don’t sound like an island band, but I wouldn’t say we sound like a reggae band - we are somewhere in the middle. But we are not really Jawaiian. Unlike Jawaiian, we try to pull more toward the reggae beat, which is a one drop drum beat and a reggae skank. And if you listen to the timing, Jawaiian music has a little longer delay.”

One Drop onstage at Ocean Club
One Drop onstage at Ocean Club

Hmmmm? The funny thing is, once you listen to their music, it all makes perfect sense. Their self-titled CD One Drop, just released Aug. 1, is easy listening with a reggae and island feel. And it’s when you listen to the guys perform live that you get the taste of the rock ‘n’ roll.

“With mine and Kenny’s rock background that really comes through,” says Mikey Joor. “We do a lot of rock ‘n’ roll style endings with our songs when we play live, but we also switch it up with rude boy dance-hall stylings and we got Kaia on board, who rocks that.”

It’s a clever and original mix that makes One Drop exactly who they are - a mixed-plate band that got its start with a couple hanabata kids playing music at a neighborhood park in Kauluwela.

“Me and my brother (Eli), we were brought up in a place called Kauluwela, we call um Welaz,” says Kaia Lopez. “And everything is cherry over there. It’s apartments, federal housing, so you get plenty friends. If you go to the park you no stay by yourself because at least five of your friends going be there like every day. And basically that’s where we started playing music. Just jammin’ out with the braddahs down the street. Was cherry.”

The two brothers, Eli and Kaia (Mackey Feary’s nephews), continued playing music together, and it was in 1999 that they became more serious about starting a band. In 2000, One Drop was formed.

“I knew Mikey from work and I knew he played bass, so I asked him,” says Eli. “And it was kind of classic because we were jammin’ at my cousin’s house in Wahiawa, and a guy that lives across the street that plays drums, he came and said if we ever need a drummer let him know, and that’s how we met Kenny. And Alan I knew from work, and he had a piano background, and that’s how we got the original One Drop.”

Since then the group has added three new musical talents - Jordan Kurahara on keyboards, Brandon Berinobis also on keyboards and Cyd Kamakea on

One Drop onstage at Ocean Club

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