Our WorldArts Spotlight Artist of the Month is Kapali Long! This Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter hails from the island of Oahu and has just released a new live EP. Check out our exclusive Q&A with this multi-talented artist to learn more!
1) Tell us about how you got started in music?
Aloha Y’all! Been playing piano since I was three, to my first harmonica and Ukulele at five. I grew up in a musical family from my Papa, Mom, Aunts, Uncle Buddy being on A&M and Capitol, I moved to Hollywood from my home of Honolulu, HI the day after I turned 18. Being apart of a few bands along the way to touring & finding who I am as a crossover solo artist at 26. I started in L.A. being in Post-Hardcore and Rock bands opening for artists like Memphis May Fire, to becoming my own solo artist opening for artists like Howie Day, Ron Pope, which then lead me to booking tours all around the U.S. & jumping in my car a lot of the times by myself and driving all around. Eventually leading me to playing at festivals like Florida Music Festival, Lancaster Roots & Blues (Pa), SXSW (5 years in a row) which led to me opening for Americana Legend Robert Earl Keen down in Texas for his 4th of July. I’ve also had a few dances with major label writing sessions for producers and my own artistry, as well as being a part of two seasons of The Voice, and contacted for other incredible once in a lifetime opportunities, but here I am, a Guy with a Guitar tryin’ to change the world….one door always leads to another.
2) What inspiration(s) do you draw on when you create music?
Well, music is my therapy. I write the music that I want to hear or that I don’t hear on the radio. We listen to music to help ease our troubled hearts & soothe our worried souls! I have GAD which can lead to severe anxiety attacks & some depression, but writing the music (alongside working out and a healthy diet) helps me be free of my daily pains & I only hope that music can do that same for y’all!
3) What was the music scene like in your hometown of Honolulu when you were growing up?
The music scene in Honolulu, Hawaii is amazing & was AMAZING when I was growing up! Being born & raised in Honolulu, being native Hawaiian, not only was there Hawaiian Music but Punk, Rock, Blues, Jazz & always Reggae. What people kind of don’t realize or at least at the time of growing up, WE HAVE & HAD AN AWESOME PUNK SCENE & Rock Metal scene, which really instilled a sense of UNITY when it came to loving music in Honolulu. I’ll never forget the days of playing punk shows in a small coffee shop named COFFEE TALK & circle pits with friends when you’re 13. Everyone in the scene is so supportive & no matter if you leave or come home….Hawaii has always been there, supporting me & my endeavors.
4) If you could go on tour with any artist (past or present) who would it be?
It would probably be between Ryan Adams & John Mayer. John would just understand the different sides of music I am as well as Ryan. Both could have heavy blues jams, as well as sweet symphonic acoustic jams on the road. I also know that their fans would love where I’m trying to go with music as well!
5) What’s your ‘go-to’ karaoke song?
6) WorldArts is all about giving tools and opportunities to artists. What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
That you should NEVER GIVE UP! If YOU BELIEVE in yourself, others will too! As much as you believe the sky is blue is how much you need to believe that you can make your dreams com true! Only those that never give up, make IT Happen.
7) If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
The way the industry & suits nowadays only look at numbers…..or if you’re sexy enough. It’s all about RAW QUALITY, and the days of fake are soon coming to an end. There have got to be better deals for real artists so that there can be a true transcendence & elevation for our generation’s music scene & the future of music.
8) What is the best way you’ve found to market yourself as an artist?
First you must know who you are as an artist. Selling what you believe in is the easiest way to making sales. What I’ve found the easiest is making every project or post FUN, memorable, short and concise. Knowing who you are and being true to that original product & YOUR truth will help the audience and listeners feel and believe you too!
9) Tell us about your latest singles, Ruined (live) and Routines (live) and the inspiration behind them?
Well, my most recent releases Ruined (live) and Routines (live) are off of my Kapali Long: Live At Sofar Sounds Los Angeles! EP. It was a magical night in front of an incredible audience, and it was the audience that got me to where I needed to be in my mind that night! (**see download information below**)
10) What next on the horizon for you?
I’m sooo excited to finally have plans to be on the road finalizing dates from the East Coast to the West Coast with plans to be in Austin, TX for SXSW, but I’ve got two new singles off of a BRAND NEW original EP that I’m in the studio working on now, along with very special two-part blues EP I’ll be releasing this year as well!
Come out and see Kapali and his band live at The Love Song Bar in Los Angeles on Tuesday, February 20th at 9PM. Tickets are only $5 so don’t miss your chance!
* Photos by Chris Cuffaro