With a delicate balance of fragility, strength and sass, Hawaiian born singer/songwriter Anuhea blends engaging lyrics, acoustic soul, pop, rap and reggae into a style that has earned her a reputation as Hawaii's #1 female artist. Anuhea's signature guitar rhythms, sultry vocals and honest song writing weave acoustic soul, R&B, jazz and hip hop with pop appeal, making Anuhea Hawaii's next rising star.
Rylee Anuheake'alaokalokelani Jenkins (Anuhea) was born in December 1985 on the island of Maui.
Her debut album "Anuhea" released in April of 2009. It shot to #7 on the iTunes Pop Charts, #4 on R&B, and #3 on the World/Reggae Billboard Charts and multiple singles became commercial successes on Hawaii and AAA national radio.
A self-taught guitarist and songwriter, Anuhea began showcasing her talents while boarding at Hawaii's famous Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu. "We would print out guitar chords to Bob Marley and Jack Johnson songs at school then skip water polo practice to go back to the dorms and jam them. Once I got the basic idea of guitar I then started writing my own songs." Anuhea enjoyed the spotlight. She was the head anchor for the daily campus-wide news, hosted a variety of TV shows for local television stations, and acted in school musicals.
After attending film school in Orange County for a year, Anuhea realized she wasn't heading in the direction she was most passionate about, music. So she abandoned her scholarships and embarked on a soul-searching odyssey to Australia for 3 weeks. She returned to the islands and immediately got into the scene, performing at a local coffee shop. These gigs turned into paid restaurant gigs and she eventually put a band together using friends from around the island.
In 2006 Anuhea competed for a crown in the Miss Maui Scholarship Pageant, the preliminary to the Miss Hawaii and Miss America Pageants. Not the pageant-girl cliche by any means, Anuhea embraced the challenge of the pageant and performed an original song "I Just Want You Around" for the talent portion of the competition. She walked away with a trophy for Miss Congeniality and 2nd Runner Up. "I thrive off of challenges. I had hit a point where I was pretty stagnant, and I had some student loans I really wanted to pay off. Plus you see pageants on TV as a kid, and I just always wanted to try to be that girly girl for once in my life."
Anuhea's musical and performance skills continued to improved with every performance, and successes came steadily. She took the initiative to market herself as a musician initially acting as her own manager, booking agent, music producer and distributor. Anuhea even took recordings from a live taping for a public radio station and turned them into her first real demo CD "Rough Cuts" which through her myspace page got her discovered by manager / record label co-owner Warren Wyatt.
A naturally gifted songwriter, Anuhea's word choices are a clever balance of emotions where each song tells a unique story, each story a lesson learned."I'm influenced highly by R&B and Soul, Hip Hop and Funk, but my instrument is acoustic guitar. I tend to write most of my songs during the craziest parts of my life. I'll write pages and pages in my notebook in no order then go back with my guitar in my hands and sing the words as lyrics to some chords. That's how most songs start for me." Anuhea wants to be a part of a new generation melding the melodic traditions of her island upbringing with modern beats and influences.
Music has been in Anuhea's family for generations, so it was inevitable that her seeded passions would reflect the same. Anuhea's father is from the North Shore of Oahu in the surfing culture of Haleiwa. His younger sister, Nalani is a founding member of the most popular female group in the history of Hawaiian Music, Na Leo Pilimehana. Anuhea's mother, an Oregon native, comes from a musical family as well, her father is a popular country guitarist.
Anuhea has shared the stage with artists like Bruno Mars, Babyface, Al Green, FloRida, Hoobastank and Pepper. She and her band have toured Japan and Guam with the Armed Forces Entertainment Tour for the troops and their families. She had official showcases at South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin Texas in 2009 and 2010. Anuhea headlined the national 2010 Right Love Tour, and the 2010 Surf Roots Tour along with iTunes #1 reggae album recipients, The Green.
In April 2010 Anuhea performed alongside Jack Johnson, Ziggy Marley & Taj Mahal at the sold out Kokua Festival at the Waikiki Shell. She went on to win 2 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards for Contemporary Album of the Year and Most Promising Artist, making her Hawaii's #1 female artist.
In 2011 Anuhea and band performed the Half-Time show at the NFL ProBowl at the Aloha Stadium, getting her a few seconds of National TV coverage on FOX.
As of April 2011 Anuhea is currently touring the West Coast US and heading into the studio to finish up her 2nd album due out September 2011. Her first single off the new record, "Crown Royal" (now avail on iTunes) already has gotten mad radio play in the islands, making her sophomore album one of the most anticipated in 2011.
The future is bright for this Maui songbird. Anuhea's determination, passion, optimism and raw talent are the foundations for the success that is to come. "I just feel lucky that I've found my dream and am able to pursue it... My main goal as a music-maker is to help people find theirs, whatever it may be." Fluent in Hawaiian Anuhea is proud of her island roots and plans to honoring her heritage by utilizing her growing fame for the good of her land and people.
Out of gallery
Just as a bright light can pierce the darkness, the penetrating tones of alt-pop quartet, Cemetery Sun illuminate with an electric, contemporary sound that is shaking up the West Coast.
Influenced by alternative rock, pop, and R&B, the project began when Northern California natives Josh Doty (singer), Austen Butler (drummer), Elliot Polokoff (guitarist/producer), Matt Scarpelli (lead guitarist) and Jesse Mancillas (bassist) met in the studio. "The vibe was there. From the first playback, to the final mix, we knew we had crafted something truly memorable,” writes Elliot. “The rest of it followed suit. We grew at a rate none of us could have ever imagined." The band finds its center around the idea of overcoming life’s self-imposed obstacles, learning to love what surrounds them, and ultimately discovering who they are and how to pave the way for others. It is a sound that seeks clarity.
Out of gallery
THE WIND + THE WAVE
In 2014, The Wind and The Wave, a duo from Austin, TX, quietly released one of the best albums of the year. From The Wreckage glowed with a rootsy golden tone that encompassed everything from indie-folk, to alt-country to blues-rock to Southern psychedelia. Its creators, touring musician turned songwriter and producer Dwight Baker and singer-songwriter Patty Lynn, began making music together on a lark, never dreaming anything would come of it. Baker describes it as “kind of like what happens when two friends hold hands and jump in a freezing lake just to see what it feels like.” Thanks to the undeniable chemistry between the pair, the music took on a life of its own and The Wind and The Wave soon found themselves with a major-label record deal, embarking on U.S. headlining tours supporting From The Wreckage, having their songs appear in such TV shows as Grey’s Anatomy, and racking up millions of plays on Spotify and Apple Music. The band also earned itself a rabid following, with fans especially enamored of Lynn’s feisty vocals and brutally personal lyrics about challenging relationships with lovers and family members as well as her relationship with herself. “People really treasure that album,” Baker says. “We got tons of letters from people saying it saved their life. They’re people who are conflicted and searching and they connect with Patty’s lyrics more than anything.”
So when it came time for The Wind and The Wave to make their second album, Baker says he and Lynn felt “some bit of an obligation to deliver that again.” The band definitely deliver on their new album, Happiness Is Not A Place, and the result is the sound of a band that has stretched itself and grown. Lynn manages to dig even deeper with her lyrics, exploring her feelings about marriage, commitment, and family, while acknowledging her own frantic mind. And the band’s sonic palette is nervier, thanks to the album being recorded live by producer Butch Walker, a songwriter and musician who’s produced records for such artists as Weezer and Panic! At The Disco. Where From The Wreckage was manicured and polished, thanks to Baker’s meticulous production, Happiness Is Not A Place is “rawer and rougher,” as Baker puts it. “To me, it sounds reckless with a rock and roll spirit and attitude, an ‘I don’t give a fuckedness,’ if you will. I wanted it to make sense to our fans but to feel like a step forward musically. And I think we accomplished that. It’s really rough around the edges, and there’s a lot of urgency and pent-up stuff that probably came from both Patty and my nervousness about making a record with an outside producer.”
“I hadn’t spent much time recording without Dwight,” Lynn says. “He’s a bit like my security blanket. He lifts me up and makes me better, but he didn’t want to be in the room when I sang because that’s him going, ‘No, Patty, fly. You have your wings and you know how to do this.’ I was nervous. I thought, ‘How is Butch going to know when I’m good?’ Because half the time I don’t even know when I’m good. But once we were in the studio and the tapes were rolling, it was fine. Butch helped me trust in my natural abilities more.”
For his part, Walker wanted the performances to have a “just learned the song” vibe to them. “I hate the way a lot of records these days, especially on the radio, sound so overthought,” Walker says. “My favorite records growing up were all made in a week and had fire because the artists had a lot to prove. I wanted this record to sound like The Wind and The Wave had something to prove as well. I also knew that with Patty’s lyrics, we would be able to make something special. She writes incredible words and you can’t fuck that up if you keep it out front of the music.”
Happiness Is Not A Place has the distinction of containing the first positive songs Lynn has ever written, including the title track and the rollicking first single “Grand Canyon.” “’Grand Canyon’ is about my brother,” she says. “I almost lost him to a major car accident a few years ago. To me the song is about the ability to appreciate what’s in front of you and not take the things that matter most for granted. Yes, life has a lot of shit, but can you try to find a way to be happy before it’s all over, seemingly in the blink of an eye.” The album’s title encompasses how Lynn felt over the two years of writing the album. “It’s the idea that you never arrive at happiness, put your feet up, relax, and just bask in your destination,” she says. “That doesn’t happen. In my brain, happiness is a journey, not a destination. You’re constantly making an effort to be a better person and that’s what makes you happy or content with your life.” She adds: “I have a tendency to write sad things, so writing these songs that felt hopeful is a really big thing for me.”
Lynn’s battles her darker moods elsewhere on the album. A newlywed, she explores what she calls her “weird feelings about marriage and temptation” on “The Redhead in Aberdeen” and “Let’s Forget That I Was Ever Even Here,” as well as her complicated family dynamics on “Before The World Explodes.” She acknowledges her own tormented psyche in the process on “My Mind Is An Endless Sea.” “It’s me saying to myself, ‘Maybe stop being so hard on yourself, Patty. Maybe love yourself a little bit. Why do you carry things around? Why not let the negative thoughts go and not let anxiety control you.’ So it’s about cultivating this relationship with yourself.”
“It’s got to be tough to be Patty or anyone in her life, because if something’s amiss, she’s going to write about it. And you’re going to know it’s about you and you’re going to feel weird about it,” Baker says with a chuckle. “Everyone is in the line of fire. Patty and I are two people who, while we strive to be joyful and positive, can be very much morose and negative, and that definitely comes out in the songs.”
In March, The Wind and The Wave made the move from RCA Records to Island Records, which will release Happiness Is Not A Place later this year. “I hope our fans hear the urgency and appreciate the rawness of the album,” Baker says. “I know that some people really love the beauty of our first record, and I hope they hear the beauty inside the chaos of this record, because it’s there. It just might make you feel a little different.”
Out of gallery
Upon leaving the Midwest for Nashville, MONA quickly captured the attention of audiences and critics with driving, post-indie rock delivered with a rebellious energy. Looking back, singer and songwriter Nick Brown describes the band’s vibe with a string of adjectives and nouns: fist pumping, white t-shirts, Marlon Brando, James Dean, sex and God. It all led to a major-label overtures and eventually a deal with Island Def Jam.
As Brown tells it, he and his bandmates were more than happy to embrace the narrative as they were swept along through green rooms, VIP tents, label offices, television studios and the world’s largest festivals. But in the end, major-label life wasn’t the right fit for a band that had approached songwriting, recording and live performance in their own way from day one.
“As much fun as it all was most of the time, we wanted to be more than a trend,” says Brown. “We’re in this to connect with other humans.”
For Brown and his bandmates, it had always been about connection. The son of a Pentecostal preacher, Brown snuck in rock riffs and built up swagger between Sunday services, well aware of the faith tradition he shared with greats like Johnny Cash, Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis. In fact, he named the band after this grandmother Mona, a nod to heritage and a bygone era.
“I came from a background of seeing music matter to people,” he says. “I learned early that where people came together for music, there was power.”
Mona got a taste of that power when their self-titled debut was nominated for the BBC Sound of 2011 award and won MTV’s Brand New for 2011. They found themselves playing Later With Jools Holland, Conan and Leno, as well as being named to NME’s Best New Bands. Supporting gigs for Noel Gallagher, Kings Of Leon and other large acts followed, as did appearances at some of the world’s biggest festivals, including Glastonbury, Reading/Leeds, Coachella, Lollapalooza, Splendour in the Grass and more.
They built on that momentum with a second album, "Torches & Pitchforks", which showcased the band’s seemingly endless reserve of creative energy, and brought focus to their signature sound. The sophomore effort again earned praise from fans and critics worldwide.
Today, on the eve of their third album, the Nashville rockers find themselves brimming with energy and confidence. They’re also now a five-piece, with Zach Lindsay on bass, his brother Alex on guitar, Jordan Young on guitar, and Justin Wilson on drums. They’ve seen a lot in just a few years and have emerged with a renewed sense of purpose and a fresh and vibrant set of newly penned songs that may well be the best of their career. Brown and his bandmates joke about creating a new genre: romantic ambient grunge alt.
With a new label, a new team and an extraordinary new batch of songs, Brown says he’s more proud than ever of the band and the work they are doing. "We have always been a tight knit group, but the vibe is the best’s it’s been and we are looking forward to bringing these songs to the public. Very few things matter in this world, and we think music is one of them."
Out of gallery