We met Scott Kitano of the band, Hearios some years back. A huge Poketo fan, whenever we’d see Scott at one of our events, he would grace us with a killer mix cd or even a demo of some of the music he was working on. It’s safe to say that his mix cds have been on heavy rotation here at the studio. One of the tracks he gave us some time ago was a really catchy tune with featured vocals from Aloe Blacc. I loved it, it was a song that made you tap your feet and want to dance. Well, some time has passed and Scott has just released a full length album… a mix of hip hop, soul, and folk… it’s love, fun, sweat, and dedication in this album and you hear it from beginning to end. One thing you should know, Scott’s passion is music, but, he’s also a full time educator. Making music, collaborating with artists, and recording… that’s a full time thing in itself.
Props to our friend Scott for making this album, for making art and getting it done! We love supporting our friends and fans, here is a short interview with Scott of Hearios, he takes us through the album and shows us, the feel of the music. Go to esomusicart.blogspot.com, you can hear snippets.
You worked with a lot of different collaborators on this album. Tell me about them.
This album has some special guest appearances as well as new additions to the band. Hearios started off with me and Seann Carroll, the best drummer in Hawaii, and I would fill in the gaps with multiple instruments. Now we added James on bass, RaE is singing more solo songs, Anné adding soulful hooks and a very important addition Navid, a very dope emcee with a great flow and voice. Jae-Mi (also from Hawaii) is featured on the title track and it was great working with her style. I am also playing more electric guitar and keys.
It was an honor to have some of my mentors on the album too. DJ Cheapshot is responsible for me getting turntables, a 4-track and sampler way back in the late 90′s. He added some of his trademark scratches to a song on the new album. Aloe Blacc has been a major influence on my music and he’s on the sentimental and catchy song “Hello (It’s Me Again)”. Both of these artists, as well as Exile, have been the reason why I keep making music. I’m never going to give up because they never gave up and I feel like my music has grown so much because of them.
Aloe Blacc, love his work, how did that relationship form?
I met Aloe Blacc when I was down at UC Irvine frequently visiting the Hip Hop college radio show hosted by DJ Cheapshot. Aloe went to USC and I transferred to LMU and we worked on some music for fun. But for me it was more of a learning experience and sharpening my production skills. Then I moved to Hawaii and he came out for a visit and we worked on a few songs for Hearios. I kept on making my music with Hearios while Aloe started to dominate the music scene with his “Good Things” album. It is so great to see his music received all over the world and that gives me motivation to keep on playing.
You’ve been working on this album for some time, tell us about the process, the sweat, the love…
This album took four years to do!! All my songs are very personal and the soundtrack to what’s going on during that year. The songwriting process takes the longest. It took about two years while I was still living in Hawaii to get all the content, write the music and record with the musicians. I moved to Los Angeles, absorbed all the new indie music and then finished editing and engineering the album. That took another two years. The title sums up the theme of the album, “Feelings Are Not Fact”. What you feel one day will change the next so there’s no use to stress out over feelings. I found myself feeling something about the music, or about a girl, and then waking up the next day feeling different. This album is very eclectic not only with the music but with the subject matter. It’s supposed to soundtrack any day, any feeling, anywhere. Lots of time, love and emotion is on this album and when you listen you can hear it.
Any plans on live shows for this album?
We had a tour in Honolulu with the full band and it was very cool to play the songs live. I am trying to make another tour out there sometime this year. For Los Angeles, I am working on getting some shows soon. I am also working on a solo set and then producing an indie-soul record for my friend Kapali Long. Check my blog for tour dates and news and all that good stuff.
BTW, that song “siren song of the city” has a Poketo shoutout!! listen to it carefully (3rd verse).