Summer isn’t here quite yet, but you’ll be ready for its arrival with my latest collaboration: Soul Time In Hawaii.
I’ve been lucky enough to partner with one of London’s biggest proponents of Hawaiian funk music, Cedric Bardawil, also known as DJ Deux Spin. Cedric’s interest in local rare groove music started out in much the same way mine did: with Muro’s Hawaiian Breaks mix. From there, he dug up whatever he could find online about Hawaiian funk and, evidently, landed here.
With each new discovery of a Hawaiian rare groove track, album or artist, Cedric found himself growing hungrier to hear more. His enthusiasm to learn as much as he possibly could quickly turned him into an evangelist of this music from Hawaii.
Apart from being a DJ in London, Cedric also operates a pop-up gallery called Something In The Attic. His latest endeavor, however, is not a new gallery showing or DJ gig. Cedric, together with his brother Chris, have created a clothing label: Weekends West. Their first run of t-shirts are hand-printed in London, using organic cotton and ink-based dyes, and are just as suited to the beach as they are a favorite brunch spot. (And if you live in Hawaii, you could easily do both in the same day.)
Of course, if your brand name embodies the idea of kicking back like it’s a weekend on the west coast, why not start with the westernmost place of the United States? You guessed it: Hawaii.
That’s where Aloha Got Soul comes in.
Introducing Soul Time In Hawaii, Weekends West’s first t-shirt available to the public, accompanied by an all-vinyl soundtrack of proper soul, funk and disco music from the Hawaiian Islands, mixed by yours truly.
Put this one on the stereo, pop open a Primo and picture the warm, sunny days ahead.
How ‘Soul Time In Hawaii’ came to fruition
Our discussions on collaborating began back in August of 2013. We sent emails (and records) back and forth for several months, considered various ideas along the way, and even wound up doing a limited “test pressing” of t-shirts based on a design from the 1967 Hawaiian soul jazz album Soul Time In Hawaii by Ohta San.
After the test pressing made it into the hands of close friends and select tastemakers, Cedric and Chris decided to evolve the direction of our Soul Time collaboration by asking their in-house designer Lynnie Zulu to modernize the “Soul Time in Hawaii” t-shirt, giving it a fresh edge.
The official release of the new Soul Time In Hawaii t-shirt is just around the corner with the launch of the Weekends West website coming soon. Which means you’ll have to wait a bit more to get your hands on the final product.
At least you can get your ears on what it sounds like, right?
As the days and months go on, this project will grow to represent something more than a mixtape of rare grooves or a garment of top quality. For me, this is the building and strengthening of relationships across oceans amongst a group of people with a mutual passion for learning, creating, exploring, and searching out something new.
Along the way I’ve made friends with DJs, bloggers and business owners whom I wouldn’t have met if it weren’t for Soul Time In Hawaii. It’s been a great ride so far, and I’m excited to see where we all end up next (hint: see below).
On behalf of Cedric, Chris, and everyone else involved, mahalo!
In celebration of the release, we’re hosting parties in Honolulu and London on the same night.
Saturday, March 22
Bevy (661 Auahi St, Honolulu, 96813)
with DJs Roger Bong and Oliver Seguin
No cover // 4pm – 9pm // Vinyl only
Saturday, March 22
Brilliant Corners (470 Kingsland Road, E8 4AE)
with DJs Cedric Bardawil and Mark ‘Goodvibes’ Taylor
No cover // 6pm – 12am // Vinyl only
RSVP now at www.facebook.com/alohagotsoul/events