Murals and Music: DJing Bevy’s “Quintessence” at Pow! Wow! Hawai‘i

We set up our turntables and mixer inside the barn-like space at SALT, the mixed-use development recently built in Kaka‘ako, across from some wooden panels that would act as a canvas for artists Solomon Enos and Nicole Naone.

This was just a small slice of the annual Pow! Wow! Hawai‘i, which kicks off every year with a massive block party coinciding with Honolulu Night Market. We didn’t have much of a chance to walk around that evening, but I know there were plenty of food stalls, clothing merchants, jewelry stands, a beer garden or two, DJs rocking the crowds, and performances from break dancers and the like. The party encompasses about 2 or 3 blocks, stretching from Lana Lane Studios to Bevy. It’s fun, albeit jam packed with people.

Inside the barn was a maze of murals. These murals, created over the past five years by various visiting and local artists, have been the backdrop of many fun nights at Soul Time in Hawaii (we launched the gig four years ago with this corresponding mixtape.

We felt right at home, then, to provide Solomon and Nicole (and the crowds of people streaming through) a solid four-and-a-half hours of music for their live painting session. Hideki Yamamoto and I brought a couple bags of records to spin. Hideki brought his newly arrived, French-made E&S rotary mixer — the thing sounds amazing no matter what kind of sound system you play on. Lei snapped a bunch of photos, and we broadcasted live over Central Pacific Time.

All in all, a fun evening filled with lots of people passing through. It was a bit exhausting, taking in the constant stream of crowds. But watching Solomon and Nicole create a new mural with our selection of tunes as their backdrop made it a solid experience worth the effort.

Catch the rest of the festivities throughout this week and the Quintessence closing party  on February 16.

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