I'm a different kind of digger. The other day I met this guy who's an audio engineer at a Honolulu recording studio. He's got a Hawaiian record collection stored somewhere in his house and offered to pass it on to me.
I'm grateful he offered, but the truth is I told him exactly this:
"As much as I am a collector of vinyl, what really matters to me is the music. I don't even care about having the physical album as much as I care about hearing the music—and letting other people hear it, too."
Roger Bong digging at Jelly's, Honolulu.
Which is why I'm honored to announce that the Aloha Got Soul x Fitted mixtape is coming out on April 20, 2013.
That's right—Saturday, April 20, 2013!
Nearly two years after we started this journey, I can humbly say that in just a month's time you'll have a super funky (and super danceable) mix in your hands, plus a dope limited t-shirt, thanks to to good stewards at Fitted Hawaii.
But it's not me you should be thanking. Give your mahalos to the musicians who created this music. They made this a reality. Without their imagination, creativity, dedication, and talent, we wouldn't be bringing you this mix.
But before I go on further, watch the video:
Globally played, Locally made
Back in January 2011, I dropped the Pupu Mix as an "appetizer" to the full mixtape.
Since then, a lot has happened. Even though we planned to drop the mixtape in 2011, then in 2012, and finally delaying it until 2013—whew, we did it!—I've tracked a lot of progress with Aloha Got Soul.
With every mixtape, featured article and special contribution, the audience for Hawaiian funk, soul and rare groove music has grown bigger globally: Thailand, Sweden, Japan, Brazil, the UK, Australia, Italy, France, South Korea—there's at least an ounce of soulful aloha in every part of the world nowadays.
In other words, the message of this music is universal.
I've been fortunate enough to meet some of the artists who have made this Fitted mix a reality: Kirk Thompson of Lemuria, Jay Molina of Music Magic, Lil Albert Maligmat of Society Of Seven, Mike Lundy, and a handful of other talented musicians.
Lil Albert and Roger Bong at the Glass Candle reunion show, December 2011.
It's not about me though...
You see, it's not about me, the crate digger. It's about the musicians who dedicated their energy to recording their music and pressing it on wax. Without them, I wouldn't be here. Without them, we wouldn't have this music.
Diggers beware: we're nothing without these artists.
And they deserve their music to be heard.
Fitted at Hungry Ear Records.
Surprisingly (not really, though!), the Pupu Mix received much acclaim after its release. Although I stayed up late every night promoing the mix on Twitter, the best exposure came organically. Like my chance collaboration with Instagrammer @HeavySoulBrutha, who is also a regular Mixcloud user, too.
Dig this: even Mixcloud had something to say about the Pupu Mix!
But now, the good news.
We're releasing it on Record Store Day
And you can buy it directly through Fitted online and in-store.
Wait—a CD release on Record Store Day?? Let me explain.
This CD is made possible because of vinyl. Without records, Fitted & Aloha Got Soul wouldn't be able to share this incredible music with you. Records—we love 'em! But releasing a vinyl compilation isn't quite within our reach (yet), that's why we did a CD. Plus it's easy to pop in your car stereo and jive to while you're driving around the island.
So we give you a mixtape to preserve Hawai‘i's soulful sound.
A mixtape that will make youwant to dig deeper for these records. To seek the funky vibrations that tell a story about our ‘aina.
Dig deeper: crate digging in Hawaii.
Aloha Preserved Daily
I started digging in 2004, but it took me six years to realize that Hawaii had all this gorgeous music recorded and released right here in the islands.
In 2010, I started Aloha Got Soul not knowing I'd be interviewing legendary artists, releasing mixtapes to a worldwide audience, DJing at local parties (more to come, by the way), reconnecting with friends I grew up with, collaborating with international tastemakers, and doing exactly what I love for all the right reasons.
I do this for the music. I do this for the artists who made the music. And I do this for you, the listener. Because you deserve to hear what these musicians created.
What matters most—first and foremost—are the people who created this music. Here, Kirk Thompson with Oliver Twist, Cianté, and Roger Bong.
Check back for more updates through April 20th.
I'm doing tons of of interviews, reviews, and teasers in anticipation of the release.
Shout out to these exceptional people:
Hevehitta and The Diggers Union, Bill Brewster of DJ History, Craig Charles of the Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show, Heavy Soul Brutha, Trip Magazine, iCrates, coletivoACTION, Paris Groovescooter of 2SER, Danny McLewin of Psychemagik, Dig This Vibe and all the people I collab with, Kirk Thompson, Hungry Ear Records, Ges and everyone at Fitted...
THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR MAKING THIS HAPPEN.