We've found ourselves creating music in the Atherton Performing Arts Studio on three different occasions. At least, it'll be three come Monday, May 18th when 27-year-old singer Joelene shares an intimate solo performance of her original music and influential covers.
Joelene joins Aloha Got Soul
Who is Joelene? She's the newest member of the Aloha Got Soul label family. You might've heard her on FRNT BZNZZ's "Was It Love" single, released earlier this year. It was my first time, that's for sure! And when FRNT BZNZZ played me that tune, I was blow away by her vocal prowess. That's saying a lot, because also on the single is Nick Kurosawa, whose vocals have been likened to having the entire universe welling up from within him.
In person, Joelene is a spiritually attuned individual who makes friends easily, sings with pureness of heart and soul, and is overall great company. She's a naturally talented singer who loves jazz, reggae, folk and R&B. A budding songwriter, Joelene recently started sharing her music more readily on Instagram and YouTube.
At the beginning of 2020, not long after we released "Was It Love", we signed Joelene to Aloha Got Soul — and couldn't be more excited to help a talented young singer like Joe to create some exciting new sounds! (And while our goals to jump right into recording were paused due to the global pandemic, we plan to have a proper recording ready for you by year's end).
Born and raised on the West side of Oahu, Joelene has been singing since she was a keiki. Her soulful voice is influenced by the music she loves, from roots reggae to disco, folk and rock to jazz and R&B. In recent years, she performed as the lead vocalist with indie band OneKin. The next step of Joelene’s musical journey takes us to a solo acoustic performance at HPR's Atherton Performing Arts Studio, where she’ll share original music and covers she finds joy in.
Join us on Monday May 18th for
a solo performance by
at the Atherton
Dae Han at the Atherton
Earlier this year, Dae Han hit me up to see if I'd be interested in hosting a live performance at the studio. Gladly, of course. It was towards the early part of the stay-at-home lockdown, and I'd been scratching my head at how to adjust to the times. Dae's wife, singer/songwriter Amanda Frazier (now, Amanda Han), had performed at the Atherton a couple weeks prior, which is how the idea arrived with Dae.
To be honest, Dae pulled most of the weight when it came to organizing the live stream — all I did was show up with my laptop, and camera gear, ready to broadcast. What a relief, because my mind's been in a tangle with having to stay at home for... 9 weeks now! Everything came together smoothly, with Nelson Cho on the drum pads and Amanda joining the two for a few numbers, including new material that the couple have written. "Backpack" was a crowd-favorite. (Can you even say crowd favorite for a live stream?) You can re-watch the performance on YouTube.
Maryanne Ito's live album
The performance that started it all — Maryanne Ito's "Live at the Atherton", a recording session with a live audience, expresses for the purpose of releasing it as an album. In short, the story goes: I feel in love with Maryanne's live sets in 2017, then found out she'd be moving to California, so we agreed to record a live album before her departure. We did — and although it took me two years to finally release the album (Maryanne and her guitarist, Gil Batangan, have been very patient with me) — we recently learned it has been nominated for a Na Hoku Hanohano Award.
It was a special performance, just like Dae's and soon, Joelene's too.
A few days prior to the recording session, we occupied the Atherton for a rehearsal. I brought a video camera along that evening and captured the band's run through of "No Solution". Fans will undoubtedly recognize the video as the source of the album cover. The night of the actual recording, I had my camera, but didn't take any photos I felt would fit the album art, so after some time I decided that a freeze frame of Maryanne during this rehearsal would be just right. What do you think?
Jason Taglianetti, the engineer
A post about the Atherton wouldn't be complete without mentioning Jason Taglianetti, the engineer who runs the performing arts studio. He's recorded so many artists in this room — check out his Applause In A Small Room show on HPR and Mixcloud. He knows the room so well that does a stellar job every time.
Mahalo Jason for making this possible!