Stories

The Meaning of Soul: MJ, Dilla & Kanoa of Gomega

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The Meaning of Soul: MJ, Dilla & Kanoa of Gomega

What is soul? It's hard to pinpoint, even when so many artists past and present have given Soul an everlasting place in music. "Soul can mean anything, depending on who you're talking to". True. But can a single song be so soulful that it demands further interpretation from artists across the music spectrum? I believe it. Jackson 5's "All I Do Is Think Of You" laments with such generous amounts of bittersweet compassion that any listener should feel chills when hearing this song. It's not just Michael Jackson's wailing, heartfelt voice, or the swaying orchestration, or the synthesizers that sound...

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"I'll Remember You" x 2

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Kuiokalani Lee was by no means a jazz or funk musician, but his music poured directly from the soul. A singer/songwriter whose compositions helped launch the career of Don Ho, as well as bridge the gap between traditional Hawaiian and pop music, Lee gave us what are his only recorded performances on The Extraordinary Kui Lee. The album was released just days before he died at age 34. "I'll Remember You", Lee's biggest hit, boasts a long list of covers (the most well-known performed by—well, just google it.) One of the grooviest renditions? Gotta be Aura's. In a clever twist,...

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Aura "Yesterday's Love"

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Since my interview with Toshi, whose label Cool Sound reissued an album by Aura, I've been meaning to post my own videos of Aura's music... but why wait if someone else has one up? Here's an outstanding track about love lost, called "Yesterday's Love". It gives me chills to listen to! Her voice is so innocent, longing, and sad. Maybe it's the lyrics that add that extra touch of sorrow? (BTW, I understand songs better when I write out the lyrics. Some lines might be wrong, though). Dig the funky bass lines, breakdown with hand claps, massive horns, and a...

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It's Cool Sound! Interview with Toshi Nakada

Interviews

(I've come to think that my blogging is like a jet plane. I started off with new posts every 3-5 days, taking flight into the world of Hawaiian music. Now the plane's cruising with the clouds, flying at a steady pace. In other words, I'm now focusing on quality over quantity, an idea I picked up from reading this blog about rare soul music.) After my interview with singer/guitarist Murray Compoc of Tender Leaf, I got in touch with Toshi Nakada, owner of the Japanese record label Cool Sound. I heard that Cool Sound wasn't able to contact any of...

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"Tender Leaf has arrived" - an interview with Murray Compoc Spencer

Interviews

"Tender Leaf has arrived" - an interview with Murray Compoc Spencer

(This post has been updated since its original version first appeared) Today marks an important moment in Aloha Got Soul's existence, as well as the history of Hawaiian music (in my opinion, at least). I've been lucky enough to interview—let alone track down—Murray Compoc Spencer, the lead singer from Tender Leaf. Tender Leaf was a band from the 1980s whose sound could be described as easy-going soul with essences of psychedelic music. Its two founding members, Murray Compoc and Darryl Valdez, first met while working as drivers of the city bus (aka The Bus). They discussed music and jammed together,...

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