Kolohe Kai Gears Up for New Release on Heels of “Paradise”
By Cassandra Hastu
Writer Cassandra Hastu sits down with Kolohe Kai lead singer and song-writer Roman De Peralta for an exclusive Maui Now interview during the recent Island Vibez Music Festival held at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.
Q: First of all how is being back on tour treating you?
A: Well, it is really nice to see all of the fans that we use to perform in front of for the last five to six years still here and still jamming to our stuff.
Q: That leads me to my next question, is Hawaiʻi welcoming you back with opening arms?
A: Yes, it is real aloha spirit. Hawaiʻi always has that spirit, but for us it was really nice to see that our break that we took for a couple of years really didn’t stop that fire of love for us.
Q: Why the long break?
A: Oh well, how I look at is, I needed to take a breather just to see what I wanted to do with my life and try to think of what was important to me. I wanted to travel a lot. When you are travelling the world on tour all the time you’re always around the same people who know you because of your music. I wanted to go away to places where nobody really knew who I was so I could kind of draw inspiration to write new songs that people could better relate to.
Q: Was music still on your mind the whole time you were on break?
A: You know honestly it wasn’t. I really wanted to take a break from it and so I went to Israel for a while and I spent some time just trying to help people learn the Bible. I like to do that. It is what I like to do for my free time. I got a chance to meet a lot of refugees from Africa and I got a chance to help counsel them. It really helped me grow up. I feel like music is a way to express yourself, but growing comes from normal life and is something to share with people. I am really glad I took the break.
Q: With the release of the new album “Paradise” are you satisfied with where you are musically right now or do you already feel like you want to do something else? Are you excited for changes?
A: Oh definitely I’m excited for changes. I am already working on the next EP (extended play) for Kolohe Kai starting next year. I’m really happy with how the album came out I mean it was a lot of work but everyone really made the effort to make it really worth it and I’m happy that the fans like the new songs on the radio and the new album. I am really excited for next year to write because I have been writing a lot of new stuff.
Q: You and the band got successful very young. How do you think that reflects on your music?
A: I feel like because we are so young we have a lot of innocence to us. When I started writing songs in high school it helped me to express things in a very teenage way. I was 17 when I wrote that first album. Now I’m 22 and I still feel very young and I’m glad that the music can still be youthful. I want to make positive energy for everyone.
Q: What comes next on your journey?
A: Well, I plan to take a few months off just to re-energize. I feel like in order to grow you have to take breaks. It’s like when you try to lift weights and you try to gain muscle, you can’t do it just by working out the whole time. You have to give your muscle time to breathe. That is why I feel like I am really excited to write new songs and to experience new things.
Q: Which of the islands is your favorite?
A: Well honestly, Maui has always been my top favorite island to play on just because of the Reggae In The Valley concerts that they have here. I always love that venue and I love the fans here. They are really loving, but every island is pretty much the same. But I do love Maui a lot. I love playing here.
Q: What message would you like to send to your Hawaiʻi fans?
A: I really want the fans to know that aloha should be shown impartially. It shouldn’t matter if your local or you’re haole, it shouldn’t matter what race you are. That is what the new album is really about, showing aloha to people no matter what culture they come from and that is what I hope this paradise album can do, show the aloha spirit.