Aloha everyone, this is a digital shout out on the release of my solo album.
Mahalo to you for your support on the past for myself and Kupaʻāina. Kupaʻāina continues and can be contacted through myself and other band members.
After a 6 year journey with the help and support of Producer Tracey Terada, the visual genius of my friend Brandon Sugiyama (logo) and my cousin James Vogl (CD design), Kai Markell, Christina and Franz Schmutzer (photography), Maria Remos, Johnny Helm, the late Ernie Cruz Jr. (music inspirators), Blaine Fergerstrom (web assistance), the KUA team, my family and Kupaʻāina and many others I have finally finished a “solo project” of some of the songs I have written over the years and two covers important to me.
I am slowly rolling it out. I do music because of a great love for it and I had the capacity to do it decently. But over time, for most “artists,” depending on the level of passion you have for art you begin to accommodate your life to it. It can become just as repetitive as it once was creative. It is also rarely a life making endeavor on an island, especially if you have no strong interest in leaving. For my sanity I chose over time to accommodate music to my life rather than the other way around.
This project was an attempt to do that.
It is also difficult to build artistry if you are consumed by business. This is why most musicians do not do their own business. It takes its toll on the soul. I am neither an accountant, shirt seller or music distributor. More-so, the greatest gift of music for me has been the people I have met and the bridges we have built. I sometimes cherish more the sharing after the music than the sharing through it.
What is funny is that “Mr. Chang” was something people called me when I was younger. I kept the term because I thought it was both honorable and funny. Now actually being a Mr. Chang feels different; not always so funny anymore. I suppose I should just say, “you can call me Kevin,” now. Nevertheless, I will continue to strive to be the Chang I want to see.
A little on the album theme and logo: I chose Boxers & Bootleggers in part because these are roles my ancestors played in the past to survive. They had to fight, they had to make due and they wanted to move ahead. It gave them substance and notoriety. This also taps into the irony and cynicism in some of my lyrics. Plus it’s a take on Ice Cube’s album “Bootlegs and B-Sides.” Once in college I had a tape of Ice Cube and the BooYaa Tribe on a unknown recording they did. I thought that was cool. That something small and hidden could be so impactful. Boxers and Bootleggers are people who have affected our world.
My logo was designed by Brandon Sugiyama, an old friend, classmate, Wushu master, advocate and amazing graphic designer and cartoonist. The logo was designed 15 years ago. I asked him to capture a sense of my ancestry in a logo that looked ancient but was really new. The symbol looks Chinese, and is similar to the original Chinese characters derived from real things, actions and relations in nature in China’s ancient past. This logo is a man, a mic and an ukulele. I originally intended the album title to be “Ukulele & a Microphone.”
You will find the music goes beyond an ukulele and a microphone. It goes a little deeper and includes the instrumentality and vision of my friend Tracey Terada (aka Dr. Trey). I found I bored myself on the ukulele; and I bored Trey too. This indicated to me that a CD album in the raw might be better for a live recording someday. I feel this recording captures the spirit of some of my songs.
I hope you will be interested in this personal project, will consider a purchase and will pass it on to others. It is available physically (from me or through CDBaby [CD Baby is likely easier]), it should be available for download purchase in many online vendors (iTunes, Amazon etc..) and lastly it is also available on Spotify and Apple Music streaming services (please consider adding Mr. Chang or Kupaʻāina to your playlist).
Here are some links to purchase or access my music below:
Mahalo for taking the time to read this.