Livin is Easy (In Kalihi)

Looking back towards the Kalihi, Manoa, Palolo valleys
I’m standing on a crusty shore, looking out across the water as canoe teams yell out “hup!” “Ho!” and the sun slowly fades below the hills. I can see Kalihi valley where my new home sits nestled among hundreds of other houses, packed together like rice in a bowl. The evening air is still hot as I let out a sigh, somewhere between grateful and alone.

Moving was not an easy choice for me. I was comfortable in my life on Big Island. Work my day job at my sister’s flower business, work on my music in the mornings and on weekends, help my parent’s with chores and odd jobs around the house. Repeat. Plenty of time for self-care and chillin. I could have stayed and been completely ok with my existence as a part-time songwriter.

But there’s been this nagging in the back of my mind, an itch to really give this music thing more of a go. I admit that I’m still figuring out what that means (am I wanting to get famous? Write for others? Be a fixture in the live gigging scene?) but that’s ok I’m finding. Dreams can be vague as long as you chisel them into reality at some point. So that’s what I’m attempting to do.

I’ve gotten quite a bit of advice from friends about where to start. My friend Jon who used to busk on the streets of Waikiki said that I just gotta show up and start playing out on the sidewalk, despite what local security might have to say. My buddy Chaz thinks I could do well writing for sync (I’ve done some of that already…). And I know more than a few acquaintances that are living the full-time gig life. So THAT’S a viable option. I’m trying to be open to anything while keeping honest about what I really feel will be enriching and not go counter to my style & personality (having cops show up in the middle of a song and tell me to move before I get arrested doesn’t sound like my idea of fun or relaxing).

I’ll be honest it’s a strange time to uproot and change locales. The Rona is still rampant, and many venues are flying by the seat of their pants. But that’s true everywhere, not just Honolulu. I think I made the right choice. It’s a new chapter, a new adventure. And if nothing else it’s already given me some fuel for writing new songs. I’ll just keep following the muse and see where the music takes me.

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