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March 21, 2011 | by  | in Music |
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From Hawai’i to New Zealand: Kolohe Kai to showcase island reggae in Porirua

Hawaiian reggae band Kolohe Kai in New Zealand for the first time this week.

Popular Hawaiian reggae band Kolohe Kai are about to embark on their first tour outside of the USA this week with a five-date tour of New Zealand. The seven-piece band will be in Aotearoa for one week only and will be supported on their tour by up-and-coming New Zealand reggae bands 1814 and Sons of Zion.

The tour reaches Wellington this Wednesday with a show at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua on Wednesday 23 March.

Kolohe Kai lead singer Roman De Peralta said they were excited about their New Zealand trip which would be their first time playing outside the USA.

“We met a group of young future Maori leaders at one of our performances in Honolulu a few months ago and they were all friendly and positive. We are excited to see more people to share aloha.”

Their first album This is The Life, featuring popular songs ‘Cool Down’ and ‘Ehu Girl’, was well received by fans and the reggae music scene in Aotearoa. Their follow-up album Love Town was only released on 15 March but is already in high demand, particularly with this week’s tour.

De Peralta said the new album was a bit more grown-up than their first, but still had a lot of the Kolohe Kai sound their fans enjoyed.

“It was a blast working on it with our produced Imua Garza, he really helped push the creativity.”

Wellington fans can expect to hear a lot of their favourite Kolohe Kai mixed in with some new songs at a positive uplifting show at Porirua on Wednesday, says De Peralta.

Tour promoter Ara Entertainment Limited said the rise and rise of Kolohe Kai’s New Zealand fanbase could be put down to the huge interest in Hawaiian reggae over the past 24 months, including the success of label mates Rebel Souljahz who toured here last year.

Kolohe Kai have raised the bar to a new level and gathered fans both young and old, who love the Island Reggae sound.

With many of members still in high school, the band caught the attention of Go Aloha Entertainment who teamed them with the successful production team of Imua Garza and Brett Ortone (Rebel Souljahz, Opihi Pickers).

“Some of us just started playing together during high school. Our music teacher was a big influence on us and it started everything rolling for us.

“A bit later we did an amateur talent contest and were signed by Go Aloha to record an album,” De Peralta said.

The band name Kolohe Kai comes from the Hawaiian words for rascal (kolohe) and water (kai) because “we were always rascals” and they all loved the water “most of us surf, swim, or paddle”, De Peralta said.

They have heard great things about the New Zealand reggae scene and count Katchafire and House of Shem amongst their favourites.

“The New Zealand bands have so much passion in their music and their vibe is very similar to many bands here in Hawai’i. In Hawai’i music is a big part of life and there is always singing and playing at family gatherings and parties.”

Kolohe Kai is playing at Te Rauparaha Arena, Porirua this Wednesday (March 23), doors open at 7pm. Tickets are $55 and available from TicketDirect or the venue. More information about the tour on their website:

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