After his self-released album One Day Maybe in 2005 (created entirely by himself in his home studio), Sashamonâs—One Day Maybe has spread without virtually any marketing, except word of mouth, and the show in Redondo at Kilkennyâs was evidence of how popular Sashamonâs music has become on the mainland. âWeâve had a good response on the mainland. In the beginning, our shows would be packed on Hawaii, and now itâs kind of the same thing over here.
New people, something different,â? said Sashamon. âPeople just like Hawaii, itâs just a fact. I think people on the mainland can feel that paradise Hawaiian lifestyle in the music: the beach, the chill, no traffic, clean air and the warm weather. The music is a little more chill and a little more groovy. I think people like it because itâs not so hectic, and sometimes I think it can be hectic on the mainland.â?
Sashamonâs musical background is deep rooted with the ukulele strumming Kupuna, or respected elders on Molokai, and this musical upbringing shines authentic in Sashamonâs own relationship to music. Not only is Sashamonâs unique musical blend of roots reggae, Dub and Jawaiian addictively refreshing, his themes and soothing Hawaiian temperament have calmed the Line Up office for years in deadline time. Sashamonâs smooth-grooved Molokai vibe, powerfully delicate voice and feel-good rhythms reverberate in the better senses of the listenerâthe more peaceful senses. âI think the best music comes from happiness, and it transfers into the music,â? explained Sashamon.
âPeople just want to feel happy when it comes down to it.â?
Sashamon agreed that One Day Maybe spread widely because of the pro surfers on Hawaii and their inherit travels. As the album rippled through the surf community, the blend of simple arrangements and upbeat melodies made for a good listen to those living in laid back beach communities on the mainland.
âBig ups to Pipeline Posse and all of the Kauai boys; it was definitely the pro surfer scene that helped spread my music,â? said Sashamon. âThe surf scene just shared the music, and I have to imagine it wouldnât have spread if people didnât like it. I think on One Day Maybe my love of the ocean and that feeling and sound came through. I mean a lot of people like my music on their surf videos. The sound just seems to go with surfing.â?
Sashamon is featured most notably on Jamie OâBrienâs Freak Side and Freak Show. OâBrien is a good friend and big fan of the musician, and recently gave Sashamon one of his magic boards. The musician admitted heâs never surfed better. His music is also featured on the videos Shrink and East Coast Theory, as well as The Surf Roots compilation albums. The Surf Roots albums, produced by Resin Music, are part of an ongoing fundraiser with proceeds benefiting the USA Surf Team, another example of how deep-rooted in the surf culture Sashamonâs music truly is.
Fire Marshall capacities and sing-along crowds are always a good sign, and Sashamonâs newly acquired band makes for a vibrant show. Rounding out echoing hooks with an aural one-two punch of tightly underlying percussions and melodic power, the musicianship of the band compliments Sashamonâs songs seamlessly. His songs are also loosened up a bit with the instrumental fluidity and improvisation of the band members.
âI love the interaction between musicians, bouncing off each other and being in the moment,â? said Sashamon. âLooking back, Iâm glad I did One Day Maybe alone. I think its success had to do with the uniqueness, but from what people tell us, the live show is a lot better than the CD, which is what Iâve wanted, a good live show. I think a band helps because itâs just creating more music.â?
After the show in Redondo, me and my travel companion Kristin hung out with Sashamon and the band for the next few days, and I got a glimpse of what makes the affable musician tick. Catching a ride from Hermosa to San Diego with Sashamonâs tour bus, through traffic Iâm sure heâs not used to, the musician had a lot to say about what drives him musically or otherwise.
Like any successful songwriter, Sashamonâs philosophy and ideals take the forefront of his musical intentions and although his songs arenât political, he does see some of the current American ideal off-kilter with living appropriately. âI think people want to get out of the rat race. They see it, theyâre in it. Itâs how it is set up. âDo as much work as you can and use that money to build as big of walls as you can around yourself.â âOh, my neighbor has a Mercedes, I only have a Honda. Iâm going to work harder now.â What is really the point? People arenât enjoying their families anymore. How can they? I think capitalism can work, but itâs when the dollar has more value than humanity that it doesnât.â?
According to Sashamon, the method to help people realize the fault in this ritual is simpleâhelp people have a good time. Itâs not too hard to follow his logic either. People have a good time, people feel good about themselves, people are in an environment with people having a good time, people feel good about others. Itâs not hard math, but he does realize that it canât always be that simple. Idealism rarely is. However he does believe in the spark of idealism.
âEverything is energy. Music is energy. Light is energy,â? said Sashamon, punctuating each sentence. âI think the best art is like a beacon or a lighthouse that illuminates the truth and the beauty and shines on you to create a light inside of you. Itâs like if God is the lighthouse, then music is just a part of that vibration. Music at its best, to me, is the cousin of the Creator. And we are creators, creators of life. I think music is for praise and the illumination of this. If music helps show the innate godliness of ourselves, it can help us to treat one another more like human beings. I think ultimately weâre just vessels here to help one another out. I donât think weâre here to suffer.â?
Sashamonâs idea of artistry seems to be one that many artists shareâthe notion that art is the creative pursuit of truth. Sashamonâs truth is his faith in peace through music, and the substance of that message comes with the restraint of the âlet me tell you somethingâ? musical egoism. Rather his subtlety and the âhere, can I show you somethingâ? musical humility makes his music something listeners can make there own.
Before arriving in San Diego, we stop to eat lunch at the percussionist, Mario Rodriguezâs, parentsâ house in Carlsbad. Sitting on the back porch surrounded by so-Cal foliage and a sizzling grill that accompanied mid-afternoon laughter, I couldnât help but appreciate being in the presence of a band enjoying the promise of a hopeful future around the bend, or in this case across an ocean. Their show in Redondo was received with a capacity crowd that echoed every hook of every song on One Day Maybe, and as they waited for their show in San Diego tonight, confidence surrounded their steps and excitement hovered over their words. Not the confidence of a braggart or the excitement of a novice, but something more natural and humble. Maybe it was just becoming clear to the band that the mainland was more than ready to feel the Hawaiian breeze, if only for a show, to remind us that life doesnât have to be hectic, at least while we dance.
Matt Berry – Line Up Magazine (Jan 15, 2008)
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