Loop machine extraordinaire, and all around bad ass Kawehi performed on June 19th at Rockwood Music Hall with an eclectic set of mash ups, covers, and a few tracks off her new EP Robot Heart. The imaginative singer-songwriter is on a national tour this summer introducing fans to her original material as well as playing her favorite covers in live looping sets that are both clever and impressive.
Starting the show with a brilliant mashup of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know,” Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” and Journey’s classic “Don’t Stop Believing,” Kawehi manages to take the bubble gum pop out of “Toxic” and meld it into an edgy ballad for the heartbroken hipster. With only a midi keyboard, guitar, and a knack for beat boxing, Kawehi creates elaborate loops with complex layers of sound that build an auditory experience for the audience. It is not only the music that Kawehi creates using her skills that are part of the performance but the display of multitasking and dexterity needed to manipulate all her resources to make that sound.
Hailing from Hawaii Kawehi developed a strong fanbase from her Vimeo videos covering songs like Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box,” which has 7,054 likes and countless shares; all with the simplicity of a loop machine and keyboard. Oh, that and Kawehi’s scorching vocals that weave harmonies on top effortlessly… From this endeavor, Kawehi then started a Kickstarter campaign to fund her EP Robot Heart by taking song requests and posting them on her Vimeo channel. Her initial goal was $3,000, but instead she raised a cool $28,914; enough to fund a live album, four EP’s, a documentary, and the national tour she is now on. Fast forward to her now finished EP due out for digital release July 15th and a national tour this summer, Kawehi is the epitome of a DIY artist.
Highlights from Kawehi’s upcoming EP Robot Heart include “Anthem,” which she performed at Rockwood and “Robot Heart.” Stating this EP is about a robot that wants to be human, Kawehi’s songs are both edgy and whimsical. Featured in The Huffington Post and Esquire, among other publications, Kawehi is known for her ability to make a mosaic out of sound and take listeners for a ride during the process.
Article by Yasmin Martinez