The end of summer is approaching and the feeling is bittersweet. But the season isn’t quite over yet, which makes the songs I’ll be sharing with you totally appropriate. Island music is the best kind to kick back to. This genre is characterized by a reggae/R&B sound and is usually made by artists of Polynesian background (Hawaii, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, and the list goes on). Click through to listen to 8 of my favorite tracks (plus some links to a few more!):
Common Kings, “Wade In Your Water”
Common Kings just released their music video for this track earlier this month. It makes me want to catch the next plane to Hawaii and wade in someone’s water. Whatever that means.
Kimie’ & Kalani Pe’a, “La Kahakai” (Mailani cover)
I’ve been a big fan of Hawaiian singer Kimie’ since I stumbled upon a video of her and her guitarist jamming to Bob Marley’s “Waiting In Vain” (1:28!). This cover that Kimie’ does with Kalani is particularly awesome because they sing in Hawaiian. Start at 0:55 for the cover. Also check out her original song “Is This Love.”
Anuhea, “Higher Than the Clouds”
Anuhea is another popular Hawaiian singer – in fact, Kimie’ taught her how to play guitar and they’re still good friends. Check out Anuhea’s fantastic cover of Estelle’s “Come Over.”
Kolohe Kai, “Ehu Girl”
If you’re wondering what ‘ehu’ means, it refers to a girl with reddish/brown hair. The lead singer’s voice and/or the lyrics might be a little too sweet for some people’s tastes, but this song is among the standards of contemporary island music because of the characteristic sound and romantic subject matter. “Cool Down” is another good one from Kolohe Kai.
D.S.S, “Apple of My Eye” (Micah G cover)
My favorite thing about a lot of the islander male singers is that they look like they could beat you to a pulp but can sing like a choir of angels.
Spawnbreezie, “Is You” ft. Alo Key, D.S.S, and 501
See what I mean? Bodyguards + voices of angels. Spawnbreezie is also well-known for another incredibly catchy song called “Don’t Let Go.” Start at 0:40 to skip the intro.
J Boog, “Let’s Do It Again”
Just to clarify, this J Boog is not the same as the J-Boog from B2K. Anyway, J Boog hails from Compton, California and moved to Hawaii in 2006 to begin making the music that surged him into popularity among Polynesian listeners. Apparently this is one of Justin Bieber’s favorite songs (seriously).
Nesian Mystik, “Sun Goes Down”
Nesian Mystik is more hip hop than the artists I listed above but this song has a great island vibe. Though the group disbanded last year, they had a successful career in their homeland New Zealand. Take a listen to their song “Mr. Mista” which features Kimbra (remember her?), Che Fu, and Cydel.
Hope everyone enjoys this collection of songs! I suggest you put these videos in a YouTube playlist and let them play while you enjoy the last few weeks of summer sun, whether you’re poolside or on a stoop. Let us know what you think in the comment section!