Artist Radar: Anuhea

Artist Radar: Anuhea

Our weekly Artist Radar articles will be dedicated to each of the groups featured on the FREE Pacific Island Sampler. Continuing our coverage from the Pacific Islands, The Pier caught up with Anuhea as this week’s Artist Radar. She talks about her new album and the amazing line up behind the production of her new release For Love.

Anuhea contributed 2 songs for FREE download in our Pacific Island Sampler. When we caught up with Anuhea, we asked for a little background on the songs. Read what she had to say about each of the songs she submitted. Then check out the Interview to find out about her new album coming out this October along with a few videos down below! Big things in the works for the very talented & lovely, Anuhea!

Anuhea Free MP3s:

FREE Songs: “Crown Royal” and “Charismatic SOB” [Acoustic]

Pacific Island Sampler Song Info:
“Charismatic SOB acoustic” was recorded in LA at Angelhouse studios when I recorded my first album. Its previously unreleased and we dug that one out for The Pier to release and show something new and cool. Its about having a crush on a famous person and the frustrations involved with trying to get them to not look at you as just another groupie, but something worthy.”

“Crown Royal” was recorded in Honolulu, HI at Studio One. JP from The Green produced it, BW helped and Caleb from The Green sang background harmonies on the bridge. Its about falling in love with alcohol and all the bullshit he can put you through, much like a bad relationship.”

Anuhea Background
Anuhea is a self-taught guitarist and song-writer born on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Anuhea blends Pop, Reggae and R&B with engaging conscious lyrics to create a style truly her own. Her debut album hit the top ten on the iTunes Pop charts and World Billboard Charts. In 2010 Anuhea won Most Promising Artist and Contemporary Album of the Year at Hawaii’s prestigious Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. She performed alongside her inspiration Jack Johnson at the Kokua Festival in Honolulu, and headlined two U.S. Tours backed by her friends, reggae band The Green. Anuhea has shared the stage with artists like Bruno Mars, Pepper, Babyface and recently performed the Halftime show for the NFL ProBowl in January. She is currently working on her much anticipated 2nd release, For Love expected set to release October 2011

Interview with Anuhea:

The Pier: Without wasting time, lets talk New Music! You been working with producer Dwight Baker (Kelly Clarkson, Enrique Iglesias) out of Matchbox Studios in Austin, TX. When can fans expect a new album & how did you come to naming the album “For Love”?
Anuhea: The new album will be releasing the end of October. This album is two years in the making, some done in Hawaii but we are finishing up here. Its a real mix of pop, reggae, R&B and acoustic with songs from my heart. My first album had only ONE love song on it. Over these 2 years I’ve opened my heart a bit and now this album, every single song has some sort of tie to Love. The title means, yes that these songs are “For Love” but also, why do we do ANYTHING in this world? Why should we? I believe it should be all for LOVE. I made this album for the love of music and everything it brings to my life.

The Pier: I recall seeing updates that you had Tim from Plain White T’s playing Guitar on a new song, along with George Reiff, (Dixie Chicks Touring Bassist), on another song. What guest appearances, both musically & vocally can fans look forward to with this new release?
Anuhea: I have a brand new song on my album written by Jacob Hemphill of SOJA. I’ve always been a huge fan of SOJA and Jacob’s lyrics and melodies. When Jacob heard my song “Simple Love Song” he said he thought my voice would sound cool singing this song he had written. It’s called “Its Not The Same”. Its an extremely emotional songs with lyrics that were hard to get out of me, but said things I was feeling really strong at the time. He helped me release those feelings, which I’m super grateful for. JP from The Green produced 2 other songs, a jamming ballad called “Issues” and this down tempo club banger called “I Wanna Be There”, as well as the previously released “Crown Royal” and “Come Over Love” which will both be on the album. We had BW and Les in the studio too, and Caleb (The Green) sang back up on Crown Royal. No featured guest artists tho, we decided to just go all me.

The Pier: So far, we have heard of track titles such as “High Than The Clouds”, “Mr. Mellow” along with your latest single “Simple Love Song”. How many songs will this album have and Which new songs are you most excited about?
Anuhea: I’m SO excited about ALL of them. Each are so different… showing all sorts of sides to me. Like I said, there’s a couple like club bangers, there’s one where its just me and a piano, there’s the intense emotional ballad written by Hemphill, I have a cutesy lil love song called “Looking For Love” that I really love, there’s kind of an ode to independence and being a strong woman in a reggae style called “Moving On”… the list goes on. All in all there are like 13 tracks. And we are also doing the entire album acoustic, too. Just me and my guitar, no editing, and we’ll release that eventually as well. That was important to me, to have an acoustic album. Production is so fun, but I love solo acoustic music so much, I really wanted to sing all the songs by myself, too.

The Pier: I understand you may be dishing out 2 alternate versions of “Simple Love Song”, is that right? Whats up your sleeve with this song?
Anuhea: Simple Love Song is getting a lot of radio play in Hawaii and I didn’t want everyone at home to get sick of it.. so we decided to make a “Locals Only Remix” specially for the island music lovers. Its pretty cute, faster, more upbeat and produced. We also have a real stripped down version with just me and famous Hawaiian music guy Sean Na’auao playing ukulele and slack key for a true laid back island feel. Both those alternate versions will be released on iTunes soon.

The Pier: So tell us about the music video to Simple Love Song. Who was behind the production of the video and what was the experience like filming for the video? How’d this come about and where was it recorded?
Anuhea: We had been bouncing all sorts of ideas for the music video for SLS.. Everything from riding an elephant, to sock puppets, to a cartoon. I wanted to get it out fast cause I really felt it would be good to have a video with a song, even if you don’t have a huge budget. Just SOMETHING for people to see and have a fun visual impression of me singing the song. I was on my Summer of Love Tour and in New York City. It was Gay Pride Parade Day, so the streets were swarming with all sorts of colorful people in costumes and music… I had my ukulele and after sound check on our way back from grabbing a falafel from Mamouns I asked my manager to film me walking through the streets of people while I played and sang “Simple Love Song”. You can see some people are tripping a little, but its funny cause its super real. We jumped on the back of one of those bicycle cabs and rode around a bit. Including the tip, it was $60 for the bike cab. So that’s how much my video cost. $60 bucks. Plus like $10 for the falafels. I edited it on iMovie the next day on our drive from New York to Cleveland and posted it shortly after. Its up to over 200,000 views on YouTube right now, less than 2 months later. Not the greatest quality, but it got the job done :)

The Pier: You contributed 2 songs for our Exclusive FREE Pacific Island Sampler with an acoustic version of Charismatic SOB & then the song Crown Royal. What made these songs special to share for FREE & how do they represent your music?
Anuhea: Acoustic music is my root. Its where I started. And I had just finished my all-acoustic “Summer Of Love Tour” so I was all up on that acoustic vibe. I dug that unreleased version of “Charismatic SOB” for you guys cause I wanted you to have some exclusivity… cause I love you. :) And “Crown Royal” is a track off the new upcoming album, and one of my favorites in the reggae style. I thought it would be nice for the island reggae music fans.

The Pier: Awe! Well we love you too & the fans are loving it! Tell us, living in Maui, HI and having toured recently with Mishka & Mat Mchugh, how does the culture & lifestyle of the music differ from that of the rest of the world compared to that of Maui?
Anuhea: Mishka coming from Bermuda, and Mat from Australia, we had a very diverse library of music that we were into. They have toured the world way more than me too, so we had conversations about the music we loved every single day. Touring with them makes me excited to realize again that there is SO much amazing music out there! There are artists and bands out there, old and new, that could very well be the best shit I’ve ever heard… but I just haven’t discovered them yet. The lifestyle of Maui and Hawaii sometimes I think is go go go, but I come to the mainland and I see, nope. We are a million times slower than some of these cities. But it makes me want to bring that island feel to the world, cause I think that’s what people need and desire sometimes. A breath of fresh island air! And I’m down to musically give it to them:)

The Pier: What are some other groups or artists out of Hawaii that don’t get enough attention, Who else is holding it down on the island that fans should check out?
Anuhea: I’m kind of a hard ass and I feel everybody will get what they put in, and sometimes being from Hawaii you gotta work a lot harder to make a name in the big world. The Throwdowns from Maui are putting in mad work and just released their new album “Legs of Our Own” and are killing it in a reggae punk rock style. Very unique very cool. Some of my favorite music out of Hawaii is def The Green, Kimie, Natural Vibes, Ooklah, Paula Fuga, Maoli, Kolohe Kai, Fiji, Positive Motion.

The Pier: Based on your music, you have a pretty eclectic taste in music. Who are some of your main influences and what can we find bumpin on your iPod during some off time in Maui?
Anuhea: Some main influences, Jack Johnson, Lauryn Hill, Sublime, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Katchafire, Incubus.…Rocking the new Incubus album daily. Adele was the soundtrack to my life for a bit there. Right now I’m listening to a lot of Mat McHugh and The Beautiful Girls. He’s like my new Jack Johnson obsession cause there’s so much music and so many good songs and lyrics. Love Patty Griffin, Tarrus Riley, House of Shem, Seeed, becoming very into Country. But right now I listen to the roughs of my own music a lot and not the radio or anything else much. Just getting into my own zone!

Thank you so much Anuhea, not just for the FREE music but for all of the wonderful insight on your new album. We appreciate the time, love & support. Fans, if you haven’t already, go download the Pacific Island Sampler & follow our coverage inside the Pacific Island Blog

Article & Interview by: Mike Patti

Here is the official video to “Simple Love Song”

Here is Anuhea performing new song “Higher Than The Clouds” from inside the studio