Artist Radar: Ikaika Beamer

Artist Radar: Ikaika Beamer

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, reggae music lovers of all kinds, introducing to you the latest musical addition to The Pier, Ikaika Beamer! Hailing from the island of Kauai, Ikaika blends his love for reggae, hip-hop, rock-n-roll and Hawaiian music to create an edgy, unique kind of music that combines island style with roots and pop genius.

At the Beginning…
Born in 1978, Ikaika Makanui Beamer was raised in Hanalei while being surrounded by members of Hawaii’s most beloved musical families. His father, Howard Beamer, was a local musician and golf pro on the North Shore of Kauai. His uncles, Keola and Kapono, were some of the most successful musicians to ever come out of Hawaii with their acoustic duo touring the mainland, as well as being featured on every major Hawaiian radio station. His great grandmother wrote many of the traditional Hawaiian songs that the children of Hawaii sing to this day. Meanwhile, his aunty, Nona Beamer, traveled all throughout the islands, teaching Hawaiian music to the kids at all the elementary schools. “I could go on and on about my Ohana (family). I love and respect my family very much and am very proud to be a Beamer,” says Ikaika. His family’s influence established a love for music in Ikaika early on, even though he often resisted the expectation for him to play guitar when he was younger.

Moving to the Mainland…
In 1996, Ikaika moved to the mainland after graduating and receiving a full scholarship to art school. Although it was a big move for him from Kauai, he managed to finish school with an Associates Degree in Graphic Design. According to Ikaika, “Art was always bigger to me than music. I wanted to be the next ‘Wyland’ type of artist to do murals all over the world. Art always lead me to my connection with music. I started picking up the guitar again and fell in love with it.” With $50, he purchased a classical Takamine guitar from the local pawn shop and started jammin’. “The first songs I remember playing were Bob Marley and Sublime covers,” states Ikaika.

2007 marked the year that Ikaika made San Diego his permanent home base. He quickly met Scott Clayton, a local drummer, who introduced him to a bass player by the name of Jonam Leblac. Soon after, his first band, Sticky Situation, was formed and they quickly booked throughout So-Cal’s music scene by playing numerous venues, as well as local surfing and skateboarding events. And after three years of performing on the West Coast, Ikaika moved back to Hawaii with his girlfriend, but this time to the island of Maui. Here he continued writing and creating new music.

In late 2011, Ikaika returned to the mainland. Since then, he has opened for bands such as The Green, Natural Vibrations, Collie Buddz, Anuhea, Tribal Seeds, Fortunate Youth, and more. After returning to California, Ikaika began looking at bands like The Dirty Heads, Micah Brown, Ease Up, Seedless and Tomorrows Bad Seeds for inspiration. “I found myself falling in love with a certain type of musical sound. My music was changing along with my vocal style. I found myself enjoying music with what I like to call that ‘Cali Bounce.’”

Meeting and Recording with Lewis Richards…
Ikaika’s continued success led him to concentrate efforts on releasing his long awaited debut album, “Acoustic HI.” The release opened up doors for “Kai”, as his friends call him, to work with producers Anik Dang and the infamous Lewis Richards at 17th Street Recording Studio. “I had heard about Lew Richards long ago, and it was always a dream to me to work with the man who created mega hits like ‘Lay Me Down’ by The Dirty Heads. I guess the question was how?” With no answers, Ikaika did what anyone following their dreams would do, “I bugged Anik and Lew constantly and would stop by to say hi every time I passed by their Costa Mesa studio.”

As a result, in August of 2012, Ikaika released his first professionally recorded track, “The Game.” This track features Lewis Richards on bass guitar and Kevin Offitzer (Stick Figure/Outlaw Nation/Micah Brown) on drums. The single quickly reached radio rotations as far as Japan, Hawai’i, Costa Rica, Brazil, Denmark, Great Britain and more. Full of motivation from the release and great responses of his first single, Ikaika and the 17th Street production team released Kai’s 2nd single, “Just Cruise.” Kai’s second single premiered in September 2012 on Maui’s Q103 FM, the same station to play his first single, “The Game.” Since then, both singles have spread throughout the islands and are on rotation with stations like Island 98.5 FM, KONG FM Kauai, Da Pa’ina 93.1 FM Oahu, amongst others. On December 3rd, 2012, “Just Cruise” premiered at #3 on the “Mo Bettah 4@4″ on Da Pa’ina 93.1 FM. Since it’s debut on the show, it has been in the top 3 and has hit the #1 spot three separate times.

What’s Next for Ikaika Beamer…
Ikaika has got a big year in store for him in 2013! His momentum is definitely on the upswing as he continues to write new material alongside Lewis Richards and the crew at 17th Street Recording Studio. A full-length album release is planned for summer 2013 with features from notable musicians in the reggae scene. You can expect guest appearances from South Bay Los Angeles, CA talent including Moises Juarez from Tomorrows Bad Seeds, band members of Fortunate Youth, Stick Figure and more.

With a completed 2012 international tour in Costa Rica that finished off in Hawaii, Ikaika and his band said,
“We definitely have some big plans for 2013 and I’m looking forward to sharing more music with my friends and fans. It’s been a long road for me and my team, but I’m finally being heard and thats all that has ever mattered in my book. I have to thank all the people who have believed in me throughout my journey including my publisher Ilka De Leon from Ange Jolie Publishing, and to my PR Team at SEEN PR INC. Without Ilka’s guidance I would have crashed and burned long ago. I’d also like to credit Mana Thome at Polynesian Underground for managing me and for being an amazing friend through the years. This year will be a special one indeed. I have some new songs ready as we head back into the studio in February. My girlfriend Mana Brown and I are also expecting our first child in July, and as you can imagine I’m really excited to be a Dad. I guess it’s only a matter of time before I’m putting my guitar in my little ones hands. Let Love Live!”

Be sure to keep an eye, and ear, out for this artist in 2013. Ikaika Beamer’s hard work and dedication to reggae music is not to go unnoticed! Follow the links below for all of Ikaika Beamer’s music!

Ikaika Beamer Links
Ikaika Beamer Soundcloud
Ikaika Beamer Facebook

Article By: David Garcia