On Tuesday, June 17th, KBong is set to release his first solo album, Hopes and Dreams! Featuring 14 tracks, the album has an upbeat reggae-acoustic beach vibe with freestyles that showcase KBong’s widespread talent and influences.
For anyone who has been to a live Stick Figure show in recent years, you may know KBong as the highly energetic man behind the keyboard’s playing alongside Scott Woodruff and the rest of Stick Figure’s live band.
Kevin Bong’s musical journey in the San Diego reggae scene began approximately 6 years ago with the help of Polynesian Underground as he played in a local band known as Hi Roots. After a couple of years, KBong officially joined Stick Figure and the first ideas behind Hopes and Dreams came to life as he acquired more free time after graduating college in 2011.
KBong explains, “In the 2-3 years this took to write, I experienced quite a lot and began by writing about the changes that were happening in my life. Stick Figure went through multiple tours around the country and back. Sharing the stage with talented musicians/bands and just seeing the diversity of our nation really helped shape the dynamic of the album.”
Hopes and Dreams is KBong’s first full-length release and will be host to 4 previously released songs from KBong’s Rising EP that came out in January 2014. The debut album features guest appearances from a number of artists in the reggae community including Scott of Stick Figure, Hirie, Alific, Nolan Clark of Stranger, E.N Young of Tribal Seeds, Sam of John Brown’s Body, Todd Smith and more!
The album’s third song, “Livin Easy,” features the entire Stick Figure touring band with production and vocals from Scott, a guitar solo from Tommy Sulliman, and harmonies by Kevin Offitzer. According to KBong, “The track ‘Hold On’ was written while on tour with Stick Figure. I clearly remember jamming the first parts of the song while the rest of the guys were skateboarding. ‘In The Mood’ came about while hiking in Hawaii. That same night Stick Figure and The Steppas played a show in Kona.”
Over the course of the album’s construction, the music was created in various areas around the country. Many days were spent editing from KBong’s mobile home studio on the road or at local cafes. A friend studying music at Cal State Dominguez also used his extra studio time to help track some instrumentation for the album. Further production took place with BW of The Green on “In The Mood,” Alific of The Movement on “Groove,” E.N Young of Imperial Sound Studios on “In Session,” and Johnny Cosmic of Melody Sunrise Studios on tracks 1, 4, and 13. (see tracklist below)
KBong told The Pier that he’s been writing music since getting his first guitar back in high school and in a couple weeks, his “hopes and dreams” continue coming to life as he releases his first full-length album as a solo artist. With a summer full of opportunities to promote his new album, KBong is excited to spend the next few months writing new music and touring with Stick Figure, with whom he says he owes a lot of success to.
KBong was our featured “MP3 Leak of the Week” back in February after his EP came out so be on the lookout for another FREE download from KBong in the near future! Pre-order the album at the link below and make sure to check back with The Pier as we continue to keep you updated with news on today’s modern reggae scene!
Pick up KBong’s debut album, Hopes and Dreams, on June 17th!
Pre-order KBong – Hopes and Dreams via bandcamp by clicking HERE!
KBong – Hopes and Dreams tracklist:
1.) Hold On
2.) In Session (ft. E.N Young)
3.) Livin Easy (ft. Stick Figure)
4.) Opportunity (ft. Hirie)
5.) Fall In Love
6.) Groove (prod. Alific)
8.) Hopes and Dreams
9.) In The Mood
10.) Into The Light
11.) Love Story
12.) We Had
13.) Broken Love
14.) Living In A Dream
Listen: KBong – “In Session”