Fierce is an understatement. Powerful is somewhat close. However, when it comes to the multi-talented Anuhea, her style is what I describe as enigmatic. The Maui native has been pushing herself and breaking the mold since she had an epiphany pursuing her studies in something other than music. It's always delightful to step outside the generic sounds of modern day beats, and this sassy lady has revived my interest in entertainment. Watch her islandish music video for "Higher Than The Clouds" below, purchase the new album on iTunes, and read on to learn more about this blooming songstress:
EY: Can you share a little with us about your life growing up in Hawaii?
Life in Hawaii is beautiful. I was born & raised on Maui. We didn’t have the most money but we had lots of love. I’m the oldest of 4; my dad was a basketball coach so my siblings and I were kind of gym rats. Played lots of sports, did summer plays and musicals. I got into surfing in high school. I started boarding at Kamehameha Schools in 7th grade, lived in the dorms for 6 years, and learned to play guitar, and made great bonds with my friends there.
EY: At one point you were attending film school in Orange County but then gave that up and went to Australia. Was it around this time that you realized what you were most passionate about, which was music?
Yes, I feel like the school of LIFE and EXPERIENCE gave me the education I needed for this career choice. To be in touch with your feelings, to know who you are, and to be able to convey that through music was what I wanted to do. That soul-searching odyssey to Australia helped me get in touch with myself and I never turned back from my passion since then.
EY: Who are some of the musicians that have influenced or inspired you?
Jack Johnson has always been my #1 inspiration. His music inspired me to pick up the guitar in high school. My aunty (dad’s sister) is in a very popular Hawaiian band called Na Leo, so my whole life I had listened and looked up to them. I loved TLC, Salt n Pepa, all Reggae, Eminem, Alanis, No Doubt, pretty much everything! I’m inspired every day by new music.
“I was a chick from Maui and so excited that I made a mark on the world somehow.”
EY: Describe your style of music and what sets it apart from the rest.
To make it easy I’d just say that I’m inspired equally by reggae, pop and r&b/HipHop. Add an acoustic guitar and some sass and you got Anuhea. It’s apart from the rest because I’m just doing me, hopefully people like it!
EY: What was the concept behind your self titled debut album?
The first album was a collection of all the songs I had written in my life till that point. The concept was an introduction of me to the world. Songs about my life, working as a Barista and wanting MORE, heartbreak, perseverance, etc. it’s a fun album for sure.
EY: Explain your feelings on having your music released for the first time and receiving positive feedback for it.
When my music was first released and people liked it, it’s the greatest feeling in the world. I was a chick from Maui and so excited that I made a mark on the world somehow.
EY: How does your latest, “For Love,” differ from the first?
I’m so stoked on “For Love.” It’s a collection of songs, some produced in Hawaii and others in Austin, Texas. I took more risks on every level with this album- most of the songs are strategically under-produced. I wanted to be able to replicate most songs on the album live with just an acoustic guitar. There’s a lot of variety on this album style wise– I rap, I have a ballad with just me and a Piano, there’s reggae, there’s even a hint on country in one song… but all the songs go together cause they’re all me. I had so much fun making it and I think you can feel that in the album.
EY: You’re described as “a naturally gifted songwriter.” Where do you get the inspiration to write your songs and how important is it to have that connection with the listener?
Song inspiration comes from all around me. My life, of course, never fails to give me some crazy subject matter. When the emotions are at their peaks, the words and chords just start flowing. The connection with the listener is important- I like to try and be so real with a song that people think THEY could have written it. As a music lover, I love finding songs like that.
EY: How do you feel about your many accomplishments so far, and what helps you maintain that focus on going further?
I feel stoked on all the cool stuff I’ve been able to do in my career so far. I’ve been hustling at this for awhile, and there are always highs and lows, but what helps me maintain focus and drive is that I LOVE doing what I do. I don’t want to work a regular job. I figured out a way to incorporate all my passions into a career. And I believe that because I am so passionate about it, it shows. This is the entertainment industry, you have to have passion and love behind what you do, otherwise the people will see through it. I encourage everyone to figure out a way to pursue their passions as well. Life is beautiful.
EY: In what ways have you evolved as an artist since your debut up till now?
From recording my first album at age 22, to the release of my 2nd album at 26 sooo much evolution has gone down. I’ve just matured as a person, gone through so many more life experiences, heartbreak, found love again, lost a family member, traveled the world, all the while writing songs. I feel I know myself so much more than I did at 22. I look forward to seeing what the 30 year old Anuhea is all about 🙂
“Don’t be afraid to throw yourself out there, fake it till you make it!”
EY: Any regrets or anything you would have done differently along the way?
Ahhh nope! We all know everything happens for a reason.
EY: You’ve toured so many places throughout your career, but aside from your home, where would you say is your favorite place to perform?
Hard question! The whole West Coast is always so awesome! On a consistent basis though, I’ve had raging times in San Diego. I’d have to give it up to them for the good vibes!
EY: What’s next for you?
What’s next for me, I’m going to be riding the wave of “For Love” for the rest of the year! Make some more music videos, do another “Summer of Love Tour” and go overseas for sure. Check out anuheajams.com for all the info!
EY: Thank you for taking the time. Please leave a message for your fans and any tips for those trying to get into music.
If you’re trying to get into music, practice, practice, practice. Don’t be afraid to throw yourself out there, fake it till you make it! Market yourself on YouTube, Facebook, make your own posters, demo cd’s and stickers, and do work!!! Eventually you’ll find a great and connected manager and start building a team around you. Stay true to your word in all you do so you can have a good reputation. It is after all a business. And don’t stop; Persistence and patience. Also… pray!
For more info on Anuhea, visit the following links:
Image credit: Brandon Tabiolo