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Name: Adam Bernard
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About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - Kaleo Futuristo
Monday, July 13, 2009

When Kaleo Futuristo’s The Future is NOW! landed on my desk the first thought I had when I looked at the album was “damn, this dude has some crazy ass hair!” After popping the CD in, however, I found that Kaleo, who is both an emcee and a singer, was interested in making a lot more than just fashion statements. I really felt the album and this week I caught up with Kaleo to find out more about his music, his decision to make The Future is NOW! a clean record, what love’s got to do with it, and, of course, his crazy ass hair.

Adam Bernard: Start me off with a brief history of Kaleo Futuristo. Where are you from and what’s your path in the music world been like up till now?
Kaleo Futuristo: I was born in Hollywood, CA, and raised in Pasadena, CA. I've always loved music and playing music. I've played in orchestras, marching bands, and have been in various groups ranging from Hip-Hop to Electronica. One of my performances while I was promoting a solo album caught the eye of Russell Tate, my now manager and the owner of (independent record label) System 3 Entertainment. He signed me and we took the project over to Midem, the biggest music convention in the world. We got a great response and were in negotiations with a couple major labels, finally signing a licensing deal with Mercury/Universal Music Group.

Adam Bernard: That must have been a dope performance to get signed off of it. Before we get too deep into this interview, though, I think everyone wants to know – what’s up with the hair, man?
Kaleo Futuristo: A lot of hair products are up with my hair! It's craziness. People always love it and I just have fun expressing myself in all different ways - hair, clothing, music, art - that just happened to be another way for me to do that and, of course, since I'm a Leo it only makes sense that my lion's mane is poppin' nicely.

Adam Bernard: How do you feel your unique sense of style translates to your music?
Kaleo Futuristo: Through variety and self-expression. That's what my style is all about and that’s what my music is all about and, artistically and creatively, that's what translates into fresh music. The album has so many different unique styles, feels, and expressions and that's what makes it a good album and fun to listen to.

Adam Bernard: Speaking of your album, The Future is NOW! is a clean record. What went into your decision to make your album curse-free?
Kaleo Futuristo: It's so funny how we all now expect that albums are supposed to be curse laden. {laughs} We decided to make an album that had no cursing because we wanted to reach as many people as possible. Our themes are universal and we want to reach the masses and we felt that by creating a curse-free album we would better be able to reach the world.

Adam Bernard: Your album, although party driven when it comes to production, is message driven when it comes to lyrical content. How did you meld those two, usually disparate, musical concepts together to form songs that work?
Kaleo Futuristo: That was the goal of The Future is NOW! We wanted to create a bangin' club/studio album with fresh, catchy hooks and all the polish that could rock on any radio station, but then have the dope lyrics that open up the listener once they're in. Generally speaking when people are listening to any type of music they are caught by the beat and the music, then they are enticed by the melody and cadence of the voice or singer, then lastly the listeners tap into the lyrical content. Knowing that, we created The Future is NOW! and we melded all of that together.

Adam Bernard: What are some of the most important points you hope come across when people listen to The Future is NOW!?
Kaleo Futuristo: Love. I want them to laugh and cry and think and dance and most importantly I want them to think about having love for themselves, because from that all things are possible.

Adam Bernard: You have a famous guest on the record, one Jon B. How’d you two link up?
Kaleo Futuristo: I've known Jon since we were little kids. He was always playing music and then he was the kid who blew up. We always stayed in touch throughout. We share music when we see each other and collab on records from time to time. We've got some other joints, as well. I'm happy to have his skills on the album. Plus he's a great guy and a great friend.

Adam Bernard: I’ve heard you’re also getting some pretty dope placements in films. Are you at liberty to talk about them? If so, do tell!
Kaleo Futuristo: We've gotten a lot of placements in both film and television ranging from MTV and ABC to Lions Gate productions. Some of the most recent placements have been in Red Bull commercials, America's Best Dance Crew, Eli Stone, and a new movie starring Charlie Murphy.

Adam Bernard: That’s fantastic, congrats! Finally, let’s get into a little nomenclature. The name Kaleo is Hawaiian, correct? What does it mean?
Kaleo Futuristo: In the Hawaiian language one word will mean a lot of things. Like aloha means, hello, goodbye, and I love you. "Ka" means "the" and "leo" means "voice, music and song," so Kaleo means "The Voice, the Music and The Song." I was named by my Tutu, or grandmother, a very wise and powerful woman. In my culture what you're named gives you power and I love the power that Kaleo gives me.

Related Links

Website: kaleofuturisto.com
MySpace: myspace.com/kaleofuturisto
YouTube: youtube.com/futuristo
YouTube: youtube.com/kaleofuturisto


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:39 AM  
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