‘From hard times I rise…”
iamai is a Hawaiian-born musician with a custom sound that blends hip hop, reggae and soul fusion with a mix of raw acoustic guitar. His latest album titled Vanishing Point features Gift of Gab, Eligh (of Living Legends) and Pure Powers. While the roots of him as a musician comes from dark times and unfortunate situations, iamai uses it as a personal canvas for healing and positive energy that he could spread to his audience.
In his earlier days, iamai, was part of a group called Floriginal with his best friend, Nohokai, followed by another group called Kamehameha Projects. Now, iamai has been working with Bay Area producer Starski for over a year now, playing most of the beats on his guitar, and incorporating his longtime friend Nohakai as well.
Iamai had been through many tough times before his passion for music ultimately saved his life. Way before this time, life took a turn for the worst when his father committed suicide when he was just 9 years old. What followed was more unfortunate circumstances including a broken family, drug abuse, and homelessness. Iamai found himself dealing with heartache, depression, anxiety and feeling alone in the world. After dealing with the worst of the worst in his personal life, iamai used music as an emotional outlet for his own suffering and wanted to help others at the same. Having hit rock bottom so many times, he understood mistakes were a part of the process. Over time, he realized that on the path to success, comes a lot of failure along the way. These mishaps would only make him stronger. It taught him sacrifice and to stay dedicated if this was something he took seriously.
In the midst of the developing turmoil, music was essentially introduced to iamai at a young age, as both his parents were former musicians themselves. As a child, he played the piano and guitar, along with singing and harmonizing. Iamai is considered self-taught as he obtained most of his musical attributes on his own, including production, writing lyrics and freestyling. In fact, he self-produced his first album, Self Help completely on his own. Music was a constant aspect of his life before, during and after the negative factors he endeavored.
In a time where mental health needs to be a priority, many seek positive outlets that can come in many different forms. The path to continuing self-destruction was something iamai wanted to escape and he did so through writing music, recording and generating beats. He wanted to share the stories of his life to the masses in the hopes that it will touch the hearts and souls of those who have gone through the same, or similar situations. He wanted to connect with others who needed healing and show that no matter what negative experiences you’ve been through, you can have a progressive outcome through hard work. Despite all the hardships he faced, iamai knew he had a voice and talents that he could use to help himself and touch the lives of others. He decided to put away as much money as he could invest it into his music.
He will continue to shine as an artist, while also being a source of motivation for those in need. He has a style that’s not quite like anyone else, and his music can’t be placed into any particular category. Besides the entertainment aspect, iamai believes there is so much more than that as a true artist. Giving hope and inspiration to others who may need it is something he values, and also looks to achieve in his career.