Summer Jams: Hawaiʻi Edition


Marigold Baldonado

Summer is approaching and for me, and many other students, that means going home for the break! I am grateful and lucky enough to be born and raised in Hawaiʻi, so as I count down my days till I get to go home, I wanted to share my playlist of Summer jams. This playlist mainly consists of reggae and a genre that is lesser known called Jawaiian. Jawaiian is a Hwaiian style of popular music that combines native styles with reggae and other Caribbean influences (Wikitionary, 2022). Now that you understand the vibes, here are my 10 picks for songs to play to remind me of the beach days back home. To be clear, these are not listed by favorites. These are simply 10 songs chosen from my 17 hour long playlist.

“Let’s Do It Again” by J Boog

Starting off with a classic that many may recognize from a similar song “Do It Again” by Pia, Chris Brown, and Tyga. “Let’s Do It Again” by J Boog was released as a single in 2010 and then again in 2011 in his self-title EP and once again in his debut album released in 2011 Backyard Boogie. J Boog will be touring in Bend at the Midtown Ballroom/Domino Room/Annex on July 17th, 2023.

“Irie Beach Party” by Rebel Souljahz

If you’re going to the beach and listening to music, you better learn how to skank. I don’t even know how to explain what or how to skank, but just know it’s a type of dancing that is known to be done at local concerts. “Irie Beach Party” by Rebel Souljahz talks about skanking at the beach and just hanging out.

“Cool Down” by Kolohe Kai

Kolohe Kai is a staple in any locals playlist as many of those in my generation grew up listening to him since elementary school. “Cool Down” comes off of their first album This Is The Life released in 2009. Kolohe Kai will be touring in Portland at the Crystal Ballroom on September 2st and 22nd, 2023.

“Honey Baby” by Three Plus

This is a personal favorite as it starts off with a beautiful riff of a ukulele. Three Plus is a band formed by its three members Marcus Malepeai, Tanoa Kapana, and Karl Zinsman in the 90s all coming from different Oahu high schools.

“I’m Yours” by The Green

Similar to “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz, “I’m Yours” by The Green sings about falling at the knees of a lady they are in love with. The Green happens to currently be on tour and will have concerts in both Bend  at The Domino Room on July 14th, 2023 and Portland at the Crystal Ballroom on July 16th, 2023.

“Higher Than The Clouds” by Anuhea

“Higher Than The Clouds” comes off of Anuhea’s second album For Love and like many of the songs on that album she sings about how levitating being in love feels like. Fun fact, Anuhea is from my island home Maui! 

“Alcoholic” by Common Kings

Corvallis or Corvegas, as it’s known by some students, is a well known college town and with college comes parties and drinking as a social activity. Because of that, I think this track will hit a lot of college students as it is a song written about how addicting a love for a person can be, using alcohol as a metaphor.

“Make Me Say” by Kimieʻ (feat. Imua Garza)

“Make Me Say” comes off of Kimieʻ’s 2013 album To the Sea. It’s a duet between Kimieʻ and Imua Garza where they sing about how grateful they are for each other’s love.

“Smoke All Day” by Kaʻikena Scanlan

Many of the songs on this list have been solely focused on love and it’s effect; however, “Smoke All Day” by Kaʻikena Scanlan is a track focused on the practice of smoking meat. Even in the beginning of the song Kaʻikena says “smoke meat, not drugs.” At least at Hawaii beaches, locals never go empty handed. Whether you cooked the food at home and brought it along or you cook at the beach, never go to the beach with an empty stomach.

“E Piʻi Mai” by Kamaka Camarillo (feat. Wikz)

Kamaka Camarillo and Wikz take Bruno Mars’ “That’s What I Like” and transform it into their own using ʻOleo Hawaii. I am not completely sure if it is a direct translation, but “E Piʻi Mai” is a great song to transition into listening to more ʻOleo songs.

10 songs is barely scraping the surface of what the islands have to offer. If these happen to spark your interest, I have a 17 hour playlist on Spotify that has much more from artists included in this list and those not included. Even if you are not going to Hawaiʻi, you can still pretend you are by jamming out to music of the islands.

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