For nearly 12 years now, Hot Rain has been a prominent figure in Hawaiʻi’s thriving reggae scene, serving as in-house and back-up band for international reggae superstars Junior Reid and Tanya Stephens as well as local staples Fiji and J Boog. Over the past couple of years, they’ve managed to climb from behind the shadows of their predecessors and walk into the spotlight and shine on their own. With the recent release of their debut LP, cleverly titled Self Titled, the inner-fire of these new, rising stars has ignited and begun to burn feverishly. 15 tracks deep, Self Titled features a hardy mixture of roots, lover’s rock and songs that will have you “move your dancin’ feet”. Three of the 15 tracks have hit #1 on local radio, including Cuz I’m, Love and most recently, Heavyweight Love, and if there was any indication of where Hot Rain is headed, these three songs charting highly is definitely a prophecy of what’s to come. Make sure to cop the album (now available at FITTED as well as Amazon, iTunes and CD Universe). #SUPPORTLOCAL MUSIC
FITTED: Two part question: What is the creative process when coming up with a concept for a song? And have you guys ever came up with a song idea that manifested into reality from a simple joke? If so, what song was this? (Sorry, I lied, that was three questions)
Hot Rain: It varies. At times, the lyrics are written first, then music is built around the lyrics. Other times, the music is created first, then the lyrics are written to fit the music. The track “Crazy Woman” was created from actual events that Cako experienced with some girl he hooked up with. He shared the story with the band and we all laughed about how crazy this chick was. Hence the name “Crazy Woman.” [Laughs]
FTD: You guys have nearly traveled the entire World. What are some of the most interesting stories you have experienced while on tour? In contrast with that question, what are the most horrible situations you guys have been in?
HR: There’s too many stories to share, but I guess we can mention a few. Let’s see…In Alaska, Cako disappeared with an Eskimo girl and ended up stranded in some uncharted territory, in the snow (that’s a crazy story) [laughs]. In Guam, we traded some beverages to a local in exchange for Big L to ride his water buffalo. In Japan, we hit up Club AgeHa and watched the sunrise on the rooftop where the DJ was spinning dancehall reggae music.
As far as horrible situations go, our last tour broke the mold by far. We recently did a tour in Australia. The tour flopped and we were stranded without flights home. We ended up doing a few last minute shows to pay for our way back home. It was rough but now we know, and knowing is half the battle.
FTD: When will be able to see some new cooking segments with Leslie?
HR: There will definitely be more video segments, not just cooking though. We try not to do too much with Les because he has a tendency to get naked [Laughs out loud]. Stay posted with our YouTube channel.
FTD: There has been a missing gap in music that celebrates the love of plus sized women. You guys have a new song on the album that has been receiving steady radio burn, so you’ve definitely bridged that gap. How did the concept of Heavyweight Love come about?
We’ve always wanted to write a song that was different from the norm. Big L mentioned that nobody writes love songs about “big girls.” When you hear love songs that talk about women, the descriptions are usually superficial. So we decided to create a song that was real and showed love to all the big, beautiful ladies…randomly, Chris Reezy took up the task and came up with “Heavyweight Love”!!!
FTD: As a group of friends and musicians, it’s quite obvious you have all been through some trying times as well as some honored times. Where do you guys see yourselves as a group in say, five years?
HR: Like Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I have a dream…” Well, we have dreams too. Next question (nah nah nah). But for real, next question (nah nah nah). On the real, in the next 5 years we hope that when you think of reggae music in Hawaii, you think of Hot Rain. We hope to be touring the world sharing our music and to be continually doing what we love…and also to be sponsored by FITTED HAWAII, [laughs] #realtalk (sorry, we don’t know why we’re trending that).
FTD: The number one viral commercial that’s currently making the rounds around the islands is Poncho’s Solar Services. Do you guys planning on digging into your Filipino roots and doing a cover of this beautiful song?
HR: Yes, we’re planning to collaborate with the singer and do a remix. But we’re also looking into hosting our own “grindtime style” Filipino Accent Battles! So if you think you got what it takes, “Come oberrr hurrr and get some!!!”
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