With nothing but two guitars and a backpack, Hawaii’s very own Kapali Long, met with The Fox and King in February to kick off the east coast leg of “The Different Tour 2016” in an effort to promote his brand new EP, “The Different.”
Stemming from a beautiful family heritage of Hawaiian folk musicians, Kapali Long started playing acoustic singer-songwriter music at a young age. The aspiring guitarist began playing music at the age of three where he first learned to play piano. He would eventually go on to master the guitar and adopt an early 90’s alternative style that combined captivating lyrics, with vivid storytelling and features derived from traditional Hawaiian folk music.
“I’ve always played acoustic singer-songwriter music ever since I was 14, playing four-hour gigs in coffee shops - covering Van Morrison; to Led Zeppelin; to Brand New; to Taking Back Sunday – it was everything,” Kapali says. “Now I’m back again, 10 years later, playing acoustic singer-songwriter, bluesy, folk, rock-stuff with Hawaiian influences.”
Kapali Long arrived from Los Angeles to New York after performing at the Nissan® Grand Plaza stage at NAMM 2016 (National Association of Music Merchants) where he performed for 20,000 people on the KIA Soul Main Stage. In his first New York performance in over two years, the multi-instrumentalist performed at the lower east side’s very own, Pianos, sharing the bill with other talented emerging artists. Kapali rocked the two-story venue on the first stop of “The Different Tour 2016,” crooning the intimate crowd with a commanding, yet mellow; vocal that illustrated the sounds of blues and hints of Kapali’s traditional folk influences. He transitioned his raw and invigorating performance to another equally legendary venue, Arlene’s Grocery, wooing a hushed crowd on a frigid Valentines Day weekend.
During the second week on the NYC tour, Kapali took part in an open mic session at Black Rose, playing along side fantastic local musicians and performers. He also performed at the industry renowned Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 1, in front of a full room of fans. His passion for music and sensuous voice lit up the Lower East Side, drawing the audience to a tentative and tranquil state. You could feel the joy and soul of Kapali’s performance radiating off the stage.
“It’s cool to do that at least one time in your set, but for every song the crowd pretty much stopped,” Kapali says. “Those people were there for the lyrics. Getting to share my stories is what fuels me to keep going and keep doing this.”
Alongside The Fox and King and production company, For The Xperience, Kapali filmed his first featured music video for the track, “Between Then & Now." Coincidentally, it's a song Kapali wrote just two years earlier when he first came to New York. One day removed from his stellar performance at Rockwood, the TFAK and For the Xperience crew drove Kapali out to the Bushwick and Williamsburg sections of Brooklyn. This grassroots production featured Kapali on location, capturing shots of concrete murals, art, historical landmarks, open parks and the Manhattan skyline itself.
Kapali also interviewed with TFAK’s very own, Kevin Vallejos, to provide fans and audiences a clean and more insightful look at where he's been, where the journey as a musician has taking him, what’s next for his music and what to expect from his upcoming album. The interview and video will be featured in a soon-to-be-released mini-documentary about Kapali’s east coast tour in New York.
Kapali Long’s time in New York has illustrated how far he has come from being the young talented guitarist that soothed coffee enthusiasts in his native hometown of Honolulu. In what has taken him years to forge, Kapali Long is a versatile force in the independent acoustic music scene that has adopted the ability to persuade us with a sense of empathy and compassion. Through the kindness of his music, Kapali continues to share his harmonious lyrics through the spirit of aloha and persuade his fans to cherish how music can bring people together.
“What I’m trying to do is spread the awareness of aloha and just passing it forward,” Kapali revealed. “That’s just the message that I’ve embodied in my music: pass that love forward.”