Artists To Watch

Over the years I've discovered some amazing musicians who, for the most part, are pursuing their passions outside the spotlight. Here are some who I would like to share with you. Do you know of others? Please send me a link!

Alika Nako’oka

Alika performs at Maui venues and special events, solo and with his brother Kai and friend Eddee as the group Na Ko Kane. Alika impresses with his gift of singing, and also as a songwriter and producer in a unique style that nicely bridges traditional Hawaiian with contemporary pop music. Check out samples from Alika's CD on his website, and watch for news on his upcoming second CD.


Doug Robinson

Doug recently posted a song on called Grown. I was very impressed by the artistic integrity and sincerity, so I Googled his alias (Jazzoo) and found even more treasure. Check out his release Midlife Chrysalis.

Jim Boggia

I discovered Jim Boggia a few years ago through a blog comment by another talented artist (Elizaveta). Jim is an absolutely brilliant pop singer / songwriter in a classic sense, with thoughtful melodies and lyrics and dare I say, a certain Beatle-esque quality in his writing.

Interestingly, his latest CD, Misadventures in Stereo, 2008, was mastered at Abbey Road Studios in London which is where the Beatles also did their best work. Check out Jim's entire catalog; it's all quite good.

Damien Lott

Spanish artist Damien Lott posted to a pro audio blog in November 2008, requesting feedback on the English lyrics for one song on his debut album. The lyrics are good enough, and the music brilliant in a Beatle-esque sort of way. To my knowledge he's unsigned and definitely one to watch.

Mariachi Divas

Founded in 1999, Mariachi Divas is a multi-cultural ensemble represented by women of Mexican, Cuban, Samoan, Costa Rican, Panamanian, Japanese, Honduran and Anglo decent. Mariachi Divas play a variety of traditional Latin-influenced styles, plus their own style - “ranchengue” - which is a unique combination of ranchera music played in merengue fashion.

Franco Morone

I had the good fortune of wandering into the Taylor Guitars booth at the 2001 Winter NAMM Show and hearing this artist for the first time. What an amazing performance! Franco plays solo acoustic guitar in a variety of styles. He has impeccable "feel", and the ability to play lush chord arrangements and melody at the same time. Check out especially his 1998 CD, Melodies of Memories, and his newest release, Running Home.