By: Ricky Carden
Plaid Hawaii has just what it takes to be successful in the music industry. His tropidelic progressive dance music transcends into beautiful spacey-vibes for everyone to enjoy. The elements of Tropical-House, Indie-Dance, Psychedelic, and Funk genres all find themselves to blend quite nicely into this artist’s evolving breath of modern electronic music. Hear this brand new collaboration with Martiln called 'Night Sky' Ft. Olivia Gonzales, below:
Jason Haeberlin (Plaid Hawaii) seems to implement all of his musical influences into a convergence of genres to create this Plaid Hawaii sound. It is also important to note that Jason also plays the bass guitar in Undercover Organism, a jamtronica band that has been compared to acts like Lotus and STS9. As a DJ/Producer, he looks up to talents like Sam Feldt, Matoma, Kygo, Thomas Jack, Bassnectar, Ferry Corsten, Above & Beyond, Daft Punk, and The Chemical Brothers.
I was very impressed the first time I saw Plaid Hawaii perform. The date was Friday, February 10th, 2017 and the show took place at the Concord Music Hall-- Jason opened the night for Matoma's Party At Your Place Tour.
His opening DJ set was a perfect tone-setter for the evening and I am certain Jason’s song selections, remixes, and transitions between got that local crowd moving. Then, almost as a special treat, Jason brought up Mike Daum (Particle) to play guitar specifically for the last three tracks of the set-- all of which are featured on Plaid Hawaii's new Flora EP. This LIVE element of the performance was my favorite part of the night. The original music that Jason and Mike were performing together was just too great and unique.
I had the chance to ask the Plaid Hawaii team some questions after the show:
Was this your first show at Concord Music Hall?
Jason (Plaid Hawaii): Yes, this was my first show at the Concord. It was amazing playing in such a well respected venue in the city were house music was born. The fact that it sold out and people packed the place early to show love meant so much to me as well.
How do you think the show went tonight?
Charlie Kautz (Manager): I think the show went over great. A lot of people had good things to say and the vibe felt right. I'm particularly excited about developing the "live band" element of Plaid Hawaii for certain shows in the future and this was one of the biggest rooms we've played. Two Friends, who were also on the bill, caught the last few songs of the set which were Plaid Hawaii originals with Mike shredding on guitar. Jason is a fan and they told him that they were really into it, so that was cool.
How much do you love Charlie as your manager?
Jason (Plaid Hawaii): Charlie is hands down the best manager I could ask for. He is one of the most professional, organized and disciplined people I know. I have very lazy tendencies especially when it comes to social media and marketing myself. He has a great way of knowing what I want and keeping me on track to making it happen. Since working with him my work ethic has gone up a few levels. He also isn't afraid to tell me a song sucks if it does which is important. Couple that with being my chiropractor and one of my best friends. What more could you ask for?
Can you describe how your relationship came to be with Mike Daum?
Jason (Plaid Hawaii): So the other half of my music career is being the bassist for the Jamtronica band Undercover Organism. I've been in the band 6 years now and have no desire to slow things down with them either. I met Mike Daum in the jam music world when our bands would play together. He also sat in as our guitarist for a few shows when we were in transition. He currently plays in the Jamtronica group Particle. He has been producing music on his own for a while also so that got us talking and eventually wanting to collaborate. Our collaboration jam turned into Frozen Flame which is a great mix of our styles. We have more songs that we started and will release in the future. We both have pretty hectic touring schedules so there will be more live performances when the stars align. Bigger shows and definitely festivals that Plaid Hawaii and Particle are both playing at.
How do you feel the crowd reciprocated to the live collaboration between Jason and Mike?
Mike (Guitarist): I think they liked that it added even more visual and sonic dimensions to a DJ set. For Plaid Hawaii shows, I try to complement and enhance the dynamics, chords and melodies to Jason's tracks.
What is the goal of your debut EP Flora?
Jason (Plaid Hawaii): The goal of this EP is the same goal I have for music and life. To spread love and joy to as many people as I can while on this planet. Electronic music has been in a weird place for a few years now where words like, clean, beautiful, and uplifting have been replaced by words like dirty, grimy and savage. I really just wanted my personality and emotions to come through the music. I like working with vocals and that will be my primary focus after this, but I definitely wanted to put something out that was more artsy. People react positively to music with lyrics and it holds attention, but I really like music that lets you find your own meanings. Another huge part of this EP is the corresponding album art from visionary artist Brittany Parshall. She has very similar tastes to me and did an amazing job of listening to the songs and coming up with fitting pieces for each track.
What is the theme?
Jason (Plaid Hawaii); The theme is kind of a nature vibe, that's why I chose Flora for the title. I like to hike and travel which is a big influence on my music as well; so I thought it was a way to insert another aspect of my life.
Who is your target demographic?
Jason (Plaid Hawaii): The target demographic is really anyone. I want my music to be something that can be enjoyed by all ages. If I had to pick a specific market I'd say any music festival goer. I want someone to be walking through festival grounds and hear something different and check it out.
Like what you have heard so far!? It is time for you to find out more about this new up-and-coming DJ/Producer.
It is very necessary to tell the World about Plaid Hawai’s debut EP called Flora, which was released on Friday, March 24th and celebrated with a headlining “live Flora set” at The Miramar Theatre, which is in his hometown of Milwaukee, WI. Flora can be found on Soundcloud.
Follow Plaid Hawaii on Instagram & Twitter: @plaidhawaii
We wish our friends on the Plaid Hawaii team luck on this year's music festival season. Keep your eyes out for them on several lineups this summer.
Stay tuned for more previews, reviews, interviews, and other musical endeavors.