Born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, singer-songwriter Kumsa Maphalala will release her third EP Forever Inside on October 3, and it will be available worldwide on all major music platforms including Spotify.
The EP features four new songs written by Kumsa last year as the first wave of the COVID pandemic took hold across the globe.
Forever Inside was recorded and produced on the island of Hawaii in early 2021 by Michael Surprenant of Mana Music and Media and features Matt Spencer on guitar and bass and August Eriksmoen on mandolin. In its hard-driving title track, Kumsa brings us back to her classic rock roots, evoking some of the great classic rock songs on which she cut her teeth as a music student at Portland’s School of Rock. Her songs “Falling” and “Take a Breath” take a turn toward indie-folk with the gorgeous sound of Eriksmoens’ mandolin shining through both tracks. The final track, “Do You See Me,” feels like an 80s rock throwback.
The new EP comes close on the heels of Kumsa’s summer single, “Kona State of Mind” a fun and upbeat island-style song inspired by Kumsa’s childhood experiences growing up on the beautiful island of Hawaii. “Kona State of Mind” was well received and debuted on island radio station KAPA-FM on May 30 of this year.
Kumsa is currently a student in her third year of study at EARTH University in Costa Rica, where she is pursuing a degree in Agricultural Engineering, focusing on sustainable, regenerative land management in the tropics. She wrote these songs while essentially stuck on her campus in Costa Rica, far from her island home, as countries worldwide went into lockdown. Her new songs explore themes of loss, loneliness, and introspection yet serve as a guide for navigating the depths of our inner despair to find the inspiration to reemerge and connect with life.
Connect with Kumsa Maphalala
Kumsa Maphalala is a twenty-one-year-old singer-songwriter from the Big Island of Hawaii. She was raised around music and began her musical career in a local marimba band called Kunzwanana at 10. She fell in love with the guitar at 15 and went on to spend two years studying music at Portland’s School of Rock where, as a member of the House Band, she had the opportunity to play in some of the best local venues in Portland, Chicago, Milwaukee (Summer Fest) and more. Kumsa has a deeply soulful voice that many people associate with singers such as Tracy Chapman, Norah Jones, and Grace Slick. Her lyrics are original and drawn from personal experiences of growth and vulnerability. Now living in Costa Rica, Kumsa is a student at EARTH University, a four-year college focused on Sustainable Agriculture and Engineering.
Kumsa is significantly driven by the dream of creating a world that can support generations to come through regenerative communities and thoughtful, sustainable development. This dream is also evident in the songs Kumsa writes, as she feels music is one of the most powerful ways to spread ideas and goals such as this with people around the world. Kumsa wishes to keep writing and recording music that expresses her passion for creating a healthy and prosperous future for all.