Songs & Stories Podcast: S2, E8
Show Notes: Born and raised on the island of Oahu and now a resident of Waimea, the self-taught singer/songwriter, Blayne Asing picked up the ‘ukulele and guitar at the age of eight. In addition to playing a variety of instruments, Blayne is a prolific songwriter with a distinctive voice complemented by an engaging entertainment style. Blayne has risen to the top of Hawaiian music charts and was awarded the 2016 Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Most Promising Artist. Hawaiian and country/folk influence his original compositions. His song, “Moloka’i On My Mind” is popular on radio stations across the state and beyond.
This episode was recorded at Canoe House at Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection during a benefit concert for the Kahilu Theatre. In addition to the interview, you’ll hear two songs from that show.
You can find Songs & Stories on all major podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. It also airs weekly on KONA 100.5 FM in Kailua, Kona. You can also read an excerpt from the podcast’s transcript below.
If you have a podcast show suggestion or guest interview recommendation, give Big Island Music Magazine a call at (318) 500-3582, and leave us a message on the request line. If we like what we hear, we might air it on a future podcast episode. Thanks for listening and Aloha!
Connect with Blayne Asing via Facebook.
Steve Roby: Let’s start out with a brief overview of your music background and how you got started.
Blayne Asing: Well, believe it or not, music was something that I kind of just did from when I was a kid. I was always drawn toward music and I did theater. I was in the concert Glee all the way up through high school, and in the marching band and Hawaiian ensemble.
It was always something that I just gravitated toward and I was really interested in it, and I happened to be slightly good at it, better at it than other things that I tried to do. I was at Kamehameha schools for 13 years. They have such a great culture for growing musical artists there, and it was just natural for me. And so, that’s about as quick of a musical background story as I can give to you. [laughs]
Roby: Talk about some of your musical influences and your mentors.
Asing: I must have been about 10 or 12-years-old, maybe somewhere in middle school, at the end of elementary school, and all through high school, it was mostly luck that I ended up with a bunch of my local heroes. I was with Brother Noland for a while and learned from him. I hung out with Ernie Cruise Jr. a lot. He was actually my hero musician going up. And then I love listening to singer-songwriters, James Taylor, and Jackson Browne. I got really into the writing side of things, writing music from guys like Don Henley and Glen Fry from the Eagles. You know, guys who could tell stories through songs, and I thought was really special.
Roby: Let’s talk about your songwriting process. Do you like to write solo or collaborate with someone?
Asing: Well, I tend to not work well with others. [laughs] So, all of the writing that I do, I do it on my own. I have certain ways of saying things, and things that I want to say in the way that I want to say to it, which, as you know, works for me. It’s not for everybody.
I’ve tried co-writing and I’ve gotten great results, but I’m always just more comfortable, you know if a song idea hits you at four o’clock in the morning or ten-thirty at night, and if you’re by yourself, you can sort of capture it and sort of live through that flash of inspiration. You try to live it out as long as you can. And I just think it’s easier for me to do it by myself and just keep rewriting, capture the inspiration, and then keep going. Just write it and rewrite it and rewrite it again…
Photo: Steve Roby