Surfer Rothman's songs come with a 'happy vibe'
Dec 27, 2012 (The Honolulu Star-Advertiser - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Professional surfer Makua Rothman had just finished a strenuous training session on the North Shore, when he got on the phone -- to talk about his music.
The 28-year-old, who's best known for catching monster waves and as the son of well-known North Shore surfer Eddie Rothman, has spent a fair amount of his time this year writing original music.
This month he released an EP, "Makanale Road," in digital form on iTunes.
The six songs, including a Hawaiian Christmas standard, are very much in the surfer lifestyle groove: "the ones with the most vibe," as Rothman describes them.
"My family has been forever jamming," he said. "My grandma, who played in the Kodak Hula Show, taught me to play the ukulele as a kid when I was in town surfing Ala Moana Bowls."
From backyard jams to the recording studio, Rothman and his backing band (all from Ocean Beach in San Diego), have played their fair share of gigs lately to help promote the music.
"We played the Surfer Poll Awards after-party and the Mauli Ola Foundation benefit with Chevy Metal, both at Turtle Bay," he said. He'd just landed the opening gig for Pepper on Friday at The Republik.
Pepper makes a good match with Rothman because that band also originates from the islands, breaking out of Kona to become a national act.
Rothman said he's definitely putting across the "happy-vibe jam along the lines of Braddah Iz" but hopes his music will bring him recognition similar to that of fellow North Shore resident Jack Johnson, appealing to audiences worldwide.
His manager, Rick DeVoe, is working on that.
Speaking by phone from his office in the coastal beach town of Encinitas in San Diego County, DeVoe said he met Rothman through a mutual friend this year.
"Makua was in California, training and working with his band, and he played me some of his music. As surfers we obviously connected on that level, but being in music management for about 20 years, I was intrigued with this whole ukulele thing," DeVoe said.
"I told him get back to me when he had written more songs, and to my surprise, about a month later, he did just that, saying 'Here, I did it, brah.'"
So DeVoe helped Rothman lay out a business plan.
"No. 1, we want Makua to become the ambassador of aloha to the world. The first thing to do was to get his published music out like a business card, so that's what the iTunes release is all about.
"We're just starting the process of working radio stations to play his music, then we'll start courting record labels," DeVoe said.
"Makua's very authentic. He's the real deal. He's got such an interesting life. Makua's an established big-wave surfer, his father (Eddie) is well known and he's got some Hawaiian royalty blood on his mom's side."
But the proof is in the music, and he'll be performing it live on Friday. For a sample, go to iTunes to learn more about Rothman's EP.
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