Introduce yourself for those that don't know you.
Yeah man I go by the name "Wun" .. it's kind of a nickname that stuck and became my stage name. I've been recording and releasing music independently since 2001. I started Gritty Fifty recordings in 02' and I'm one of the newest members to the Flip The Bird family
Talk about the high points of career while you were in Hawaii.
Well I would have to say the first cd I put out was definitely one of my high points because it let people know I was serious. Hawaii's Hip Hop scene was very unforgiving at the time and the technology wasn't where it is today. There weren't many studios around and the ones that were around had CRAZY rates.. the town guys considered my sound to be too "jiggy" for Hawaii and I was fresh out of high school .. I was pretty much told it couldn't be done. It was a challenge to record and release an album at all then..especially being young with no backing.. But we did it anyway ..and at that time I was one of the only Hiphop artists in Hawaii who had successfully put out a physical cd ..
It meant a lot to us that a kid from wahiawa could do that at all.. and the journey and friends I made doing it was just a priceless experience for me ..
Another one is the release of "Live from the 808" & "Sink or Swim Radio"
.. They got great reviews and garnished a lot of respect for my label. My brother passed away just prior to the release and I was going through a hard time with that so it just meant a lot to me that it was as successful as it was , and people enjoyed it the way they did. My first official single "Waikiki" which was produced by Illmind and featured on "Sink or Swim Radio" was voted the Number 1 Hawaii HipHop song of 2006... and that was special to me, to be completely independent and have a project be that successful. It was definitely a statement that was being made. Not only had I successfully built an independent in Hawaii but we had genuinely started a movement .. again things I was told just couldn't be done ...
I asked a number of respected cats in the Hawaii Hip hop scene if WUN is still Hawaii Hip Hop although he's not presently living on the rock and they all said yes. That being said how do you still rep the 808 out in cowboy country bruh.
Well shout to everybody for not sweeping me under the rug haha ..But.. yeah you know my goal was always to rep for Hawaii .. Even before it was cool too. Dudes used to look at us crazy for trying to rap about Hawaii, but I wanted people to understand our struggle and see our talents. That's always been important to me.. My whole experience growing up in Hawaii is something that I take with me everywhere I go. It molded who I am today, and Im proud of that so I will always rep that.. i guess it just comes natural .. You know .. you can take the boy from the island but he's still gonna throw that shaka in traffic ... I still rep in every song I still talk that Waikiki shit .. And Im always gonna rep for Hawaii. In part that's what this has always been about for me ..
What makes the scene in Texas more appealing to you as an artist?
Well I wouldn't say it's "more" appealing, but I can see some advantages .. one of them is that Texas is HUGE, and they show they're local talent a lot of love. The "Wun" EP will be my first "official" release since moving to Texas, but the music I have put out here has gotten great response. Also being forty five minutes from Austin has been great, just as a fan of HIPHOP. Being in a new city with a new team "FTB" supporting me I really feel like a "NEW" artist, and I made the move here for my family so being able to continue doing music has been a blessing all together.
Your latest project is about to be released real soon. What's the lastest?
Ahh Yess .. well this new EP is self titled and is completely produced by Veterano. Who is just one of the illest cats ever. Musically and personally .. I've always been a fan of Vets, since Mushmouf put me up on him back in the day. Vet had done some stuff with us on previous projects via internet ..and when we finally met in person a couple years ago I was like "man we should do an album" and he was down so that's how this came about. I decided to make it an EP later and was blessed enough to get verses from some HI State Legends including "Shella" "Creed Chameloen" "Tassho Pearce" and "Fortilive".
It's got a completely different sound and style in comparison to my previous work but still packs the same wit and lyricism. Being that VET laid the whole backdrop for it and I was able to get some vocals from some artists I have the utmost respect for, I'm really excited about it.
Coming out of a short musical hiatus and being in a new city It almost feels like this is my first project .. And it's definitely one of my best works. So make sure to be on the lookout for that "WUN" EP on Itunes and Bandcamp this January.
What messages fuels your lyrics and what keeps you motivated to make music.
“Sink or Swim”
“Sink or Swim” ”
“Sink or Swim”
That has always been the motto and the message behind my music. And it always will be. It’s all about never giving up regardless of the circumstance. I’ve been through a lot in life, and the people who know me, and my story, know that I’ve always been passionate about making music and being creative. Even when there were no opportunities for us to do that, we created them, and to me thats what its all about. Refusing to lay down and die .. or give up and drown. In all my personal struggles I have still been able to accomplish all my goals and become what I wanted to be. And that’s my message “hold your head high and “Keep Swimming” towards WHATEVER it is that you want. That’s what I live by so that’s what the fuck I rap like.. SinkorSwim bitches!!!