Top 5 Stories of 2013

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Next Door, Honolulu, November 2013. Photo by Terrence Jeffrey Santos.

It’s that time again. The end of another year and the promise of a whole new beginning. A time of reflection, of reconnection, and of resolution! And with that, we thought we’d share five stories from 2013 that have got us really excited about 2014. Happy New Year!

5. Shaggy Sings Along

This story came to us from our braddah David Meligro who works with da808music, the biggest promoter of island and reggae music in Seattle. The week before Thanksgiving, he emceed the Shaggy album release party at Snoqualmie Casino and posted this on our Facebook Page the next day:

After the show was when I had my feel good moment…LOL. Shaggy’s tour bus wasn’t ready to go yet so we had the pleasure of giving them a ride back to their hotel! As we got onto the freeway, Kore Ionz “First Avenue” came on the stereo of braddah Thomas Yamada’s Suburban. The car got quiet and heads started to bob. Next thing I know, Mr. Boombastic himself started to sing along and was soon joined by his backup singers in full harmony. Ho braddahs! Chicken skin da whole ride back! I felt good for you in your absence! Keep up the great work guys, and we look forward to seeing you soon! Aloha & One Love!

4. Sly & Robbie

In September we got the call to open for the legendary Sly & Robbie, with none other than Mykal Rose fronting the performance. What could have been billed as a Black Uhuru reunion show was an experience we will never forget, watching the drum and bass greats lock the audience in a trance from beginning to end. Teo got to hang out with both Sly & Robbie after the show and even got his snare autographed! Lucky braddah…

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3. Love You Even More Better

In May we started shooting our second official music video, which we are stoked to release in early 2014. Featuring a remix of the love song that got us the most commercial radio play to date, the music video was shot and is currently being edited by Terrence Jeffrey Santos who produced the First Avenue music video. Shown below is the only still he’s letting us post from the massive amount of footage he shot! Stay tuned…

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2. Hawai`i

Just as Seattle started to freeze in November, we stacked up all the money we saved over the year, packed our bags, and headed to O`ahu. The trip was the most productive five days of 2013, as we were able to get in an `awakea with Professor Rod Labrador at the University of Hawai`i, talked story with braddah Phat Joe on Island 98.5, rocked Next Door in Chinatown to a packed house of 300+, and chased the sun around the southeast corner of the island for three days amidst flash floods to shoot another music video for an unreleased song called Feels Good. Not to mention landing an amazing story by sistah Jermel-Lynn Quillopo of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Plus, we had a lot of fun.

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1. First Avenue

The biggest story of 2013 is by far the release of the First Avenue official music video featuring our braddah Prometheus Brown of Blue Scholars, who did an amazing acting job alongside the extremely talented Jessica Hu. Our very first music video was produced from front to back by Terrence Jeffrey Santos, who had the following words to say about our decision to play less shows in 2013 and spend more time in the studio and in creative meetings:

The constants I’ve seen from many successful artists and musicians has been a high level of perseverance and the ability to critically analyze their own work. Kore Ionz has both of these. The future is bright.

Mahalo for the humbling words braddah. We promise a lot more music, video, and live performances in 2014. See you there! If you still haven’t seen his work yet, here is the First Avenue official music video directed by Terrence Jeffrey Santos:

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