“The intention of the music and the message,” explains Hawai’i-born singer/songwriter Daniel Pak in an interview with the Honolulu Weekly, “is to give people a glimpse of the truth in a way such that it just might uplift them to go do something to change it.”
Seattle reggae rockers Kore Ionz have shared the stage with such legends as The Wailers, Steel Pulse, Toots & The Maytals, and Third World, as well as contemporary artists like Katchafire, J Boog, and The Green. Teaming up with producer Mell Dettmer (Femi Kuti, Bassekou Kouyate, Clinton Fearon), the band spent most of 2010 in the studio, releasing their second full-length album World War Free on August 20, 2011, nearly selling out legendary Seattle venue The Crocodile.
“War has and always will be about domination,” Pak continues. “For food, shelter, resources, energy. A long time ago humans would trade and sometimes fight to survive. But there was a balance. Then, over the course of thousands of years, society and technology advanced and now, in our modern age, it’s at the point where we’re actively contributing to our downfall as we put more and more pressure on the earth. And when I say ‘we’ I’m talking about all human beings, but especially the ones who have been running the banks and the mass media.”
The lead single, “Love You Better,” was leaked in May 2011 on the Love You Better EP, and by mid-July was the #1 requested song on Native FM in Hilo and Kona. The song peaked at #4 on Island 98.5 in Honolulu and was first performed live during an in-studio on Seattle’s KEXP 90.3 FM in January 2011 which hit the #19 spot on the station’s Top Live Performances chart, falling right below Death Cab For Cutie. In March 2012 “Love You Better” hit #7 on 93.1 Da Pa’ina in Honolulu.
The second single off the album, “First Avenue,” features a guest appearance by Prometheus Brown of renowned Seattle hip hop duo Blue Scholars.
In his review of the album for the Seattle Weekly, Joe Williams states, “Hawai’i-born singer/songwriter Daniel Pak belts out soulful, thumpin’ reggae that sounds like it was birthed right in the heart of New Orleans, with enough jazz heart to lead a Jamaican revolution of peace and love.”
Love or fear. The only two human emotions we have to choose from in response to any situation we may encounter in this world. No matter how difficult the trials of life may be, Kore Ionz continues to urge its global community to choose love, even in the darkest of hours.
“Kore Ionz has a higher calling that involves changing lives.”
- Marian Liu, The Seattle Times
“Kore Ionz should not be missed. If not for the reggae, for a lesson in love.”
- Shantel Grace, Honolulu Weekly
Daniel Pak lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Ahkeenu Musa congas, bongos, percussion
Teo Shantz drum kit
Kiley Sullivan keyboards
Lennox Holness bass
Thaddeus Turner lead guitar
Owuor Arunga trumpet
Darian Asplund tenor saxophone, flute