A review of the amazing band Kolohe Kai
By EG Manilag, Staff Writer
If you’re up for some island and ukulele vibes during this cold and wet weather, then make sure to lend your ears to this cover of the song “Speechless” produced by the one and only island music band: Kolohe Kai.
Originally, “Speechless” was written by Dan + Shay. The song gained fame for its poignant vibe that purely reflected the artists’ first year of marriage. The duo Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney were both happily married in 2017, and in the following year, they each utilized their wedding clips into an official video for the song. The video currently has 81 million views on YouTube. The lyrics of this love song surely captivated the hearts of many young couples. As well, the overall progression of the music and story line left the listeners in awe. Fans are not just merely listening to a song, but they’re also following two stories of how great love truly is.
Kolohe Kai’s cover version did not cast the song’s loving tone to the side. Instead, their version is true to the warm feeling of the original song—yet they have skillfully blended some of their classic Hawaiian style music into it. Using ukulele and bass, the band adds a spectacular short intro to the song that is as peaceful as an ocean-wave filled paradise. The reggae parts of this cover aren’t overpowering.
The song is slow and romantic as the original, which makes it a slow reggae song. Other than string instruments, the sounds of percussions also dominate—especially the famous wooden djembe and bongo drums. The drums bring an amazing beat to the piece. Not to mention their awesome harmony singers that really embody the essence of the cool and chill Hawaiian reggae theme. One minor issue about this cover: it disregards the soulful guitar solo of the original song. It is very typical for a reggae band like them to have little to no solos though. Nonetheless, the cover version is truly wonderful and magnificent. It really brings you a relaxed and groovy sensation.
The one thing that ultimately inspired me to write this review is Kolohe Kai’s lead vocalist Roman De Peralta. His voice is just otherworldly! His voice is not the typical raspy type that you would probably hear on many reggae albums. The voice he possesses is soft and childlike—he really has a fresh voice! You need to hear his voice in this cover. If you have not listened to the original song though, I highly suggest that you hear it first—before listening to Kolohe Kai’s version.