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A fellow Hawaiʻi Island-based singer-songwriter, Kelly Hyde, talks about knowing theory, songwriting, touring, and more.
- Kelly Hyde homepage
- “Little Lucky” with Bobby Alu video
- Richard’s Hawaiʻi Cigar and Ukulele Lounge
- Kelly’s Patreon
Edited for clarity.
Brad Bordessa (00:00:01):
Aloha Kākou. Welcome to the Live Ukulele Podcast. My name is Brad Bordessa and you’re tuned into a good one.
New Speaker (00:00:08):
I had such an absolute blast doing this interview and then editing the episode afterwards because Kelly Hyde, formerly known as Kaʻahele, is one of my favorite songwriters and musicians on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. Just an absolute treat to hear her music at all, but then also to know her as a friend and just to cross paths. I’m always so excited when I see her playing live somewhere. I just roll up and like, “yeah, Kelly’s playing!” Get all pumped because her music is so special and takes listeners on such a journey. And her presentation is just absolutely stunning, even if it’s just her and an ukulele, as you’ll hear in the episode. She plays some songs for us, just magic, total magic. And I’m so fortunate that I’ve been able to experience this music. And I’m really excited to be able to share this music with you folks.
New Speaker (00:01:04):
So I’m not going to talk a lot here up in the intro. It’s going to get right into the interview. Hope you folks enjoy.
Brad Bordessa (00:01:23):
Well, thanks for joining me on the podcast, Kelly. I noticed your recent Bandcamp came through as Kelly Hyde instead of Kaʻahele. Have you officially changed music career names?
Kelly Hyde (00:01:37):
Yeah. Well, 2020 allowed me to kind of have the time to dive into music, kind of more behind the scenes and what work I could be applying to my music to further the success of it, I guess. So I just started to learn more online, how I could navigate this better as an independent musician. And I got the advice from someone where they basically, they checked out my Spotify profile and they’re like, “this is a nice name, you know, take this with a grain of salt, but we also are learning that your name is Kelly Hyde, and that’s a great name. Like why don’t you use your real name?” Just like curious, you know. And it kind of just like opened up this whole discussion in my own head of like…
Kelly Hyde (00:02:41):
I’ve been hiding behind this other name. You know, I think when I first started to play music, I was really shy and I still am, honestly. And I was kind of like afraid of the world knowing my real name and like with the internet, I’m like, I’m already like bearing my heart and soul. And I just, I don’t know. It felt like a lot to use my own name. But I noticed that when I was asked the question, “why don’t you use this name, Kelly Hyde. It’s a great name.” I noticed that I didn’t have any resistance to that idea. And that surprised me because I love the name Kaʻahele and I’ve been using it for a long time.
Kelly Hyde (00:03:28):
But a big part of my rebrand was also the death of my father because I’d forgotten that I had his middle name. So when I saw like all of his death certificates and stuff and like accident reports, it was like Theodore Kelly Hyde. And I kept seeing my name like in there. And maybe some people can relate to this, but I felt a closer connection with my father after he died. And he was a musician. And the name was just like ringing. And like that happened first. And then I was asked this question about like, why aren’t you Kelly Hyde? You know?
Kelly Hyde (00:04:06):
And I didn’t even take that much time to think about it. My Patreons, like I did a little poll with them. I was like, what do you guys think about me changing my name? And I asked some of my fans and most people like 70, 80% were like, go Kelly Hyde, like you’re Kelly Hyde. So yeah, I did it and it feels good.
Brad Bordessa (00:04:31):
Wow. And so how has that been with your existing fan base? Because I know you, for a Hawaiʻi musician, you are fairly well-known, you’ve done a really good job of kind of, you know, publicizing yourself and you’ve got a following locally and in the states, I believe. How has that been for people who look at the poster and they see, “oh, Kelly Hyde! Who is that?”
Kelly Hyde (00:04:56):
Yeah, well, I tried to be strategic with it. Where I like first put it, I kept Kaʻahele in quotations. Like I changed the name online and everything, Kelly Hyde parentheses or quotes “Kaʻahele.” And I had that up like for a long time – and I still do have that up in case, you know… And across YouTube and everything. So if people do like search it, they’ll see. And it seems to be working, I think. Like, I guess, I wouldn’t know if some people just can’t find me anymore.
Kelly Hyde (00:05:34):
It was a pain in the tukish rebranding on like Spotify and everything. I would never recommend it. Like it was worth it for me at the end, but it’s basically, it’s not like social media where you can go in and change your name. You start over from scratch. So all of your listeners, they disappear and they have to find you again, if you change your name. So I started from square one on all the streaming and everything. And that was like kind of a setback. But I think there’s something in the name itself and you know, just the energy that I put behind it since then. Because now I have way, way, way more listeners than I’ve ever had. And you know, it’s not just the name change, but I feel like it could be part of it.
Kelly Hyde (00:06:32):
I also was never really a hundred percent sure that it was like pono for me to have a Hawaiian name.There was always like a question there. I gave myself this name when I was really young and like naive and like, I didn’t, I just like, it was a cool name. Like, I’ll take it. And in the last, like, I don’t know, five or six years, I’ve like questioned it a little bit if that’s okay. And it’s sometimes just felt unsure, you know, so
Brad Bordessa (00:07:09):
Well, that’s great. Fresh start. Do you wanna, you wanna play a tune so that my listeners can kind of learn about your style and hear what you do with the ukulele? That’s so different and unique from most other players.
Kelly Hyde (00:07:26):
Brad Bordessa (00:07:26):
And so you play baritone primarily, right?
Kelly Hyde (00:07:29):
Primarily, yes. I have. Oh my God. I have, you’d get a kick out of this. My studio is like eight by 11 and I have three… I have like six baritone ukuleles, I think. Or seven, maybe. You’re like, yeah, I’ve got 12. And then I have like a tenor banjo and two other like smaller ukuleles that… Oh my God, they’re just shoved in every corner. I don’t know what’s happening to me.
Brad Bordessa (00:08:07):
Kelly Hyde (00:08:09):
Right? Yeah. I’m like, oh, I’ve been lazy about changing strings on that one. So I’ll just grab this other one here. Maybe I’ll play you this new song.
Brad Bordessa (00:08:24):
Kelly Hyde (00:08:26):
So that if your listeners really like it, they won’t be able to find it. Actually, there is a YouTube video, but I don’t know. If you’re like me, it’s like the only song I ever want to play is like my newest one. Okay. This is called “Rise and Shine.”
Brad Bordessa (00:12:46):
Fabulous. That’s lovely.
Kelly Hyde (00:12:50):
Thank you. Yeah. Glad I got through it without crying. It doesn’t always happen.
Brad Bordessa (00:13:00):
You do such a nice job… From the from the very first time I saw you play, I was always just really blown away by your ability to kind of capture everything. Some ukulele players, I feel like they feel very bald and naked when they play such a small instrument with kind of, you know, no low end or anything like that. And they’re like always trying to compensate somehow, but just the way that your voice and instrument work together, it’s always like, that’s all you ever need to listen to Kelly. It’s like, that’s the whole presentation. It’s always so beautiful. And it’s just, it’s such a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling to hear that on the ukulele, you know, cause we don’t get that a whole lot in the ukulele scene it doesn’t seem like.
Kelly Hyde (00:13:46):
I appreciate that. Yeah. Well that means a lot to me coming from you. You’re definitely one of the best uke players that I’ve met on this island. Maybe the best. It’s really nice to hear that because I’m so… I can get, so hyper-focused on my voice because I’ve always been like, I’m not like a trained, I’m not like a vocalist. You know, I have my limits and actually one of the reasons why I play ukulele is because I have a soft voice. I’m not trained properly on how to project. And so like, I used to play the guitar and my voice couldn’t really like compete with how loud a guitar is. And so what I found, especially the baritone, it just felt like I could sing comfortably and this instrument just so perfectly like accompanied that. I just felt like, oh, like, yeah, I can play guitar and everything, but this is my instrument. Like just holding it. I was like, there she is. You know?
Brad Bordessa (00:15:01):
And so how did you end up playing baritone ukulele as opposed to just standard GCEA?
Kelly Hyde (00:15:10):
I just saw somebody playing one and I hadn’t never seen one before. And then they’re like, yeah, try it. It’s tuned like a guitar. And it was no problem for me to just kind of like, you know, negate the two strings on it in my head. And I was just like, oh, this is a new instrument and I can play it like immediately. I just made the transition. No problem. Yeah, so it just kind of was like, here it is.
Brad Bordessa (00:15:45):
Hmm. So do you approach it more from like a guitar mindset or like a separate instrument as the ukulele mindset? I’m just curious. Cause people are always like, how do I play baritone? I want you to teach me baritone stuff. And I’m like, I don’t teach baritone stuff. It’s all the same. You just move it around. And, I think it’d be interesting to hear kind of your approach to making that all make sense in your head.
Kelly Hyde (00:16:10):
I think it was just because I played guitar. Yeah. I was like, oh, these finger placements are the same and I just… But now it’s just easier to play and I don’t have to worry about those two low strings. And I don’t know, the guitar just felt like all big and bulky and yeah, I don’t know. I wonder. If I would have ended up gravitating towards this instrument, if I hadn’t played guitar at first. I could see myself, I probably would have ended up learning it, but yeah.
Kelly Hyde (00:16:44):
And to be completely honest, like I know like close to zero music theory. Like I’m actually not a very good… Like, I’m a good player, but I don’t know what I’m doing half the time. It’s kind of like messing around and playing by ear.
Brad Bordessa (00:17:09):
Has that ever been a limitation though?
Kelly Hyde (00:17:12):
Brad Bordessa (00:17:18):
Kelly Hyde (00:17:18):
Mostly when I play with other people or when I go to record and I want a band involved. I get kind of embarrassed and I’m like, uh, and I just I’m like, “Hey, you’re a great musician. You could probably just tell what I’m doing just by looking at me or by hearing it.” And then it’s like, I make them do the work and it doesn’t feel good, you know?
Brad Bordessa (00:17:42):
That’s what they get paid for.
Kelly Hyde (00:17:44):
Yeah. But it’s like, it helps make their job easier. And like, I don’t know. It just, it does, it definitely does limit me. So I’m trying to learn more. But I have a weird block with it. I don’t know what it is. You know Joey Bradley. I consider him my mentor and I’ve been like, Joey, like, all right, I’m committed. Like let’s do uke lessons, you know, like teach me. And then like, I just can’t seem to stick with it. I don’t know. But it’s one of my goals.
Brad Bordessa (00:18:19):
Do you pretty much hear things and know how to play them though. If you don’t have the music theory, you know, I find most people who maybe don’t have that. They just play by ear much better than the average Joe.
Kelly Hyde (00:18:32):
Right. I wouldn’t say that I’m like that good, like where I hear a tune… So you’re asking like, if I hear a tune and then I can like figure it out by ear.
Brad Bordessa (00:18:44):
Yeah. I mean, are you comfortable just interpreting with your ears instead of with your mind?
Kelly Hyde (00:18:53):
I guess that is what I do. It’s not as rapid as I’d like it to be like, it takes some time. But like with my own songwriting, it seems to be easy. But I think it’s because I’m like in the process of building something. But no, you know, I’m not like maybe if it’s like a pretty easy, like folk song. I can tell if it’s like, oh, that’s like definitely D, G, and C, you know? But no, not really. But I think it’s interesting.
Kelly Hyde (00:19:35):
Cause my, I don’t know. I wonder if I have something ingrained in my mind that makes me a little bit subconsciously rebellious against music theory. Cause I’m really not. But I think subconsciously I am. That might be like, my block is cause my dad like really wasn’t into it. I think he told me once that like he thought it might limit me because it’s like, if you give yourself a map, then the song that you’re writing might not be as… I guess like spontaneous and it might not actually capture like the feeling that you would have started to spew out if you didn’t have a map. I don’t know if this makes sense. It’s kind of hard to explain. Okay. Yeah.
Kelly Hyde (00:20:31):
So like my songs would definitely be different if I was really into music theory and kind of being like, oh, I definitely, I hear that I want this song to be and like you know, I have a D minor here. So like, and then I go and I look at like da da da da. Like, I don’t know, might just get all set up differently. Whereas like I’m just writing from a place of like, I just have something in my head and then I slowly like kind of figure it out as I go. I don’t know, but I want to learn and I feel the limitations. And I think if, if I could do both, I could be even better.
Brad Bordessa (00:21:13):
Well, talking about songwriting, from what I’ve heard of your music, you tend to play mostly originals. I’ve rarely come to a Kelly Hyde gig and like, oh, that’s a cover song. I’d be curious to hear you share a bit about what your songwriting process is and maybe how many songs do you think you’ve written?
Kelly Hyde (00:21:40):
I’ve definitely written like… Man, I used to keep track and like keep a list. Like my guess right now would be like 70 maybe or like it could be approaching a hundred. Yeah, that’s a good question. I should find that list as I’m starting to forget them.
Kelly Hyde (00:22:05):
Okay. So actually, the internet cut out a little bit when you first started asking me the question, I heard something about cover songs.
Brad Bordessa (00:22:13):
Yeah. You don’t usually play cover songs from what I’ve seen. So what is your songwriting process to create that library of fabulous originals you have,
Kelly Hyde (00:22:24):
Right. It’s different every time. And I feel like you can probably relate to this. Sometimes it’s like the melody comes first and I’m like on a walk or like running and I just grab my phone… Or actually I’ve had a couple melodies come to me in dreams and I like just pick up my phone and I’m like, [sings] into my phone. And sometimes with that, I’ll just try to… Like, whatever words are coming out, even if they don’t make sense, I try to give them like a chance, you know. Of like, this doesn’t make sense, but maybe there’s something there. Like being downloaded or whatever. And so when I get the time to like sit with whatever maybe was coming through there I try to incorporate whatever sounds were coming out. Yeah. When I’m hearing a melody and I start to like sing it, some words come and sounds. And I, you know, I tried to give him a chance and honor that like maybe there is a message like coming through in these words that don’t make sense at the time. But I try to see if I can use them and incorporate them.
Kelly Hyde (00:23:49):
I have started to learn that most of my songs come out better if it’s like melody first and then words versus the other way around. And I have written songs the other way around where I have words like in a journal and I’m like, this could be a song. Let’s try to make a song out of it. That’s great too. But I’ve just noticed that when the melody comes first, the word… It all just seems to like fit… Like it just makes more sense and like fits nicely. I try to pay a lot of attention to like making sure that like the way syllables really flows, not trying to like put too many syllables in a word. And if there’s a concept that’s coming through, I try to just like sit for a second and like, well, what’s like, what’s like a deeper way. I can say this instead of just being like really blunt and like direct. So I try to like sit and take some time. I’ll be like, what’s another like creative way that I can interpret this idea or word or like, yeah.
Kelly Hyde (00:25:08):
I tend to write really quick too. Like I don’t like to leave songs unfinished and I’ve actually been really surprised at myself how quickly I can write a song. It usually will only take me like a couple hours.
Brad Bordessa (00:25:28):
And do you like go back and tune it up later on?
Kelly Hyde (00:25:34):
A little bit sometimes,
Brad Bordessa (00:25:35):
Mostly it just takes you an hour or two and then it’s just like, that’s the song?
Kelly Hyde (00:25:38):
They kind of just come and like… Some of them I remember writing, but there’s a lot that I don’t really remember. Not to be like, I’m so prophetic. And I’m like so channeled. But I really, I have a lot of songs where like, some people will ask me of like the process and I’m just like, I don’t remember. They kind of just spew out. But that’s another thing that I’m working on is like taking more time on the songs and really like just putting more energy into building them and not like rushing it. Cause sometimes like, I feel like, “are you rushing it?” Or did this really just come out like really good, really fast. Cause that’s okay. But then I’m like, no, I’m rushing it. I don’t know.
Brad Bordessa (00:26:32):
That’s great if it’s that easy. Yeah. So easeful, it’s the dream, right?
Kelly Hyde (00:26:37):
Yeah. It’s easy. It’s easy for me and it’s my favorite part. I like it a lot more than like performing. And actually during 2020 when I did stop performing, I discovered some opportunities online where like I’m getting paid to write custom songs now. So that’s fun. And like the pay is like, eh, it’s like, okay. So I kind of have to do it fast and I do. And I’m like able to, and it’s pretty cool.
Brad Bordessa (00:27:12):
Well that’s a different set of skills.
Kelly Hyde (00:27:14):
Yeah. Yeah. And in the past I think I would have been like way too territory… Not territorial, like my ownership of my songs. I would’ve been like, no, I’m never writing for other people. Like these songs are mine! But I really enjoy doing it and it just feels like sweet. You know, most people are like requesting love songs and I don’t write love songs. So it’s also become an outlet for me to like get cheesy and just like write these strangers their love songs and it’s just really cute and warms my heart.
Brad Bordessa (00:27:55):
So you say you don’t write love songs. Most of the things that you do write about tend to be more sustainability related, like farming kinds of just kind of rootsy things. Do you have any kind of mental approach to that to avoid being cheesy? Because I find that trying to capture those things… You do it really well, but most people don’t. And it’s like terribly corny to try and listen to a sustainability song or a farming song. That’s our area too, right. Is everybody’s excited about these things and they like to capture these, but it doesn’t always work.
Kelly Hyde (00:28:38):
Right. Oh man. I really, really appreciate… These are like some of the best, like, I don’t know. I just really appreciate that reflection as a songwriter. Thank you.
Brad Bordessa (00:28:53):
Now share your secrets.
Kelly Hyde (00:28:55):
Yeah! Here you go. There’s room for everybody.
Kelly Hyde (00:28:56):
It’s funny. Cause I didn’t even know that I’m like… When you say like, oh, you’re writing about like sustainability and farming and I can see how… Okay. So what it is is it’s like the human condition. And I bring in like, like just a lot of like irony. Like, oh really? Like there’s this, but then there’s like this and just like the dualities of how we’re these humans like fumbling through. Like we’re all trying to like live and be good on this planet. I don’t know. I don’t know. How do I do that? I don’t know. But I think it’s because I’m really, really, really aware of the potential to sound cheesy. And so like when I write, I’m really trying to avoid being cheesy, like specifically. So I think that I just have my eye on that while I’m writing all the time. I’m like, is that cheesy? Is that cliche? You know? And I probably don’t even end up really like going there because I’m just, I wanna bring a fresh view. So I don’t want to say something that people are hearing.
Kelly Hyde (00:30:28):
I’m also starting to understand who my audience is and I don’t feel like it’s necessary to preach to the choir. You know? I’m like, I’m not gonna do that. Like in that kind of like cheesy way, I guess. At the same time, like I don’t… I want a broad audience. So if someone isn’t into like farm life, sustainability or living in harmony with the earth, I want the song to still be accessible to them and let people have like their own interpretation of the song.
Brad Bordessa (00:31:22):
This is one of Kelly’s new releases featuring a Bobby Alu out of Australia called “Little Lucky.”
Brad Bordessa (00:34:46):
Well you said you had a bunch of instruments hanging around your studio. Folks really like to think about the instruments they play and when I see you play, I don’t ever recognize the brand or whatever of the instrument you’re playing. What do you play? What kind of ukuleles are those? Do you have?
Kelly Hyde (00:35:04):
Yeah, that’s interesting. So the one that I just played and the one you’ve seen me play the most doesn’t have a brand it’s like a complete mystery instrument. It’s just a vintage koa baritone. It’s gorgeous. And it has no brand. And I bought it from Richard who used to have the ukulele shop in town and he just said that he just got it from some guy in Waimea. He just knew it was made in Big Island and that it’s from like the seventies and that was it. So I was like, cool. I’ll take it. It also has like a really interesting shape and it’s kind of smaller than most baritones. But besides that I have a Pono mango wood baritone, and then I have a eight string baritone, Kala. Yeah. And then I have a tenor Kala.
Kelly Hyde (00:36:13):
I kind of just like, yeah, I don’t even know how I ended up…. I have a definitely a couple of Kalas that people were just like, do you want this? Okay. I haven’t really figured out what brand I really love, honestly. I bought the Pono mango one from my mentor and he’s a good person for me to like go to if I’m interested in an ukulele. I’ll be like, what do you think about this? And like the brand and stuff.
Brad Bordessa (00:36:49):
Joey knows all.
Kelly Hyde (00:36:50):
He does. He so does. Oh. And then I actually have a I have an electric baritone that… Hold on, let me look at it. Oh, it’s a Pono. So I guess I like Pono. That one’s cool. Have you played those? Just like the solid body, like electric.
Brad Bordessa (00:37:19):
I’ve got one of the solid body baritones. Yeah. Yeah. It’s pretty cool. I changed the pickup. I didn’t like the stock pickup, but otherwise it’s great.
Kelly Hyde (00:37:27):
Yeah. Mine is being kind of like a mystery guy. It won’t work when I plug it into my own PA system or my own interface, but it works in every other place I’ve tried to plug it into.
Brad Bordessa (00:37:46):
That makes troubleshooting easy.
Kelly Hyde (00:37:49):
Yeah. Yeah, it’s been a headache. But yeah, I bought that during the pandemic too. It’s like, woo! Let’s get them!
Brad Bordessa (00:37:58):
Yeah, those are cool for like beater stage ukuleles where you’re like jumping around and crazy and it’s loud.
Kelly Hyde (00:38:08):
Yeah. I actually thought it would be better for me to travel with because… I don’t know. Just like the Koa one, I’m just very protective of. And I feel like they get all like warped when I travel with them to like New York in the winter and stuff like that.
Brad Bordessa (00:38:26):
Yeah. Well, if it’s a, one of a kind kind of a thing and you don’t even know who made it. That’s kind of sketchy.
Kelly Hyde (00:38:34):
Yeah. That one has like a mystery problem with its pickup too. So I just have my little, my backup. I realized, I think it was right before the pandemic, how important it was to have a backup instrument. Cause I had a gig and my pickup just crapped the bed as they say. And I had to like Joey again, I was like, “Joey, I need to borrow a uke!” So then I was like, oh, I gotta have a backup. Always have a backup, guys.
Brad Bordessa (00:39:12):
Solid tip. What are your plans for touring and stuff? I know you kind of get around and make an effort to get off the island.
Kelly Hyde (00:39:22):
I sure did. Yeah. I think just, yeah, I’m just waiting for that to feel like it’s okay again. I think in 2018… When was that, 2018? I did a little tour in Europe and after I did that, I was like, I’m only touring out of the country. Cause I think, I dunno… I did a couple little tours on the mainland and they’re fun and great. And I love like revisiting the same people, but financially it would just take me out kinda. But I was also like always wanting to take other people with me and like a band. And I think that if I toured solo, I could make it pay for itself or make some money, but I don’t like touring solo. I’ve never done it because I know I’d hate it.
Kelly Hyde (00:40:25):
But in Europe I just… I don’t know if you’ve been there or played there, but I just really feel like the people there recognize musicians, like as a profession. Like, “oh, that’s a musician, that’s their profession. We will pay them professionally.” It just felt so good. And just, I just got really inspired. Like I sold so many more albums then I usually sell. Like the level of value. Just, it just like, felt like a different… I mean, don’t get me wrong… Sometimes I feel like as far as audiences, like you kind of can’t beat it like on Hawaiʻi, like the energy and like the support, like the energetic support. But yeah, in Europe was like an expensive trip, but I ended up being able to like pay for it from only playing like five shows. And I was there for like a month. I was there for a month. I only did five shows and I like… It just, yeah, just felt nice. And I know that like some musicians, they don’t like to talk about like money or whatever, but it’s a real thing. I’ve just noticed like the more I can like make from this passion, the more I can do it and the more I can invest in it and I can get like more ukuleles and…. So I want to go back to Europe and do that.
Brad Bordessa (00:42:12):
Nice. Yeah. Why not?
Kelly Hyde (00:42:15):
And it’s kinda cool. Like, honestly, it’s kind of cool to show up and be like the person from… They think it’s like, so exotic, someone coming from Hawaiʻi to play music. Like they’ve never seen that before. So there’s like this different kind of interest. So that feels cool too.
Brad Bordessa (00:42:33):
Yeah. I taught a workshop in Germany and… I was just going on vacation, you know, going on holiday, going to go see the country. And I had a friend there and said, I’ll set up a workshop. And so I did a workshop and the Germans on the other side of the world, they wanted to learn Hawaiian stuff.
Kelly Hyde (00:42:51):
Brad Bordessa (00:42:53):
That was what I taught them for for two solid days. And they were just laser focused on learning as much as they possibly could while I was there. And it was so interesting. It’s like, you couldn’t get people in Hawaiʻi to be this interested about Hawaiian music ever and here are these random German people and they’re stoked! Over the moon.
Kelly Hyde (00:43:13):
That’s awesome. Wow. Yeah. Right. I know. That’s fun. It’s fun to go, like enter into other worlds and just like soak in their culture and then they soak in you. Cause you’re from a different culture. That’s like, I just, I live for that. Like I really, I look forward to traveling abroad again.
Brad Bordessa (00:43:37):
So are you working on any projects in the meantime?
Kelly Hyde (00:43:41):
I am. I feel like I have a bunch of projects going on actually. Me and Joey Bradley are working on a song. He co-produced my album. That was in 2018. So we haven’t produced a song together since then. And I have this old song that’s on my first album called “Breaching.” And he asked me when I thought about like redoing that song. And I was like, “totally, I’ve thought about it. Let’s do it.” So we’re working on that.
Kelly Hyde (00:44:17):
And I’m also working on a collaboration song with someone who is on Reunion Island. Do you know where that is? It’s off Madagascar.
Brad Bordessa (00:44:30):
Wow. That’s far away.
Kelly Hyde (00:44:32):
That’s a cool, random story. And I won’t tell the whole story, but basically a friend who I met while I was traveling in Nicaragua when I was like 22, this French guy. He was like, “Hey, I’m working on my first song. And like, would you like to be a part of it?” And we haven’t talked to each other and like probably 15 years or something. Like I only saw him that one time, like probably for two weeks we traveled together and we jammed our ukes. We both had ukuleles and like, he was actually the first person that I ever like jammed with. Like we jammed every day. I’m kind of shy about jamming cause I also like don’t know what I’m doing. It’s hard for me to find the right people to jam with. Cause that’s where my music theory like holds me back, you know. But we jammed a lot.
Kelly Hyde (00:45:23):
And when he sent me the song, I was just so feeling it. I didn’t know what to expect. You know what I was like, this is beautiful. We’re going to make a really cool song. He speaks French. So it’s been interesting for us to like try to collaborate and communicate and stuff. So the songs going to have French and English in it. I’m excited about that.
Kelly Hyde (00:45:48):
And then that song that I just played for you guys, I really, really want to record that one, like bad. So that’s also, I feel like in line. And Joey is also remixing a song from our last album that didn’t make the cut it’s called “Good Life.” That could be maybe the next release. Yeah.
Brad Bordessa (00:46:11):
Well could you share one more song?
Kelly Hyde (00:46:13):
Brad Bordessa (00:46:19):
Can I make a request?
Kelly Hyde (00:46:19):
Sure! I was going to ask you, but I didn’t want to put you on the spot.
Brad Bordessa (00:46:23):
Kelly Hyde (00:46:25):
Oh yeah. Yes.
Brad Bordessa (00:46:26):
That’s always been one of my favorites.
Kelly Hyde (00:46:29):
Yay. Me too. It’s one that I never get sick of. You know, some songs after so many years, you know, you’re like, ok. But this one, I don’t think I’ll ever, ever… It’s fun to play too. I haven’t played it in a while, so I might mess up, but it’s all good. You don’t care. I don’t care
Kelly Hyde (00:51:24):
Thanks for asking me to play that one. Cause I really need to practice it.
Brad Bordessa (00:51:28):
So good. It’s just magic. Fabulous. Well, thanks for sharing.
Kelly Hyde (00:51:38):
Brad Bordessa (00:51:42):
You’ve got that monster baseline in there that’s like in between your strums and everything. That’s pretty killer. I think a lot of people would love to know how to do that. Do you have any tips for folks practicing, getting into, I don’t know. Just what is Kelly’s top tip for practicing ukulele?
Kelly Hyde (00:52:06):
I think just like, like let yourself like just F around on it a lot. You know, like, don’t worry about if you think it’s like going anywhere or not, or if it sounds right or wrong. Just like try different things with your fingers. Obviously I’m a fan of hammer ons. When I discovered hammer ons. I was like, this is fun and just adds like a lot of just different sounds and flares and you know, pull offs and just… Yeah, just let your fingers just like play a lot, you know, if you like have your fingers like landed on a chord, just see what it sounds like to like pick every one of them up, you know, and like see what that sounds like or slide around. Just like play around. And then if you find something that sounds cool and different, record it so that you don’t forget. Yeah. Or like take a picture of your hand or something. I actually don’t do that, but I wish I did a lot, but that’s because I don’t know music theory, but if I knew music theory, I’d be able to look at my hand and be like, oh, this is what it is. And then I could write it down. So learn some music theory.
Kelly Hyde (00:53:41):
But yeah, I actually have I have ukulele lessons on my Patreon if people are interested.
Brad Bordessa (00:53:52):
So tell us more about how folks can find you.
Kelly Hyde (00:53:57):
Wow, I almost said Kaʻahele. KellyHydeMusic.com. And if you scroll down on the homepage, you’ll see a video that explains what Patreon is. It’s an old video and it doesn’t include… Actually, no, I have a whole page on my website dedicated to ukulele lessons. So you’ll probably just find that on the what’s it called – the navigational bar on the top. So as you know, I don’t know music theory, so I’m very clear with my students that it’s basic. You know, I really only know how to teach basic. It’s basic ukulele and tips for advanced players. Just little tips, like how to do these things, like hammer ons and chucking and like skanking and… Just how to add a little bit of flair to your basic playing, you know? Cause then I could send my students over to you when they’re ready.
Brad Bordessa (00:54:59):
Oh. I see.
Kelly Hyde (00:54:59):
I’m like kindergarten, first grade, second grade maybe. And then yeah,
Brad Bordessa (00:55:07):
I like that you frame it as tips. If that’s your disclaimer, if you don’t feel confident in sharing it out there otherwise tips is good.
Kelly Hyde (00:55:14):
Yeah. But they’re at your own pace. Just video tutorials, they’re all up there for whenever you wanna do your thing with them.
Brad Bordessa (00:55:24):
And did you move the band camp to Kelly Hyde?
Kelly Hyde (00:55:28):
It’s so funny because I haven’t thought about Bandcamp in so long. And so I don’t know if I changed that yet. And so my new songs aren’t even on Bandcamp. I’m glad you’re reminding me of this.
Brad Bordessa (00:55:44):
Bandcamp is like where I like to buy music when possible. So that’s how I know about most of your stuff.
Kelly Hyde (00:55:49):
I love that. I gave up on Bandcamp because like I thought it was… It’s so great for artists. It’s the best for artists. But most people, like if they didn’t have the app, they got really confused about how to download my music. Like they would pay for it. And then they’d send me emails saying “I paid for your album, but I can’t figure out how to download it.” It’s just like wasn’t user-friendly and maybe it’s changed because I haven’t looked at it in like five years.
Brad Bordessa (00:56:17):
I don’t think it’s changed.
Kelly Hyde (00:56:21):
Oh really?! But all my songs are on Spotify. I have two new releases in the last two or in the last three months that are on like all the streaming services and they might be on Bandcamp because I got I’m now on a sub label called Beautiful Emergence Records. They’re over on Oʻahu and I think they might have my new songs, like under their label on Bandcamp.
Brad Bordessa (00:56:50):
Wow. So what does that entail? Are you like, are you signed? Does that mean you’re signed now?
Kelly Hyde (00:56:55):
I guess so. Yeah. It feels like I finally have like a team of people who are helping me do the things that felt impossible for me to do for several reasons. Like mostly just like not being able to comprehend what it meant to like properly publish my songs, license them, market them. They’ve been amazing and like really helpful. So I take care of like my own, you know, recording and everything. And I basically just like give it to them and they help it get farther out into the world, like radio. There’s like been more radio stations across the country that are now playing my songs because of them. And yeah, I’ve got like a little team and I love them and they’ve been helping my music like propel and yeah.
Brad Bordessa (00:57:59):
That’s awesome. Congratulations.
Kelly Hyde (00:58:00):
Yeah. Thank you. Yeah.
Brad Bordessa (00:58:05):
Awesome. Well, thanks so much for joining me. It’s interesting to hear just yet another perspective of a random Big Island ukulele player, not just me talking about ukulele on here.
Kelly Hyde (00:58:17):
Yeah. This is really fun for me because I have never done an interview where it’s like really more focused on the instrument. And so it felt really good to just like focus on that and kind of honor the instrument more. And you’ve made me feel a little bit better about my playing. So thank you.
Brad Bordessa (00:58:39):
You’re totally welcome.
Kelly Hyde (00:58:41):
I get down on myself a little. I’m like, you don’t even know what you’re playing, you know. There’s so many….
Brad Bordessa (00:58:50):
It’s the music that matters.
Kelly Hyde (00:58:50):
Yes, yes. Yeah.
Brad Bordessa (00:58:57):
You can find Kelly at kellyhydemusic.com and also kellyhyde.bandcamp.com is the best place to buy and support her artistic endeavors. If you want to have some of those songs in your ears, that’s always a great way to support your favorite artists is Bandcamp. You can also see the collaboration video of Kelly playing with Bobby Alu on “Little Lucky,” which I played earlier in the podcast on her website, Kellyhyde.com. It’s also available as a single on the Bandcamp.
Brad Bordessa (00:59:35):
Thanks again to Kelly for joining me. Super nice to catch up with a Big Island ukulele artist. She’s always been one of my favorites to run across in the music scene and to hear her play is always just such a treat. And so I hope you folks enjoyed hearing what she had to share.
Brad Bordessa (00:59:52):
Thank you for tuning in to the Live Ukulele Podcast. We are back in season three. Just like seasons one and two episodes are going to be posted on the first and third Saturdays of every month. I haven’t quite gotten to the point where I want to pop out an episode every single week. Still sounds like kind of more work than I care to take on. But twice a month is just right.
Brad Bordessa (01:00:23):
If you like what I do here, please go check out liveukulele.com/store. Any of my ukulele learning resources. That money goes directly towards supporting the time I put into the podcast. And you also get a top quality ukulele learning resource. Whether it be my video course on movable 6th double-stop harmonies or my eBooks on technique – fretting technique, strumming technique – or the chord books and even my new beginner picking guide. It’s all great, but I’m biased.
Brad Bordessa (01:01:02):
Anyways. Thanks for tuning in. I’ll see you all in the next episode. Be happy and healthy out there and I’ll catch you down the road. Aloha.