The Green formed on O‘ahu, Hawai‘i in 2009 as a vehicle for six different members of Hawaii’s tight-knit music scene...

Who is
The Green?
caleb 3

Caleb (vcl)

Honolulu, HI
JP 2

JP (gtr/vcl)

Honolulu, HI

Zion (gtr/vcl)

Kailua, HI
bear 4

Ikaika (keys/vcl)

Kailua, HI

BW (bass/keys)

Kailua, HI
Jordan 2

Jordan (drm)

Pearl City, HI


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The Green’s latest album, Hawai‘i ’13, opens with a chant. “From the times of ancient Hawai‘i and even up to present day, chanting has been a part of our culture,” says JP Kennedy, guitarist, vocalist, and one of the band’s five songwriters.  “It’s a way to start something important. When we chant, we ask for blessings, knowledge, and guidance so that we can be ‘pono’ or righteous in whatever we do.”

The chant of “He Mele No Ku‘u Hawai‘i” prepares the album’s listener as much as the band.  Hawai‘i ’13 dances through roots reggae, soul, and R&B.  The album charts a journey through Hawaiian life and music in 2013, reflecting The Green’s musical upbringing as much as their vision for the future of Hawai‘i and its musical output. Following The Green’s usual modus operandi, the album was written by the group’s five separate songwriters (Kennedy, guitarist-vocalist Zion Thompson, vocalist Caleb Keolanui, keyboardist-vocalist Ikaika Antone, and bassist/multi-instrumentalist Brad Watanabe); the band’s four singers (Kennedy, Thompson, Keolanui and Antone) take turns on lead vocals, sometimes trading off with each other within a song.  Once you listen to this record, there is little doubt that the chant served its purpose, as the results show the band has been righteous in their hard work.

The Green formed on O‘ahu, Hawai‘i, in 2009.  The group began as a vehicle for six different members of Hawai‘i’s tight-knit music scene to record a few songs and have a bit of fun along the way.  Their self-titled debut album, released in 2010, earned both critical and commercial acclaim, and was awarded iTunes Best Reggae Album of the Year.

Afterwards, the band jumped on a plane to the mainland and started a heavy touring cycle.  On the strength of their debut album, The Green struck a record deal with ground-breaking independent reggae label Easy Star Records to record their sophomore album, Ways & Means.  Ways & Means hit #1 on the iTunes and Billboard Reggae charts and the band embarked on more intense touring; supporting acts like Rebelution, Iration, SOJA and Damian Marley. They also played at acclaimed festivals including Vans Warped Tour, Wakarusa, Sierra Nevada World Music Festival and California Roots Festival.

Despite all the time spent away from home, Hawai‘i never left the band’s day-to-day life on the road.  In almost every state, the band met Hawaiian ex-pats, driven away from their home state for reasons both economic and social.  The Green’s concerts became a place where Hawaiian natives could gather and for one night, share a bit of Aloha spirit from the Pacific islands they call home.

“Hawaiians living on the mainland will come to our shows and say ‘I haven’t been home in years!  You remind me so much of home,’” says multi-instrumentalist-songwriter Brad “BW” Watanabe.  “I feel like that’s our service in some way.”

In early 2013, The Green retreated to Hurley Studios in Costa Mesa, CA, to record their third album with Danny Kalb (Ben Harper, Beck, Jack Johnson), the band’s first outside producer/engineer, at the helm.  In addition, the group brought in Joe Tomino, drummer from Dub Trio (who also double as Matisyahu’s backing band), to handle the drums for the sessions.

“We were worried about it because we always recorded everything ourselves,” Kennedy admits. “But when we added Danny Kalb to the mix, and Joe on the drums, they just brought so much to the sound of the songs.”

The addition of an outside ear helped sharpen the band’s direction, and the 13 tracks on Hawai‘i ’13 sound focused and pointed, despite the group’s many different songwriters.  “All of us contribute to the creation of a song,” says guitarist-vocalist Zion Thompson, “whether it’s lyrics or music, it’s always collaborative.”

“Everyone respects each other’s opinions,” Thompson continues.  “Everyone has their place and everyone makes room for it to work.”

The album’s songs span soulful lover’s rock (“Striking Up A Love,” “Take Me On”), heavy roots workouts (“Good One,” “Forgive Me”), smooth R&B ballads (“Chocolates & Roses”), roots reggae-pop hybrids (“Power in the Words,” “Good Vibe Killah”), and herb anthems (“Hold Me Tight”).

The Green hit all the right notes with their first two albums, but the band members are still coming to grips with the personal toll of success.  Bands from the mainland may be used to touring from state to state, but that’s no small step for a group from a small island in the South Pacific. “While I face a dozen spotlights, you’re crying at home,” goes “Something About It,” one of the lead singles from Hawai‘i ’13. “Sit by the phone.  You think I’m alone, wishing I could be there.  But the music’s got me traveling on.”

The Green struck the reggae community hard with their debut in 2010.  Their sophomore LP Ways & Means solidified their status as a force in reggae music.  With Hawai‘i ’13, the band aims higher.  The album collects 13 stellar tracks by a group with an insatiable urge to push their music onto the global stage.  Some songs punch and some songs sway, but ultimately they all blend to form a new shade of Green.

Band Members
Caleb Keolanui – Lead Vocals
Ikaika Antone – Keys, Lead Vocals
JP Kennedy – Guitar, Lead Vocals
Zion Thompson – Guitar, Lead Vocals
Brad “BW” Watanabe – Bass, Keys
Jordan Espinoza – Drums

2015 Highlights:

* 2015 Honolulu Pulse Award Winner: Best Local Band – Reggae

* Summer Tour supporting 311

2014 Highlights:

* 2014 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award Winner in 3 categories:
– Group of the Year
– Reggae Album of the Year
– Favorite Entertainer of the Year

* 2014 Honolulu Pulse Award Winner: Best Local Band – Reggae

* Performed 3 sold-out shows with Bruno Mars in Honolulu in April

2013 Awards Highlights:

* Won Album of the Year in The 2013 Pier Awards
* AllMusic’s Favorite Reggae Albums of 2013
* Albums Of The Year: 2013 Awards


– 2013 album Hawai‘i ’13 has sold over 20,000 copies
– Debut album named iTunes Best Reggae Album of the Year (2010)
– Sophomore album Ways & Means spent four-weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Reggae Chart (2011)
– Featured on NPR shows Weekend Edition and Morning Becomes Eclectic
– Nominated in 3 categories in the International Reggae And World Music Awards (2012 & 2013)
– #8 of the 15 fastest accelerating artists across the Internet (03.15.12) – Next Big Sound / Billboard
– Played all 41 dates of Vans Warped Tour 2012
– Featured in Billboard (Nov 2011)
– Debut album The Green and sophomore album Ways & Means combined have sold 50,000 copies

“The Green’s powerful sonic identity fuses late 1970s-era dub-heavy roots reggae (reminiscent of English bands like Aswad and Steel Pulse) with strands of contemporary rock/pop/R&B and sporadic indigenous Hawaiian musical and lyrical references. That appealing synthesis has catapulted The Green to the forefront of Hawaii’s thriving reggae scene.” – Billboard


53 Responses »

  1. Is that Bruno Mars singing with you in Roots?

  2. Just saw you guys kill it in VA! So f&@$ing sick! Come to PA next! 😛 thank god u played come in with soja ida lost my shit if it didn’t happen haha. Made my night. Great show gents

  3. I would like to have them come sing one song at my wedding! It was the song my fiancé dedicated to me and how he first said I love you. Come in was the song. Please respond?

  4. Hello my friend invited me to see you jan 28@fat cat Modesto,Ca..I loved the music..thanks for the show n picture…God Bless you all..keep up the great work…

  5. Hi! Saw you guys with Eli-Mac and j boog last night in LA. Thanks for putting on such an amazing show. Can’t wait for the next one!!

  6. So impressed by the music. Most especially the spirituality of the lyrics. I am in love with Zion T.
    Much love to all the members of The Green and their families. Loved my time out with my friends and
    family; we went to see The Green at the Wild Buffalo in Bellingham, WA. Who says we don’t have the
    aloha spirit, right?

  7. Loved the show in Santa cruz tonight!!!!

  8. Can’t wait for your november show in Colorado

  9. Mozambiquee in Laguna was a jam!! Great accoustic set! Mahalo!

  10. You guys killed it at RedRocks ! Thank you !

  11. Loved the show at OC Fair. Best show by far.

  12. Kia ora e te whanau. E mihi atu nei kia koutou katoa…Aotearoa has just celebrated Robet Nester Marley’s Day and as special as it is to many it was special to have you whanau on Aotearoa’s whenua on this day at Hoani Waititi Marae pai te ataahua mo tenei waiata e hoa ma…to your whanau in Hawaii who must all be so proud of what you have bought to the hearts of many around the world tena koutou katoa I have enjoyed your sound since I first heard you’s in 2010 many I think have tried to perfect what you’s have but with tikanga whakapono you have all achieved a sense of purpose of these principles in your music. Arohanui kia koutou…Buffy

  13. cant wait to see u guys at east coast vibes in gisbourne, aotearoa (new zealand). aroha tino nui to u guys churrrr

  14. Da Greeeeen!! Big ups mahalos!

  15. Hi! I’m Ariel Kittredge and I’m a college student. I’m in a music class and I get to do a presentation focusing in on a person or band. I fell in love with your The Green’s music last year and I want to do my presentation on The Green. I was wondering what inspired the members to play? And who are their idols they looked up to? I would love to hear back from you so I can do my project! Thank You!

  16. SOOO looking forward to seeing you in Dallas this weekend!

  17. Aloha! What was your inspiration for writing “she was the best”? I love it, and it brings back such good memories of my dog Smitty and I. Rest in peace and love Smitty! You really were the best! 9.14.13

  18. Love everything about this album just like all the others! My favourite kind of music, my favourite band! The feelings I get when listening to Caleb’s voice! Aloha from saskatoon saskatchewan Canada!

  19. Mean brothaz – Jah Bless
    from NZ

  20. I’ve grown up around music my whole life, and have listened to reggae for a while now, but you guys have changed my life. I hit a rough spot and this music speaks to me and at the end of the day lets me know its all good AND HAPPY JUST TO BE ALIVE

  21. Love ya’ll. Much Aloha to you. Mahalo for the Good vibrations 😉

  22. Come to the East coast!!!!!

  23. LOVED THE SHOW LAST NIGHT @ The Crecent Ball Room Phx, AZ. It’s our third time catching you guys and I must say what a show… LOVE IT!!!! Many years of success.. Aloha!!

  24. I was buying a healthy burrito at Mermaids in Kapaa and heard this great song playing in the kitchen. Had no idea what it was till my iphone ID’d it as “What will be will be”. I’m now a fan. Planning to see you in Anaheim this June. Great Great music. Love you guys!

  25. THANK YOU so much for the awesome show last night and hospitality!! So happy to see the love spread!! Cant wait for the new album and to see you again!! <3<3<3

  26. This is sweet! Aloha…

  27. Sick jams! Love all your songs! My Lil man falls asleep listening to you every night! Apperciate the great music! God bless!

  28. I listen to you guys everyday! Love the good vibrations you gave off in Fort Collins, CO. So down to earth and loving when I was able to meet you guys after the show. That shows true love to your fans! Spreading the green out here in WYO!

  29. Fort Collins, CO

    Stoked for u guys to swing thru town & spread them good vibes. Hopefully i win those tix!

  30. Please come out east NYC

  31. Wow I cant wait for you guys to come to Raggamuffin.. The Green is AWESOME>>!!
    Not to mention how HOT is Caleb..!! Cant wait to see you on stage doing your thing..!!
    Im so sure NZ and Hawaii are connected in a spiritual way..!! Love your laid back style and swag..!

  32. Frickin LOVE you guys!! keep them smooth jams coming….

  33. Man I saw you guys last night at the House of Blues in San Diego and I have seen a lot of concerts but you honestly have to be in my top five favorite concerts EVER. All of you are soooo musically talented in your own way it is a beautiful thing to see you all come together and make beautiful music that so many different kinds of people can enjoy! Thank you for spreading the truth and much aloha!

  34. Hey I just have to say I love your music. I just heard you guys for the first time while catching up on Season 2 of Hawaii Five-0, lol. I heard the song Love & Affection so I looked it up and found out about your awesome band. I have been watching Hawaii Five-0 from the start, catching up and Im so in love with Hawaii, the people and the culture, would love to come for a visit someday. I’m from New Zealand and I see you guys are coming to perform at Raggamuffin next year in Rotorua, which is awesome. Sounds like a real mean line up this year, hoping to come and see you.


  36. Hola! Can’t wait for tomorrow need some green healing :) Been a fan since I walked past the Marley Stage at Warped earlier this year! I stopped & stayed all mesmerized yo!

  37. Discovered you guys through Pandora … completely entranced by the melody, harmony, and poetry that is fused by old-school reggae roots and contemporary sounds. Instant favorites.

  38. The green! I love you guys I have never felt such a connection to it and I absolutely love your music you guys have been my favorite and since I moved to Hawaii I never buy band t shirts but I just went to the Republic last night and saw you guys play I couldn’t help myself I love your artwork you guys are amazingly talented I wish I could have got you guys to sign it!!!

  39. Will you guys be signing autographs when you go to Phoenix? I hope so, you guys are the BEST!

  40. Luv your music, just saw you guys in Chi-Town, please come back.

  41. Bought your “Ways and Means” cd while on vacation in Kauaii this year. Luv the music and just saw you guys last night in Chicago!! Great show, please come back to Chi-town again.

  42. come to Brazil please “Green” is the best fuck

  43. Please – come to Copenhagen 😉

  44. Awesome tunes. Keep up the great art you are producing.

  45. Just heard of you guys and I cant wait to see you guys at the house of blues in la. the music you guys make is out of this world.proud to be from the island nations


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