Hailing originally from Hawaii and now dwelling among the vibrant scene of L.A., where he’s proved himself a DJ/producer on a quick ascent, Mahalo stands out because of how much he has been able to forge an identity that straddles the house underground and EDM overground.
“It’s actually been pretty damn cool to see that type of crossover appeal on my music,” says Mahalo.
With an impressive number of house productions under his belt from the past few years, Mahalo has juggled releases on labels stretching as far aloft as Toolroom to Armada, as well as earning the support of everyone from wizened veterans like Tommie Sunshine, across to mainstage stalwarts like Hardwell. As his profile grows, Mahalo finds himself poised perfectly to take advantage of the chasm between the underground and commercial scenes coming together.
“I neither expected it nor aimed for it, really,” he says. “Though I think it shows where both the house music scene and EDM scene are currently at. The sound of the mainstream, when it comes to house music, is moving in a more underground direction, and I’ve been able to develop a style of music that coincides with where the trends have been heading.”
This has certainly been his breakthrough year. In addition to his debut performance at EDC Las Vegas in June, he’s released his Perfect EP on Insomniac Records’ IN / Rotation imprint, as well as dropping key releases on labels like Toolroom Records and Perfect Havoc. He stands out, as he’s been able to cultivate his own unique sound, which he describes as “deep and groovy.”
“Depending on the song, my take on house music can come out a bit more on the deep side, or instead the upbeat and groovy side. It just depends on the vibe I’m going for.”
One particular shade of club music that Mahalo has come to be associated with, though, is “liquid house,” which he says is largely an apt description of his sound.
“I wouldn’t say that all my tracks under Mahalo fit this sound per se, but a big part of my more recent catalog definitely fits that description. My latest remix that I’ve got coming out next, for example, perfectly fits that ‘liquid house’ vibe.”
Meanwhile, Mahalo is burying himself deep within the L.A. scene, which he says has connected him with a thriving producer community and offered plenty of opportunities.
“One of the most exciting things about L.A. is how great a place it is to kick off a music career. A wise man once told me, If you can become a household name in L.A., then you’re already on track to becoming a household name around the world.”
Last December, Mahalo won the chance to be showcased in Insomniac’s Discovery Project, which earned him the chance to play a set at our Countdown 2016 NYE event, and he’s been a fixture at our festivals and parties ever since. He’s locked and loaded to perform at Nocturnal Wonderland this weekend, and he’s prepared a mix to help get us in the mood.
“This is a pretty solid snapshot of what you can expect from a Mahalo set,” he explains. “Deep, emotive vibes heading straight into some pumping bass, jackin’ beats, and a few cheeky mixes to keep the party crackin!
- Mahalo Nocturnal Wonderland Mix Track List
ID - ID (Mahalo Remix)
Karuva “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop”
Black Caviar “Coco Puffs”
Man Without a Clue “The Riff”
Endor “Snake Charmer”
The Magician “Tied Up” (offaiah Remix)
Coldablank “Lovin U”
Like Son “Freakin’”
Mahalo “Heaven” (Famba Remix)
Mahalo “Current Mood” (Truth X Lies Remix)
Nocturnal Wonderland 2017 takes place Friday, September 15, and Saturday, September 16, at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, CA. Tickets are available now. For more information, visit the official website.