Who is Eddie Kanani?
He’s an artistic songwriter, composer and singer with the producing skills of today’s hot beatmakers. He’s a highly rhythmic performer and arranger who incorporates a uniquely wide range of influences. And underneath all of his musical passion beats the heart of an artist whose desire is to uplift and encourage his listeners.
Eddie’s music truly is unique. Like a chef in a Creole kitchen, Eddie usually starts out making his musical jambalaya with solid, deep bass and hard-hitting drums and percussion. Next come layered guitar lines, often heavily seasoned with funky sauce.
Then he throws in the flavors of vintage keyboards like the Rhodes and Clavinet. He turns up the heat with futuristic digital synthesizer sounds and layers upon layers of his vocals. Also stirred in at just the right time are orchestral textures and jazz harmonies.
No one is around as he cooks up his creations because Eddie plays all the instruments and sings all the vocals himself. He is a musical purist and only cooks from scratch.
Stir it all together and Eddie delivers a musical melange that first hooks you with the beat and then encourages your heart with the message. His lyrics are simple and yet very profound. “Most of all, I want everyone to know, no matter who they are, that they’re loved by God, and that no matter what they’re going through, they can make it.”
Drums in the Crib
To say that Eddie has lived a musical life is an understatement. Born in New York to two musicians, Eddie grew up surrounded by the sounds of his parents practicing and all kinds of records spinning on the family’s stereo. At one week old, Eddie attended his first music audition when his mother couldn’t find a babysitter. He started attending concerts regularly at age 3.
It’s no surprise that at age 5, Eddie started playing piano and was writing his own songs out on paper by age 9. Before he was old enough to attend kindergarten, he could often be found in the basement, banging on any of his father’s drums that he could find. This early exposure to percussion laid the foundation for rhythm being the key element in all of Eddie’s music.
One Man Jam
Then something special happened when he was 14. Using two boom-boxes to ping-pong musical instruments on top of one another, Eddie recorded his first song entirely by ear. Hearing a song composed and performed completely on his own opened the floodgates of his creativity, and the writing and recording sessions have continued ever since.
It wasn’t until Eddie gave his heart to Christ that he started on his journey of exploring his spirituality through music. During that time of growth in his faith, Eddie began traveling with music groups to schools, prisons, orphanages and churches across the U.S. and as far as Jamaica and Honduras. Eddie also began to play, sing and lead worship for several youth groups around town.
During this time, Eddie discovered Gospel music. “Fred Hammond was a big inspiration for me,” along with other artists that expressed an intersection of faith and rhythm in their music. The Bass Interlude on Eddie’s debut album is dedicated to Hammond.
A Musical Double-Life
Enrolled at a prestigious conservatory of music, Eddie began an intense study of music composition. There he had opportunities to write all kinds of music for many types of musicians. “Hearing your music performed by a 100-piece orchestra is a feeling I can’t even describe … it’s amazing,” remembers Eddie.
But even with high points like this, Eddie’s heart was somewhere else – with his funky, R&B-flavored music. “Most of my teachers looked down on any type of music besides classical,” said Eddie, “but I knew that wasn’t right.” Eddie began living a double-life of sorts, studying and composing by day, and staying up all night writing and recording songs in his dorm room.
Into the Studio
Because he was always recording, Eddie kept sharpening his skills as a producer and before graduating, had already produced tracks for an artist on a major label. During those sessions Eddie was introduced to two other musicians who soon formed a production company with him. The trio produced several independent and major-label Gospel projects, as well as music for television and radio.
From Producer to Arist
After moving west as the trio started to forge their own musical paths independently, Eddie began to realize that he had a lot to say musically and lyrically, and the only way it could truly be expressed was by recording as an artist himself.
“In order to be a great producer, you need to facilitate the vision of the artist, not just put your stamp all over them. I realized that there was a lot inside that I would never be able to express if all I only produced other people.” Nonetheless, Eddie still loves producing, writing and remixing for other artists in addition to his own music.
After several more years of writing and recording on his own, Eddie realized it was time to get started putting together his debut CD as a solo artist. The long process of going through the 500 or more songs he had written paid off as the field was narrowed down to just 30 songs for consideration for the project.
Clocking in at over 70 minutes long, Eddie’s debut album “Soul Solution” is available on CD (at an exclusive discount, including the full booklet with liner notes and lyrics), iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon MP3 and other major outlets.