Kawehi introduces new style to the M-Shop

Students watch Kawehi perform March 30th. During a break in the music Kawehi encouraged crowd interaction by asking where the best place to get pizza in Ames was.

Thomas Shreve

It’s not often you see a live show with a completely unique style of music that you have never seen before, but Kawehi was able to deliver that to a modest Maintenance Shop audience.

Kawehi describes her music as a “live loop” which involves her creating individual beats on a machine or by beat boxing. She does this live onstage which is extremely entertaining. 

The highlight of the show was watching Kawehi create these unique beats. She adds to her music piece by piece, making it all the more appealing when it all comes together.

Kawehi is truly a talented artist who has found something very special to her. Watching her perform was compelling as it was obvious that she was proud of her music and held immense amounts of passion for what she was doing. It was truly impressive to watch her manage so many different instruments and machines but she performed with ease.

Kawehi’s set was also distinct in that this was her first time performing at the M-Shop, as well as the fact that it was far from traditional. Many of her songs played into each other without clear ends and beginnings. She would add and replace different noises and before long it would be an entirely different song. This was such an interesting addition to her performance, however it did detract from it by making it feel overlong. The lack of constant applause felt like the show kept on trudging along. It did not get too tiresome though as Kawehi knew how to add variety to her show.

After a few songs she switched over to just an acoustic guitar. It was a little jarring at first but thanks to Kawehi’s amusing originals, it served as a great shift changer.

Her two original acoustic songs were “Clifford”, based off Clifford the Big Red Dog, and a song about reality television. The tune was calming yet the lyrics were humorous and it served as another example as to why Kawehi is so versatile.

She then switched over to keyboard only for a few tunes which was refreshing. She played a particular love song that featured a fresh set of lyrics. However, it was crippled by an awkward, out of place autotune.

The stand out of the show was Kawehi’s own remix of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me”. While it could have easily been annoying and unnecessary, it served as a cool, modern tribute to a classic.

Kawehi’s story is an interesting one. She was into music her whole childhood and wanted to perform in some aspect.

“I was not very good [at music] so I tried something else,” said Kawehi, “I was crappy at everything else.”

Although she was originally hard pressed to find a way into the music industry, she eventually found the inspiration to create something unique, “I love everything from Radiohead to Nine Inch Nails to The Beatles,” said Kawehi, “I just kinda kept at it.”

Kawehi’s opener, Iris High, was something of a surprise. She had turned 16 just a week ago and played a mix of folk originals as well as covers. She was likable and charming and I would like to see more from her.