Common Kings / Lost in Paradise

What does waking up early to check the conditions at Ehukai, sitting in Town traffic, having a bonfire at Keiki Beach, getting ready for a night out in Waikiki and driving the lush East side all have in common?

Lost in Paradise, the new album from the reggae band Common Kings, serves as the perfect backdrop for all of these settings.

And not only because the soothing lyrics perfectly mesh with Hawaii’s cultural vibes; the sounds are simply that good, from the catchy guitar riff on Take Her, the head banging bassline from Stretch, and the enticing build up and emotional fervor on Everybody Wants to Fool the World that pulls you in like a riptide.

The album, which dropped this year after the release of the single Lost in Paradise, is the brainchild of the group and Island Empire records and builds upon the group’s past album success: Hits & Mrs and Summer Anthems.

So where does this eclectic group of musicians – Lead singer JR King, guitarist Taumata Grey, bassist Ivan Kirimaua, and drummer Jerome Taito – trace their musical roots from?

Peek into Lost in Paradise with its feel good vibes and upbeat lyrics and you’d initially think they were collectively born and bred in Hawaii.

A majority of the musicians that comprise Common Kings were born in the South Pacific region, but were raised in Southern California, where they met and a few jam sessions later, the band and mission was formed.

They began releasing self-produced independent singles back in 2011 and issued a pair of EPs – #WeOnTour Soundtrack and Summer Anthems – two years later. The next year, they released the six-track EP Hits & Mrs, toured with Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 World Experience, and will be touring the United States until May, with the help of Makua Rothman, who has spent time on stage with the group.

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