WITH AN ELECTRO HEART AND HAWAII ROOTS, MR. CARMACK
TAKES THE STAGE
DJ and producer Mr. Carmack — a musician with Hawaii roots who often plays and performs in the islands but has been elusive to media, even as his professional profile rises — has transformed himself from college dropout to one of the most prolific electronic music producers of today. Along the way, Aaron Carmack has also risen above personal setbacks to share his high-octane sonic grooves with the world. The acclaimed trap-electro music-maker, whose affiliations include Diplo’s Mad Decent label and forward-thinking Los Angeles-based music collectives Soulection and Team Supreme, comes to The Republik today. Born in San Francisco before eventually moving to Long Beach, Calif., the 26-year-old versatile beat marvel credits the three years he lived on Oahu for helping him understand that potential has no limits.
“I had a feeling that I really had to harness what I was doing,” Carmack said. “It was a life-changing experience for me living in Hawaii, then I moved away. It was almost like a dream.”
A French horn player in high school, Carmack, who is also gifted on the piano and ukulele, earned a music scholarship at California State University, Long Beach, before dropping out. Broke and living on the streets of Long Beach, he scrounged up all the funds he could and bought a oneway ticket to Hawaii to live with his older sister. “I needed to take the time to get my real life together, and who better to help me than my sister?” he said. “Also, being by myself really helped. It’s the ageold artist story: You can have all the talent in the world, but if you can’t get your life together, it can kind of fall apart.”
CARMACK, who is Filipino and Hawaiian, comes from a family of musicians with ohana on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii island. His father, Carlton “Ka‘ala” Carmack, is a producer, singer, pianist and music instructor at Windward Community College. His sister Anima is also an accomplished vocalist.