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  • Derek Nakamoto

January 1, 2018

Updated: May 20, 2018


The last day of the year is always spent with quiet reflection. This year at Senshin Temple's Joya- e Ceremony, it was especially profound with the oncoming year's first Super Moon.




I am proud of the artist I worked with this past year. The music created along with the fun witnessing them create it is deeply rewarding. Co-producing Street Light Cadence with the Usual Suspects (Rob Chiarelli, Nate & Kaelie Highfield) was a personal highpoint. I loved this band from the moment I saw them performing in front of Hawaii Theatre downtown Honolulu and I hope their record goes through the roof this year!

Meeting Herbie Hancock and Gino Vannelli, 2 artist that were huge influences in my early years till today and thank them for graciously sharing their journeys through their music. The opportunity to thank our heroes seldom comes around!


I was also reminded of how fortunate I was to arrive in Los Angeles when I did. It was at the end of what is called the “Golden Era” of recording and the talent I met and worked with is priceless. Towards the end of last year I did a background vocal session with 4 of these colleagues & friends. Ken Stacey, Valerie Pinkston, Bridgette Bryant and Lamont Van Hook singing together is heaven! The stories they shared, priceless!

Conducting my first “class” at the 2017 TAXI Road Rally was cathartic. Speaking to the class I was reminded of how lucky I was having the career that I did. Never planned on it. I encouraged each one of them to know who they “are” and write their own story. Finding our voice is the challenge and that takes great courage. I am thinking of how to start something here on this site where I can continue to share information and mentor folks!


Below are 2 talented artist I meet from Australia, Elliot Hahn and Luke Pauley. Uniquely talented artist brought over through their University led by a talented artist in his own right Caleb James. Caleb released an amazing work of music accompanied by a beautiful book entitled "Stories for Space Travel" which he gifted me. I read the prologue and already know I am going to love the listening adventure!





Social media trends, another story … a sad one in fact. Another dedicated blog to what scares and saddens me about this and why I am pulling away from it.


So begins 2018!


I am scoring a wonderful documentary film and drawing from all of my combined experiences from the previous years into the work. Everything about it resonates deeply from the person it is based on, the team producing it and where I am as a composer.


I am also looking to completing my own recordings and present them with imagery that will give the listeners a visual to my intentions. I am fascinated with those who have the gift of cinematography and hope to partner with such folks with innovative minds.


And of course, the artist that manage to find their way to my doorstep with history telling me I am to be of service to them!



This is the year to be artistically responsible. Ours is a medium that remains the most vital force in telling stories and sharing information that transcends borders and racial barriers. I encourage our community to build and strengthen itself from the grass roots level. No small effort goes unnoticed or is insignificant. It starts in our own backyard.


With that, my love and best wishes to all for a blessed, mindful and responsible 2018. I pray we are graced with an abundance of love, health and inner happiness & tranquility enabling us to do the good work we are all placed here to do.


Be kind to ourselves and to each other.

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