Grateful For You: KJ and Higgs Collaborate on Catchy New Love Song


The catchy love song, to be released on Thursday, December 13th, was written and recorded on a hot summer day at KJ's Kitchen table in Holualoa, Hawaii.
"Recording is challenging up here," KJ explains, "We have to close all the windows and turn off the fans, so it becomes a sauna. Plus, I only have a couple of hours between the roosters and the coqui frogs." It was quite a task for mixing engineers to tune out nature's chorus in the background of each track.

KJ originally a New England native, grew up in the Dominican Republic. After attending Berklee College of Music and Belmont University, she signed her first publishing deal with an indie company on the infamous 'Music Row' in Nashville, Tennessee. There, she met classmate and songwriter Aaron Domingo, a Honolulu native and Kamehameha graduate who brought her into the local music scene. In 2013, KJ found home performing on Hawai'i island, while making frequent trips touring both nationally and internationally, including her favorite, Wanderlust Festival.

Higgs (Ryan Higgins) is a Big Island native, an unassuming rapper and multi- instrumentalist. The two met at the state-funded Creative Lab Hawaii Writer Immersive Program, designed to help up-and-coming local songwriters grow and connect with the Mainland music Industry. Their original songs were finalists in this years Hawaii Songwriter Festival, where they shared the stage with a lineup of hit songwriters including headliner Kenny Loggins. Both of their winning songs are on Spotify and iTunes: "No Plans"- Higgs, “Love and Be Loved"- Just KJ.

This summer, they joined forces creating "Grateful For You," an upbeat tune that is sure to get stuck in everyone's head. KJ started the song back in April and immediately knew Higgs would be the perfect artist to complete it. On the track, KJ played Guitarlele and Higgs layered on the lead-Ukulele intro and the Cajon, which was part of their HSF contest prize, handmade on the Big Island by Llosh Box Drums. "I love how spur-of-the- moment and organic the whole process was. We never assumed the kitchen demo would turn into the final product." It was mixed in Honolulu by The Brewz, a production

team founded by 3-time Na Hoku Hanohano award-winning songwriter, Chaz Kaiolohia Umamoto, formerly of Streetlight Cadence.

The single will be available on all online streaming formats and available for purchase on iTunes. Both KJ and Higgs have full-length records coming out in 2019. You can catch KJ performing soon at Wanderlust Oahu 2019 at Turtle Bay. To stay up-to-date on releases and schedules, follow them on Instagram: @JustKJ.Love and @HiggsOfficial

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Kimberly June