Help Streetlight Cadence Win All The Monies

(from left) Jonathon Franklin, Jesse Shiroma, Brian Webb and Chaz Umamoto BEN DECASTRO PHOTOS

(from left) Jonathon Franklin, Jesse Shiroma, Brian Webb and Chaz Umamoto BEN DECASTRO PHOTOS

Gosh, I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I first sat down with Streetlight Cadence, and look at us now. I’m … well, the same. The band, though, has really taken off.

They successfully moved to California, and it seems a day doesn’t go by without some announcement of a show popping up in my Facebook or Instagram feed. Their latest album, Beyond Paradise, came out on iTunes last month and garnered Streetlight Cadence a second Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Alternative Album of the Year. And for the past eight months now, the band has been competing in AireLive’s Global Music Contest. They’re currently in third place — and they need your help to make it across the finish line in first.

The way it works is pretty simple. AireLive is a South Korean app similar to Periscope. So all Streetlight Cadence has to do is livestream performances, which fans can “like.” Each “like” equals one vote, and whoever gets the most wins a grand prize of $300,000.

Easier said than done, of course. Really, it sounds like Streetlight Cadence has been working themselves to the bone to increase their chances of winning. Guitarist Chaz Umamoto tells me that he and the rest of the band — violinist Jonathon Franklin, cellist Brian Webb, and accordionist and foot percussionist Jesse Shiroma (they all contribute vocals) — committed themselves to performing on the streets five days a week to create enough content to be voted on.

“We made a conscious decision to sacrifice our time, potential income and growth in order to strategically place ourselves in the overall competition,” Umamoto says. “We also chose not to publicly announce our involvement nor push for fan participation because we didn’t want to tax our fanbase for a long period of time.”


So if this is the first you’re hearing about it — like how I just found out about it earlier last week — and you want to get involved, now is the time. Voting for the contest ends June 30, and for Streetlight Cadence to win that $300,000 would mean, well, a lot to the band.

“For a bunch of friends who have embarked on this crazy journey to Los Angeles, we would love to know that the time we’ve invested into making Streetlight Cadence into a legitimate business and a long-term career has been worthwhile,” says Umamoto.

The money, should they win it, would go a long way in creating a more sustainable future as musicians. Working on an album or other projects, and committing to street performances five days a week is no long-term plan. But perhaps more importantly, it would give Streetlight Cadence the chance to essentially work under their own label — free of the restrictions and governing bodies that conventional record labels would impose on them. The band has worked too hard for the past six years to control and retain the rights to their own music — and that hopefully won’t be changing any time soon.

“Macklemore and Ryan Lewis did the same thing,” says Umamoto. “They positioned themselves so that their reach became wide enough that the record industry was forced to recognize them and play ball.”

In the meantime, Streetlight Cadence is gearing up to return to Hawaii for a two-week tour that will kick off with a performance from noon to 3 p.m. today (June 10) at Mai Tai Bar.

“It always feels great to be home,” says Umamoto. “Although only half of Streetlight Cadence was born in the islands, as a band we feel like this is our home.

“Truthfully, we like to work ourselves to the bone on tour,” he adds. “Touring is not a vacation, although a jump in the ocean is good for the soul. But we are eternally revitalized when we come back to Hawaii.”

While here, the band will continue promoting the Global Music Contest, and also will be shooting videos and recording music. Immediately after completing Beyond Paradise, the band got to work on their next album. There’s no release date yet, but Umamoto promises that Streetlight Cadence hopes to take their songwriting to the next level. For perspective, the band wrote 50 songs for Beyond Paradise (10 of which made it on the album). This next time around, they’re aiming for 100.

Speaking of Beyond Paradise, I just downloaded it from iTunes today and gave it a listen. I’m on my third time around, and I can’t imagine I’ll be stopping any time soon. The songs are catchier than ever, the sound itself is full-bodied and mixed well, and all of it just makes me so excited for the band — as excited about Streetlight Cadence as the first time I heard them perform.

If ever you’ve considered yourself a fan of the band, now might be a great time to ensure that Streetlight Cadence is able to continue doing what it loves and what you enjoy listening to.

For more information on the Global Music Contest and to vote, visit To find out when and where Streetlight Cadence will be performing in Honolulu, find them on Facebook and Instagram.