What delight to see and hear Nick Castillo this past Easter Sunday night at Keoki’s Paradise in Po‘ipu. Nick’s beautiful voice and his soft guitar do justice to the all-Hawaiian music that he produces. Nick has been playing at Keoki’s for more than six years and also appears in Waimea at Wrangler’s on Friday nights.
His incredible falsetto voice is accompanied by his Martin Mini guitar. He is self-taught on guitar but studied voice with island music teacher Debbie Scarpell. Nick developed his interest in Hawaiian music as a sophomore at Waimea High School and went on to produce his first CD, “In Dreams,” in 2002.
This past December he released his second CD “Ka Hukai (The Journey)” featuring his own Hawaiian-inspired songs. These CDs are available from CD Baby, ITunes, Mele.com, the Kohe’e Museum, the island’s National Tropical Botanical Gardens gift shop and from Nick at Wrangler’s.
Before his vocal training, Nick would sing with his soprano mother in church, and as he was developing his own distinctive style, he was greatly influenced by another falsetto singer — the famed Dennis Pavao. As his ear became more sophisticated and he listened and studied other Hawaiian singers, his own voice emerged.
He has performed off island in Japan, Chicago, Texas, San Francisco, and Vancouver and Victoria in Canada. He is planning on representing Kaua‘i in New Zealand and Australia next month as he travels with the Kaua‘i Visitor’s Bureau to bring the sounds of the island to audiences overseas. His work with the visitor’s bureau has been very rewarding, he says, as each island has an ambassador, be it a story teller or musician.
Nick is extremely satisfied with where his talent has taken him, and he loves the Hawaiian music that he produces. He also wants to experiment with alternative musical expressions in the near future.
You can catch Nick at Keoki’s Paradise in Po‘ipu from 7 to 9 p.m. every Sunday.