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The myth, the music engineer: Ariki Foster

As an aspiring musician myself, I know it’s tough finding a passionate producer who has my back and will help produce beats for me. But Kaua‘i, search no more because I found the one and only, the myth himself: Mr. Ariki Foster, founder/owner of Dubb City Productions. Ariki has come a long way; literally he came from New Zealand and started a family as well as a music production company here on Kaua‘i to help local musicians bring out the best in themselves.

Ariki opened his studio to musicians and singers about a year ago. And by God’s blessings, he has been busy ever since producing singles for distribution to albums and movie/TV soundtracks like the one he did for Bethany Hamilton in “Soul Surfer.” He also produced music for “Hawai‘i Crisis,” a documentary for Kaua‘i aired on PBS.  I mean, if you wanted to book studio time, you would have to do it at least two months in advance. He is a myth; everyone who is in the music business has heard about him. If you aren’t in his studio making music or watching him play, you haven’t had the honor of being in his presence.

The artists who have been blessed with his presence and worked with him this past year are Chanel Flores, PonoBreeze, Roots Rockahzs, Danyo Cummings, Doric Yaris (Kumu hula album), Alderine Guerrero and Hawai‘i’s very own Dayne Woodward Jr., better known as “Hawaiian Teddy Bear,” who was in the studio creating his album as I was interviewing Ariki (HTB’s album will be dropping in mid-July). Hawaiian Teddy Bear said, “I am so blessed to have found Ariki. He is so creative and he understands my vision!” You could tell he meant it, as they were in the middle of creating another feel-good song, which I thought sounded like a hit.

There are few music producers out there who actually will work with your schedule and budget. Ariki is that man who cares about the love of creating music and taking care of Hawai‘i’s people’s music needs. He understands because he has a beautiful family of his own, and is an artist himself. He really started Dubb City Productions with the kindness of his heart to help aspiring artists get the ball rolling, and give them a space where they can bring their music ideas to life. This is his passion, but if he isn’t creating beats in the studio you can watch him perform on stage with the band Greenstone Project  every Wednesday and Sunday night from 8 to 11 p.m.

If you are still not familiar with Ariki Foster, I bet you probably heard what he sounds like when he raps. Yes, he raps too. He was featured in the “Tita Song,” done with Chanel Flores and Keola Akau, which plays on the radio stations here on Kaua‘i and can be downloaded as a ringtone at river anthem or found on iTunes. He was inspired by Eve and Dr. Dre, which delighted me because I wouldn’t have expected that. Other inspirational artists he appreciates are Skylar Grey and the legendary Nora Jones.

All it takes to make your music dreams come to life is to contact Ariki by Facebook at least two months in advance. He will help your dreams manifest into your reality. Once you step into his lab, you won’t want to leave. Like his wall says: Create Music, that’s what you will experience and when you set foot in his studio, make sure you come opened minded and hang loose because trust me, you will get more fresh creative beats when you allow the myth to do his thing. Kaua‘i get ready to hear more great music by Dubb City Production, because the myth (Ariki) himself is humbly unstoppable and untouchable. There is no one else that does what he does, he just be doing his thing!

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