Paradox Lockdown locks in debut album

The biggest problem for the members of Paradox Lockdown is how to meet up for a rehearsal. Half the members of the teenage band are too young to drive. Despite this hurdle, the band manages to meet for a three-hour rehearsal marathon in preparation for their CD release.

Paradox Lockdown celebrates the release of their debut CD, “Battlefield of Broken Hearts,” 7 p.m. Saturday at Lihu‘e Missionary Church. The all-ages concert is a fundraiser for the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank and is an alcohol-free event.

The band is made up of Cameron Willamson (guitar and lead vocals), 14, Jonathan Obiano (keyboards/synthesizer and vocals), 15, Zack Silva (bass), 16 and Nick Trpkovski (drums), 16. Seventeen-year-old rapper Ion Avadanei (aka Str8lyrical) collaborated with the band on the title track, “Battlefield of Broken Hearts.”

The six-track album, which was released in May, has successfully garnered an underground following on island, with a few tracks popping up on KQNG’s radio airwaves.

“The day it was supposed to play on the radio was the same day (Harold Camping) predicted the end of the world,” Williamson said. “I thought, ‘Hey, might as well go out getting played on the radio.’”

The band’s debut CD explores themes of love, fame and the uncertainty of the future. While the band describes their music as pop/rock, hints of techno, hip-hop and R&B shine through in their music. The band isn’t afraid to experiment with different genres, and already plan a follow up CD.

 Obiano and Williamson co-wrote most of the songs. The duo met in middle school and started performing together. A year later, Silva and Trpkovski came into the group. “Battlefield of Broken Dreams” is the result of nine months of collaboration, four of which were spent rehearsing and recording demos.

“I didn’t know we were even making an album,” Silva said. “We always called them demos, so it was kind of a shock to me.”

What was more shocking to the band was the success of the album, which is available to download on iTunes.

“Sales have been good,” joked Trpkovski to a laughing room.

“They’re super young to have a successful album,” Avadanei said. “It’s a huge accomplishment.”

Like their name, each member of Paradox Lockdown bring their unique talents to the band.

Williamson and Obiano, both who have played the piano since they were eight, write their songs on the piano, rather than the guitar. When they compose songs, the band focuses on melodies and harmonies, rather than belting out a tune.

Silva has been involved with music since he was seven, and Trpkovski said he was forced to play the violin, flute and piano, but abandoned these instruments as quickly as he started. He knew he found his love for percussion when he banged on the drums of the video game Rock Band four years ago.

Avadanei has been rapping since he was 15.

“I’ve been influenced by old school rappers — the ones that have a message, not the ones who rap about women and money,” Avadanei said. “Anyone can make a melody with rhymes. If it has a message in it, it’s more meaningful.”

The budding musicians are building a steady fan base (Obiano jokes he’s been signing autographs since he stole his eighth-grade talent show), and they said they plan on sticking together.

When asked what advice they have for young musicians, Williamson said music isn’t an all-or-nothing career.

“Music is meant to be heard and written, not locked into a closet,” he said. “It might not be your first try, or your second try, or your third try, or your 10th try, but the 11th try could be your lucky day,” Williamson said.

“Keep your dreams and ambitions alive,” offered Avadanei, who moved from Romania four-and-a-half years ago. “I had to learn English, and I didn’t think I could rap.”

The band is already planning a follow-up album, but their lips are tightly sealed about it.

Paradox Lockdown’s CD release concert is 7 p.m. Saturday at Lihu‘e Missionary Church, located at 4383 Rice Street (next to the Chevron gas station).

3 Minute Warning, The Buddy System and The Amplified Silence opens. Admission is free with a canned good donation for the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank.

The last benefit concert Paradox Lockdown raised 300 pounds of canned goods. They hope to double this amount during Saturday’s concert.

“Battlefield of Broken Hearts” will be available for sale for $5, with $1 of every sale going to the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank.

Search iTunes to purchase Paradox Lockdown’s CD.


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