Words by: Vina Cristobal
Photos courtesy of I.A. (Jordan Salud)
Jordan Salud established his whole life and career around the basis of hip-hop. His uncle, the leader of a hip-hop group in the early 90’s, loaned Salud a collection of mixtapes. Big Daddy Kane, Public Enemy and LL Cool J were among the rap legends that stood out in his musical compilation, which would later influence his passion for music.
After coming back to Hawaii from San Diego, CA, the Nanakuli resident was set to make Hawaiian music in a “hip-hop perspective.” Salud began performing under the moniker “I.A.” and shared a stage alongside local reggae artists B.E.T., and internationally known artists Chris Brown and Rae Sremmurd (of “No Flex Zone” fame) – just to name a few.
Family life and a pursuit for acting led to a three-year hiatus for the young rapper. I.A. landed roles in indie films and a guest starring role in “Hawaii Five-O.” He wanted to become more involved in the lives of his two young children.
But the many circumstances that he’d experienced throughout his life resulted in the release of his new EP, “Situations,” via Soundcloud.
“All these experiences that I went through, the spark in writing music started happening,” I.A. said. “Some of my friends and colleagues in the industry kind of threw me back in, and I had all this material that I was thinking about.”
The inspiration for his new EP did not solely root from his experiences or his epiphany to write new music, but also because he was motivated by one of his favorite artists.
“’Situations’ [the title of the track and EP] is from my favorite Usher songs, ‘You Don’t Have to Call’,” I.A. said. “Its first line of the chorus had the word situations in it – ‘Situations will arise.’ It was one of my favorite songs since high school, and I’ve always wanted to do something with it. And it didn’t come to me until making this project. It was one of those magical moments.”
Now, a month after its release, I.A. is gearing up to celebrate the EP with an 18 and over event at Nextdoor in Downtown Honolulu on Saturday, August 29 from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
“It’s also going to be a birthday celebration for myself and DJ Bone,” said I.A., who refers to Justin ‘Jus Bone’ Kaneshiro, famed host of the KTUH radio show “Got Rice?”
The lineup of artists include Hakumon (who collaborated with I.A. on the title track of the new EP), Jah Maoli, Dru Singer, and DJs Gotaro and Osna.
But this is just the beginning for I.A., who continues to bring Hawaii hip-hop to an audience outside of the islands.
“Bringing hip-hop to other places will always be a continual process to me until we can get our music on national radio,” he said. “Bruno Mars is a great example of a cultural singer who has that doo-wop funk type of sound. We want to have more of our own sound from Hawaii that distinguishes us from other music on the radio. We’re able to use Soundcloud and Spotify to reach out to national audience, but for now, we’re still rooting for the big guys.”
I.A.’s “Situations” can now be heard on Soundcloud, Spotify, Tidal and other music streaming sites. It is also available for download and purchase on Bandcamp and iTunes.