Words: Bryant Dynasty | Photos: Sydney Ro
Evan Imata of Mililani Mauka, 15, has emerged as a rising star in the Hawaii independent music scene. Attempting to emulate the songwriting prowess and the adopting of an astronomical moniker much like another famous Hawaii musician, Bruno Mars, Evan adopted the stage name “Evan Kepler,” after German astronomer Jonathan Kepler.
Evan has been around music for a good part of his life. When he was younger, he had an from an interest in acting, thus resulting in participating in stage musicals. Evan estimates that he’s done up to 15 theatre productions since he first started. This eventually led to his pursuit of learning music. He started taking piano lessons at the age of 11. His musical surroundings were influenced by Evan’s father, a local musician, and his younger sister, who also is a piano player. He and his sister both attended Broadway Camp this summer after attending open auditions.
When it comes to music, Evan estimates that 90% of his life revolves around it. He usually starts his day with a song to spark his inspiration. In fact, composing original songs are Evan’s passion. Both songwriting and composing are his strongest musical traits. He describes the act of creating original music as more appealing to him than just performing covers of more renowned songs. He says he goes through a fluid writing process and his writing progresses as he continues learning.
Bruno Mars, Coldplay and Hollywood composer Danny Elfman are just three of the musical inspirations that he pulls from. Evan likes to describe songs as feelings, the greatest form of expression. He loves to create songs that also help other people.
Although he is only still in high school, Evan has singlehandedly produced and released two albums of original music on iTunes. The challenge of being in high school has also been among Evan’s challenges as a budding musician. He had to choose between hip-hop dance classes, drum and voice lessons, but ended up participating in school choir classes as a free alternative. In addition to performing with his high school, Evan has performed as a solo musician at several gigs, including Ala Moana Center Stage and the Aloun Farms Pumpkin Festival.
Evan has been open to the idea of collaborating with other artists; he wants it to become a thing that he would like to do more often. He describes working as a solo act as a challenge with its limitations and feels that finding the right partner would be a fantastic opportunity for growth. With so much work and growth in the past four years on his own, Evan doesn’t see a full-time career in music right away after high school. His intention is to keep music a separate part of his life at this time. Jumping into the music industry before he feels he would be ready is something he feels to be too risky. Although his plans for the years to come with music are not set in stone, Evan is shooting for the stars.