Native Hawaiian and roots reggae musician Mike Love crafts his music in a way that he hopes will make the world a better place, and it’s doing exactly that. At least five fans have come to Love individually and told him his song “No Regrets” turned their life around – brought them back from a place where they were considering suicide. “It’s a really powerful thing to hear that from someone and it definitely inspires me to keep making music.”
Another tune, “Earthlings,” has motivated hundreds, if not thousands, of Love music devotees to turn toward a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle for their own well being, as well as for the health of the planet.
Love’s message is revolutionary conscious awakening – both spiritually and socially – and his intention is to uplift people while making them question the political system. Along the way, his music also connects people globally. “As we go from town to town and city to city, we bring that message to new places and sort of connect the dots.”
Performing 250 shows a year might take a toll on the personal life of many musicians, but Love surmises that his schedule (performing four to six nights a week near his home when not on tour) allows him more quality time with his family. “I play shows at night while they are sleeping. Doing what I do allows me time with family and time to take it easy and work on music instead of working a mundane 9-to-5 job and wasting my life away.” A perfect day for him would include waking up with his family, taking a hike, spending time on the beach, playing some music, eating good food and taking a nap.
For Love, making music means he is continuing on a path that he believes began many lifetimes ago. “I was born and started making music again in this lifetime.” This time around, he grew up with a gospel music-composing grandfather and also a father who frequently made up and sang songs to his children. Love began playing steel drums in grade school, took piano lessons and at age 14 picked up guitar from his dad and sister. “I then started writing music in my early teens. That’s what really solidified it for me – having a voice and being able to write songs – I was convinced that was what I wanted to do with my life.”
He credits his parents with teaching him everything he knows as a man: kindness, patience and solid decision-making skills. Love’s ability to persevere, adapt, keep the faith and not force things that aren’t working have led him to where he is today musically and professionally.
2017 will bring a new album for Love, and one that he described as similar in theme, but different in sound. “Over the last year and a half we’ve solidified our live band. In past recordings we did a lot of layering and over dubbing. On this album we’ll record as a band. I feel like it will be a lot more powerful in the sense of sounding like a band connected to the energy of the songs.” The unique nature of the music and sounds Love’s band produces means his shows are incredibly spontaneous and keep fans coming back for more. “In Salida, they’ll hear versions of the songs that have never been heard before and probably will never be heard again. … We do things a little bit differently each time. They are never going to see the same show twice.”
Regarding being referred to as one of reggae’s “rising stars,” Love said he hopes he never stops rising. “I generally tend to just take things as they come. I’m a very go-with-the-flow kind of person, so I’ve never really had a vision for where I want to be. I don’t necessarily plan to sell out amphitheaters or get on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. As soon as I started playing music that heals people, I realized I’d ‘made it.’”
Mikelovemusic.com offers tour dates and a chance to listen to some of his music. Videos of Love strumming the ukulele can be found on You Tube. His stop at the Salida SteamPlant on April 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. will be one of five Colorado performances on Love’s “Beginning of Days Tour 2017” and the show is expected to sell out in advance. Soulcraft beer (formerly Hubbub Brewery) and Wood’s High Mountain Distillery gin and whiskey will be offered at a cash bar. For tickets, visit Brown Paper Tickets.