The Business of Dreams with Makana
Makana is an award-winning slack-key guitar player, singer/songwriter, and composer, based in Hawaii.
He’s performed for presidents and other world leaders and had his music featured on the Grammy-nominated soundtrack for The Descendants.
When we connected for this interview, Makana was in the midst of a joyful renewal as an artist and human being.
Among the topics we discussed in this interview:
- His childhood mentorship with slack-key legend, Sonny Chillingsworth.
- Playing for a career since moving out at age 19 (over 20 years ago)
- The balance between honoring tradition and evolving an art form.
- The Big Lie in the music industry.
- The intersections of art, activism, and community.
- On Kuleana: why rights and responsibility are inseparable.
- Why he values freedom over fame and turned down big traditional deals.
- On psychological brand management and managing access to his work.
- How producing hundreds of songs over the past two years has helped him reclaim a sense of creative play and limitless possibility: “There are no boundaries to what I can create now.”
- What’s in Makana’s Artist Survival Kit.
- On what happens when you combine mastery of your craft with human connection and vulnerability.
- The Business of Dreams: A Primer for the aspiring artist.
- Why most artists struggle.
- The importance of captivating an audience in the first fifteen seconds.
- What’s next: Consolidating control of his art, a full reset/relaunch of his online presence, and putting the final touches on a Broadway musical script.
To learn more about Makana, you can visit his website.About The Fearless Storyteller:
Intro Song: “Unlimited Love” (instrumental version) by Ethan Freckleton & Lucas Clebsch
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