The Midwest is super exhausted of this winter weather and we are all ready for it to be summer, again. We have been looking high and low for the best artist to get us out of the winter blues and give us a summery escape. It is a lot to live up to, but I think we found the perfect artist to transport you to the closest tropical island for the rest of the winter: Plaid Hawaii. His name already says it all.
Jason Womp is the man behind Plaid Hawaii. It’s hard to miss him considering he’s likely the tallest one in the room with dreads almost as tall as he is. He has an incredible energy about him that just emits optimism and positivity wherever he goes. While his music speaks for his name, you would never guess that Jason makes his home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Not so much, a warm, tropical island, but Milwaukee is lucky to have someone to give them tropidelic vibes during their blistering cold winters.
HIs music can best be categorized as an uplifting tropidelic sound. He has made his own sound and genre, but you can hear his strong influence from Pink Floyd, Lotus, and Modest Mouse in many of his songs. One of our favorite things about him is that he understands his musical aesthetic and is able to translate that to us in every one of his songs. So many times, artists are unsure of their own sound which makes their songs confusing with no clear focus. There is no second guessing in Jason’s work. He knows who he is and sticks to it.
The last time we spoke to Plaid Hawaii was during his show with Sam Feldt at Concord Music Hall. He mentioned that one of his biggest goals as an artist is to emit positive energy through his music. He commended Sam Feldt for this same ambition. We believe he has already completed this goal. Every piece of music that Plaid Hawaii produces and sends through the speakers in his shows is emitting positive energy. During the Sam Feldt concert, as soon as Plaid Hawaii got to the stage, you could see the energy in the room turn up hundreds of notches. Everyone began smiling and dancing. He was able to send positivity and happy vibes through the whole room.
Not only is Jason traveling and working on his music as Plaid Hawaii, he is the bassist for a jam band out of Milwaukee called Undercover Organism. He seems to be constantly touring and creating music between Plaid Hawaii and Undercover Organism. Not only that, but we have seen him on multiple occasions playing with Mike Daum (jailbreak, Particle). Jason is constantly pushing himself to do more and push his boundaries in the music industry.
Every song is worth your time listening to; however, the one song we can’t get out of our mind right now is “Pineapple Fantasia.” This song will make you book your next vacation to an island paradise and forget the cold immediately. You can taste the pineapple in your mouth and the warm sun on your shoulders. I don’t know about you, but I can’t help but smile when this song comes on and that’s the best gift you can give someone.
We got a chance to meet up with Plaid Hawaii to ask him a few questions. Here’s a little bit on Plaid Hawaii!
What is your musical background?
I started playing drums when I was 14 and joined a punk band a few years after. I got really into guitar and that was my primary instrument for years until a Milwaukee jam band, Undercover Organism, needed a bassist. I’ve been playing with them 6 years now. I’ve was producing electronic music as a hobby for about seven years before actually doing anything with it.
How did you begin your entrance into electronic music?
I remember hearing Daft Punk’s “One More Time” as a kid and being instantly drawn to its beat and style. I got really into the Rave scene in high school and went to lots of trance and house shows, then attending music festivals introduced me to a lot more of the acts I prefer now. I actually started out making trance music and playing Plaid Hawaii bar gigs in Milwaukee as a side project that evolved when I took a trip to the Caribbean and started working with a manager. The tropical chill sound resonated with a much large audience so the project and shows I was doing started to catch some steam.
How did you decide on the name "Plaid Hawaii"?
My roommate and I had an ongoing thing where we’d try to come up with the most ridiculous DJ names we could think of. One day that one came up and just seemed way too fitting for the music I was making so it stuck.
What other projects have you been working on other than Plaid Hawaii?
My band Undercover Organism which is a live electronic jam band still plays a good amount of shows so between those two it takes up most of my time.
What do you hope to be remembered by in your genre?
Someone who spreads love through music and actions. I hope that whether or not people remember the music, they remember the experience they had at the show with other like minded individuals all feeling the same vibe.
What has been your favorite collaboration thus far?
“Frozen Flame” with Mike Daum (jailbreak). I have never been able to shred like he can on guitar and I had a vision for the song that came to fruition exactly as I imagined it before we recorded.
What would be your dream collaboration?
I would love to make a song with Gryffin. I feel like he has a very similar style and goal for his music.
What has been your favorite venue/ show to play?
Freaky Deaky Halloween 2017 at the Wisconsin Center. It was just unreal playing to such a huge crowd with that much production.
What do you like to do when you aren't making or playing music?
I really love nature. I try to hike and travel as much as I can. I also am blessed with amazing friends that I love to hang with as much as possible between shows.
If you want to catch Plaid Hawaii at a show, get yourself to Wisconsin. Before the crazy festival season, he will be catching his breath in his home state by playing shows for the next few weeks in Milwaukee and Madison. We will be heading to Plaid Hawaii's next show The Luau at Snack Boys February 9th. Meet us there!