Sean Cleland is a performing/recording songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist based out of Honolulu, Hawai'i. Described as an "innovative singer-songwriter and prolific performer [who] plays pop, rock, and soul" by The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, his music straddles the line between new and classic, refined and raw, solitary and cosmopolitan.
Sean's music video for the track "Salary Man" (off of the album "The Process Of" (2018)) was released on Friday, Sept. 28. Please head to Sean's homepage for the embedded Youtube links: www.seanclelandmusic.com.
"Salary Man" colorfully explores a narrative we are all too familiar with, and asks what is truly important in our lives.
The video is brought to you by Peter Fowler of Endure Films and Imua Garza of Zeo Music. "Salary Man" is directed by Chelsea Gines, and features dancers Josh ‘Hazmat’ Ulep and Jordan Inouye.
Sean's new album, "The Process Of", is a 15-song collection of original music that at once sounds new - with it's melodic and singable blend of guitar-based pop, rock, and soul - while at the same time paying clear homage to the music of former eras. Echoes of John Mayer and Ryan Adams are etched across the new album that was recorded and produced in Honolulu, HI by Na Hoku-winning producer Imua Garza at Zeo Music. Released in 2018, the tracks "Dig", "Salary Man", and "Curl" have already received radio play on Star 101.9. The album has been covered in two TGIF features in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser newspaper, as well as multiple blogs and Spotify playlists. "The Process Of" is available now on multiple digital outlets (iTunes, Spotify, etc.) as well as pressed to CD and double-vinyl formats (available in the Online Store or stream the whole album for free on Spotify).
Sean's solo act and band seamlessly blend together singer-songwriter, rock, pop, folk, blues, r&b, and soul genres. Artists as diverse as John Mayer, Ryan Adams, The Weeknd, Hozier, Oasis, Stevie Wonder, Wilco, Ray LaMontagne, The Beatles, The Allman Brothers, Amy Winehouse, Elliott Smith, and Jimi Hendrix may come to mind when listening to Sean.
He has opened for Iron & Wine (2018) and Houndmouth (2016) at Honolulu's famed Republik, as well as performed at Aloha Stadium, Hawaii News Now, KHON, KITV, The Perry & Price Show, and Pakele Live (his particular concerts are still currently airing on tv channel OC16). Sean was selected as one of thirteen participants in the 2018 Creative Lab Hawaii Music Immersive where he had the opportunity to co-write for sync with SYML, Katie Herzig, Amy Stroup, Rob Kleiner, Butterfly Boucher, and Marlin "Hookman" Bonds. He was selected as a finalist in the state of Hawaii for the KHON X Factor Audition Pass Contest, a semi-finalist in the Hard Rock Rising competition, and a semi-finalist in the RAW Awards. Sean has 3-5 residencies every week at Honolulu hotels and venues with his solo act, which means he performs over 200 times every year.
Prior to his latest solo release, Sean most recently led the band The Hollow Spheres, who blended elements of current and classic rock, pop, and soul, along with hints of both jazz and art rock. Their 2015 EP release, "Wanderlust" was engineered, mixed, and produced by Sean, and mastered by Milan Bertosa in Honolulu, HI. Imagine a meeting of the minds between Pink Floyd and Steely Dan in their heyday, coupled with a healthy dose of dreamy rock songwriting - all brought to you from underneath a palm tree. The Hollow Spheres had an infectious stylistic blend of American/Britpop nostalgia and pop-nuanced rock. In June of 2016, The Hollow Spheres were selected as one of four local finalists for the Hard Rock Rising 2016 International competition, and were also one of ten winners in the 2016 NextNext competition. Their earlier 2010 EP "Silence Speaks Louder" is still available. They were also included on the Mountain Apple Company/Soul Sounds internationally distributed release "Alternative HI" for their single "Lights". Songs off of "Wanderlust" are still featured regularly on radio station Star 101.9 FM.
In 2009 Sean self-produced and released a short 7-song solo album titled "The Winter Room" that featured music in the indie/folk-pop style of Elliott Smith, Jose Gonzalez, Iron & Wine, Nick Drake, Bon Iver, and Sam Prekop.
In describing the difference between his musical projects, Sean told Vina Ibay of Art + Flea, "The Hollow Spheres was the place for extended arrangements and a spacier, more ambiguous feel, whereas my solo act gives off a more grounded, earthier, 'singer-songwriter'-like vibe. In both cases, I try to make my music both interesting and accessible."
Sean has also played regularly with Na Hoku-nominated artist Tahiti Rey and toured Japan with indie rock band Linus (playing at the renowned venue Womb in Tokyo). He has also been a semi-finalist in the Mai Tai Bar Rumble with blues-rock band The VeJJs.
Sean was born in Honolulu, but spent his formative years in the wine country of California, where he first picked up the guitar and joined his earliest bands. Sean has played guitar for over 20 years in a variety of performing bands spanning many genres, and has studied with private instructors for guitar (focusing on rock, jazz, blues, classical, and r&b styles) and voice (focusing on the Speech-Level Singing method) for most of these years. He has also taken multiple courses from Berklee College of Music as well as performance & music theory classes while earning his B.A. in Philosophy & Anthropology at the University of California - Irvine. He holds certification in Pro Tools 201, 110, and 101 from The Recording Arts Center (TRAC) in San Diego as well, and is a member of The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and The Hawai'i Academy of Recording Arts (HARA).
- -In July of 2018, Sean was one of thirteen participants in the 2018 Creative Lab Hawaii Music Immersive where he had the opportunity to co-write for sync with SYML, Katie Herzig, Amy Stroup, Rob Kleiner, Butterfly Boucher, and Marlin "Hookman" Bonds.
- -In June of 2018, Sean performed solo at HiSAM museum and on a live video broadcast of Pakele Live.
- -In May of 2018, Sean opened for Iron & Wine at Honolulu's Republik
- -In March of 2018, Sean released "The Process Of", a 15-song all-original album produced by Imua Garza (and celebrated at an album release show at Hawaiian Brian's on March 3, 2018); the tracks "Dig", "Salary Man", and "Curl" are still featured on radio station Star 101.9; Sean was featured in two Honolulu Star-Advertiser TGIF articles promoting the album.
- -The Hollow Spheres Pakele Live concert (from 2015) is still being shown on TV channel OC16 two years after the initial recording.
- -In the Fall of 2016, The Hollow Spheres were selected as one of ten winners in the NextNext competition.
- -In June of 2016, The Hollow Spheres were selected as one of four local finalists for the Hard Rock Rising 2016 International competition
- -In March of 2016, The Hollow Spheres opened for national Americana/rock act Houndmouth at The Republik
- -In June of 2015, The Hollow Spheres released their self-produced EP "Wanderlust" (and performed at Aloha Stadium, HNN, KHON, KITV, Perry & Price, etc. as part of a publicity push).
- -In May of 2014, Sean toured with rock band Linus in Japan.
- -In November 2012, Sean became a semi-finalist for RAW Awards as a solo act.
- -In October 2012, one of Sean's bands, The VeJJs, became semi-finalists in the Mai Tai Rumble.
- -In April 2012, Sean was selected as 1 of 25 finalists in the state of Hawaii for the "KHON X Factor Audition Pass Contest" as a solo act.
- -In 2011, The Hollow Spheres' track "Lights" was included on the “Alternative HI” compilation album (recorded at Soul Sound Records by Shawn Moseley and Brandon Apeles, and distributed internationally by Mountain Apple Company) and got played regularly on Star 101.9 FM.
- -In 2010, The Hollow Spheres released their self-produced EP "Silence Speaks Louder".
- -In 2009, Sean released a self-produced solo record titled "The Winter Room".
Sean has played (or currently plays) at venues such as:
- The Republik, Womb (Tokyo), Hard Rock Honolulu, The Safehouse at the Republik, BLT Market at The Ritz-Carlton, O Bar & Swell Bar at The Alohilani, LBLE at the Hilton, Kuhio Beach Grill at The Marriott, Tommy Bahama, The Study at The Modern, Rumfire at The Sheraton, Wai'olu Lounge at Trump Hotel, Sheraton Waikiki, Waikiki Beach Marriott, Princess Ka'iulani, Outrigger Canoe Club, Hyatt Centric, Tiki's Bar & Grill, Duke's Waikiki, Hawaii Public Radio, Star 101.9 FM, KTUH 90.3FM, HiSAM, Hawaii News Now - Sunrise Show, Perry & Price Show, SKY Waikiki, Aloha Stadium, Kincaid's, Pakele Live (The Willows Restuarant), Mori, Honolulu State Art Museum, Bethel Street Tap Room, Buho Cocina Y Cantina, Halekulani, Lanikuhonua, Aston Waikiki, KITV Morning Show, KHON Morning Show, Hale Koa Barefoot Bar, Shokudo, The Modern, Top Of Waikiki, The Hyatt, Jimmy Buffett's, The Row Bar, The M, The Plaza Club, Bishop Museum, Hilton Waikiki Prince Kuhio, Pearl Ultralounge, The Crown Bar, Park Restaurant, BambuTwo Lounge, Mai Tai Bar, Kumu Kahua Theatre, ARTS at Mark's, Cheeseburger Waikiki, Honolulu Elks Club, Hallowbaloo Music & Arts Festival, First Friday in Chinatown, The Honolulu Museum of Art, Moose McGillicuddy's, Downbeat Diner & Lounge, Rivals Sports Bar, Aloha Beer Company, ThirtyNineHotel, Brasserie Du Vin, Bar 35, Jazz Minds Art & Cafe, Next Door, Grand Leyenda Cantina, Station Bar, Irish Rose Saloon, Apartm3nt, Mercury Bar, Vice Nightclub, Hawaiian Brian's, Wahoo's, Cha-Cha-Cha Salsaria, Anna O'Brien's, among many others.