Sean Cleland is a Na Hoku Award-winning 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 solo act and band seamlessly blend together singer-songwriter, rock, pop, blues, and soul genres. Artists as diverse as John Mayer, Gary Clark Jr., Ryan Adams, Hozier, The Weeknd, and James Bay may come to mind when listening to Sean. His singing is inspired by soul artists like Stevie Wonder and Amy Winehouse, while his songwriting takes a cue from acts like the Beatles, Oasis, and Elliott Smith. Sean's guitar playing sits on top of his compositions as a dazzling electric blend of SRV, Hendrix, and Mateus Asato.
His latest album, “The Process Of”, won the state-wide 2019 Na Hoku Hanohano Award for 'Alternative Album of the Year' (awarded by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts). Sean accompanied the album with two acclaimed music videos for the songs "Salary Man" and "Curl". He is a relentless performer, and has played at the 2020 NAMM Show, opened for acts like Iron & Wine and Houndmouth, and performed at world-class venues like Blue Note Hawaii. Sean has also had music placed on NBC and Freeform.
Sean was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, but raised for most of his life in the California wine country. He is Hawaiian-Chinese and Scots-Irish/English. Sean began playing music at the age of 13, and has never looked back. He attended college in southern California earning a degree in philosophy, all the while playing and honing what he knew to be his primary passion. He returned to the islands in 2009 and immediately felt a deep connection to his Hawaiian heritage as he began to develop his music career in earnest.