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 the sounds of today and yesterday. At times introspective and refined - at others fiery and emotional, the songs pulse to a beat that is undeniable.
His solo act and band seamlessly blend together singer-songwriter, rock, pop, blues, r&b and soul genres. Artists as diverse as John Mayer, Gary Clark Jr., Ryan Adams, Hozier, 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.
Sean's latest releases are "Sleepless", "Cheap Thrills", and "Chroma" - three singles off of the upcoming two-volume album "Chroma". Sean will be releasing six singles (to be compiled into a nine-track album) for Vol.1 (2020) and a further six singles (to be compiled into an eight-track album) for Vol. 2 (2021). A new single will be released every 3 weeks.
Sean's 2018 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) (produced by multiple Na Hoku Award-winning and Grammy-nominated producer Imua Garza). He accompanied the album with two acclaimed music videos for the songs "Salary Man" and "Curl". Sean has also self-produced three albums, "Wanderlust", "Silence Speaks Louder", and "The Winter Room", prior to his latest solo release. 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. He has also had music placed on NBC and Freeform. Currently Sean performs live in two basic configurations: 1) a solo act featuring a completely live looping performance of vocals, guitar, bass, and sampled drums or 2) a full band format (trio, quartet, or quintet).
Sean was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, but was raised for most of his life in the northern 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 and anthropology, all the while playing and honing what he knew to be his primary passion - music. After a life-changing backpacking trip across Europe and parts of north Africa, 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.
Sean currently lives in Honolulu with his wife Chelsea and their two cats, Toasty and Oslo. They are both avid travelers, and have satisfied their wanderlust in places like Kenya, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, China, Japan, Norway, Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, England, Scotland, and Switzerland.
Every part of his history informs his art today.