“Innovative singer-songwriter and prolific performer plays pop, rock, and soul.”
— Honolulu Star Advertiser - TGIF (Jan. 20, 2017)
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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 is the 2019 recipient of the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts' Na Hoku Hanohano Award for "Alternative Album of the Year" for his latest release, "The Process Of". The award-winning album 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 multiple Na Hoku Award-winning producer Imua Garza at Zeo Music. Released in the spring of 2018, the tracks "Dig", "Salary Man", and "Curl" have received radio play on Star 101.9 and KZOO. 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 a number of digital outlets (iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, etc.) as well as pressed to CD and double-vinyl formats (available in the Online Store). Please feel free to stream the whole album for free on Spotify.
Sean's music video for the single "Salary Man" was released in the Fall of 2018. Please head to Sean's homepage for the embedded Youtube links. "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 (of America’s Best Dance Crew, America’s Got Talent, and World of Dance) and Jordan Inouye.
Sean Cleland'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 3-5 residencies every week at Honolulu hotels and venues with his solo act, which means he performs over 200 times every year.
He has opened for Iron & Wine (2018) and Houndmouth (2016) at Honolulu's famed Republik, as well as performed at the 2019 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, 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 13 participants in the 2018 Creative Lab Hawaii Music Immersive where he had the opportunity to co-write for sync alongside incredible artists & producers such as SYML, Katie Herzig, Amy Stroup, Rob Kleiner, Butterfly Boucher, and Marlin "Hookman" Bonds. The song "Lost Myself", which he co-wrote and played guitar on with Gold Brother and Amy Stroup, was featured on the NBC series "The Village" (episode #1006) and Freeform's series "Good Trouble" (episode #1013). Sean has also been 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. He is currently a member of The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and The Hawai'i Academy of Recording Arts (HARA).
Sean was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, but was raised for most of his life in northern California. He 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 - music. 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 (his mother is Hawaiian-Chinese, his father is Scots-Irish/English). Every part of his history informs his art today.
“2019 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards - WINNER ("Alternative Album of the Year")”
“Sean is honored to be performing at the 42nd annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards on Saturday, May 25th.”
“Cleland makes memorable solo debut.”
— John Berger (Honolulu Star Advertiser)