Interview with Kainalu: “I Create Hawaiian Psychedelic Disco”


Kainalu is the project of multi-instrumentalist and producer Trent Prall. His psychedelic funk songs are drawing influence from modern psychedelia and classic motown artists he grew up listening to.

We’ve been following him for a while and introduced you to his “Lotus Gate” album. Following the release of his single “Revelator”, we talked with Trent about his production process and his upcoming album “Ginseng Hourglass”, that will come out in the Fall of 2022.

Hi Trent! To begin, can you introduce yourself? How did the project Kainalu begin?

 My name is Trent Prall and I started Kainalu as a recording project back in 2017. I have been a bedroom artist for pretty much my entire life. I have been in so many bands over the years, and finally in 2017 I just felt the need to create an outlet for songs I would write in Logic. I also wanted to draw inspiration from my roots growing up in Hawaii and when all those elements came together, Kainalu began.

How would you describe your music in 3 words?

“Hawaiian psychedelic disco” 

We are very happy to see you back with “Revelator” and this video clip! These images remind us of “Always Silver” released last year, did you work with the same team?

Yes! myself, Julianna Williams, Madda Udvari-Solner, and Ryan Holman sort of collaborate together to create the craziest DIY psychedelic words with videos. We have plans to keep working together to try and push the limits of the at-home green screen. “Always Silver” was made in the middle of the pandemic, so I basically was filming at a distance with a single friend and an iPhone. The “Revelator” video sort of expanded on that idea with actual production value.

Is Revelator a continuation of that project? Maybe even started with the great “You Never Let Go”?

Yes, without revealing too much I have been working for the past three years on an LP that “Revelator” will find a home on.  It’s coming this year, I’m taking my time to make sure it says all I want it to say.

We had the opportunity to hear in 2021 two excellent parts of” Enter Bloom Lagoon” which reminded us of your first EP. Recently, you shared 5 tracks from Audiotree Live. Does it mean we’ll see you live more often soon? Maybe even in Europe, who knows?

That’s the goal! Until now, we have been pretty grass roots and DIY with booking so we’re hoping that with the release and growth following a new record, we’ll make our way to touring more significantly.

You released vinyl editions of”Bloom Lagoon” and “Lotus Gate”. Is it a listening mode that you particularly like? Do you think that the physical format still has a place nowadays?

Oh yeah, absolutely. Vinyl has been the most consistent source of income and support for the project. It’s really unbelievable. I understand though, there’s something unique about physically holding the music you enjoy and digesting it as a full multimedia project. Seeing album art in 12”x12” is the definitive way to digest a project in my opinion.

What are your top 3 songs at the moment? 

I’m currently in a very real obsessive phase about Radiohead that has consumed me for the past year. So rather than 3 songs, I’m going to just say the record “In Rainbows” is my favorite album of the past year.

I streamed it so much last year I was in their top 0.5% of listeners and my top 5 songs were all from “In Rainbows”. At the top were “House of Cards”, “Reckoner”, and “Faust Arp”. That stretch of 3 songs on the album is pure bliss.

Apart from music, what are your favorite hobbies?

I grow a ton of house plants. One of my points of pride is that my home studio looks like a jungle. I am also currently working on a PHD in cellular pathology at UW Madison, which is why it takes me so damn long to finish new music.

Follow Kainalu on: Spotify | Facebook | Instagram | Soundcloud

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *