Loa Greyson is known for projecting his rich soulful voice to Island Style and Motown like melodies. Loa has been found strumming his guitar at this year’s I Love Poke events, and is also a regular fixture at Downtown Disney. His latest single “Waiting For Me on the Shore” was just released on iTunes along with a music video release on YouTube. We know and love his music and message, but it’s the things we don’t know about Loa that are eating at us. So we sent this father of four some questions and he gladly answered them (with one child on his lap).
Tell us a little bit about your cultural background? Where did you grow up and where have you lived?
My heritage is a mixture of Samoan, Chinese, English, French, German, and Tahitian. My dad was a touring musician in the 1970s, so I was born in Orange County, California, moved to Boise, Idaho when I was a year old, and then my family moved to Samoa to settle down from all the traveling. When I turned 13, we moved to Hawaii and I stayed there until my senior year in high school. I attended college in Burbank, CA and majored in Architecture. After graduation, I moved back to Hawaii, got married, and in 2006, my wife, kids and I relocated to California.
What are some of your favorite dishes from Samoa?
Sapasui (kind of like chicken long rice), palusami (taro leaves with coconut milk and onions), pisupo (New Zealand corned beef), taro, ‘ulu (breadfruit) and fai’ai fe’e (octopus).
What foods do you miss most from Hawaii? You can name restaurants as well.
Zippy’s Zip Pac, Genki Sushi’s Spicy Tuna Sushi. I miss the brand names as well, even though you can find the same things here in CA, it’s just not the same. Chicken Curry and Beef Stew from St. Louis Drive Inn. Soon’s Kalbi in Salt Lake Meat Jun and Huli huli chicken.
Your wife is Filipino. What are you favorite Filipino dishes?
Beef Sinigang, Chicken Adobo, and Turon (sweet banana lumpia)
Do you have any stories of eating something that you didn’t really want to eat? Like an experience eating Filipino food or something like that?
Three foods I don’t like to eat: Bagoong (fermented shrimp), balut (fertilized duck egg), and dinuguan (pig’s blood). When my wife was pregnant with our first child in Hawaii, we went shopping at Safeway because she was craving bagoong and green mango. I had no idea what bagoong was. I had no idea it was fermented shrimp! I found out the hard way….. I was walking down the aisle when something accidentally rolled out of our cart. Of all things, it was the glass jar of bagoong that cracked and splattered everywhere!!! I was like, “What the heck is that nasty smell!?” Everyone in that store was in for a treat that day.
Tell us about your song/video “Waiting For Me on the Shore”. How did you come about writing that song and who are the actors shown in the video?
The production crew from Anaheim Studios helped develop my concept for the video. I wanted scenes shot in the city, a bar and on a rooftopunpredictable spots. The beach would have been too cliché and not as interesting. I wanted this video to tell the story of how most Polynesian people living away from the islands feel about missing their native home. I wanted to show the struggle and the importance of relying on the support of your family, friends, your culture and of course prayer, to keep you grounded. Stephen Seanoa, son of the late Pete Seanoa (a pioneer in Polynesian Entertainment in Southern California), was the main actor in the video. He immediately came to my mind for the lead role when I first started brainstorming the concept of the video. Just as I am following in my father’s footsteps musically, Stephen also followed in his own father’s footsteps as leader of Tupua Productions, and he was able to portray precisely what most Polynesian men living away from home feel at some point in time. Stephen’s family joined him in the video along with dancers from Lokelani’s Rhythm of the Islands, Isle Entertainment (my own entertainment company), and Tupua Productions.
Where can we buy your music or hear you play?
Go on to loagreyson.com and you can click on all the music links including iTunes. My website also has an updated performance calendar. You can find me performing frequently at Downtown Disney, Trader Sam’s at the Disneyland Hotel a few times a month and other venues like Umami’s in Irvine.
See Loa’s new music video below: