Feeling cool and calm with my slippahs off one late night in Maui Wave Studio (MWS), I discover a modest music hero in owner and operator Harrison Tatik.
It's evident immediately how dedicated this soul solider is to his studio, and to making its valuable resources available to talents statewide.
"I give everyone a chance to be creative in a comfortable space where they feel at home," said the mild-mannered 26-year-old.
Maui Wave Studio
The full-service recording and production studio located in the cozy corner of Kihei Commercial Plaza is a 1,900-square-foot musical playground for aspiring musicians and pros alike. The impressive creative space was built and founded by Pete Lago, with Harrison taking over ownership in January 2012.
Harrison studied at The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences in Arizona. Then, while he was working as an engineer in San Diego with reggae rockers from Product The Band, he learned there was a Maui studio for sale.
With roots in Hawai'i, Harrison has been coming to the isles to visit family here for years, with his parents and sister taking residence on Maui as well.
"The Maui music scene is amazing, with so much talent on this little island," he said. "One thing I really admire about the scene out here is that it's very tight, as everyone knows and jams with everyone "
Amid the sea of variant cords, an impressive collection of sound gear and instruments are provided throughout the multi-purpose rooms of MWS. The rehearsal side includes a PA system, vocal microphones, two guitar amps, one bass amp and a complete drum kit. The recording side is stacked as well, and everything is available to use for all sessions, including the harmonic heaven of the Hammond B-3 Organ with Leslie Speaker, as well as the gorgeous DW Collector's Series drum kit.
"I've been in and out of rehearsal and recording studios all my life, and Maui Wave is providing Kihei with something all rehearsing musicians should be taking advantage of--including good vibes--and its safe, easy-access, clean, affordable, air-conditioned and fully back-lined studio," said Shawn Michael, a client during past Kanekoa and ZEPTEMBER rehearsals.
Vibrant show posters color the soundproofed walls. Groovy Jerry Garcia and Bob Marley memorabilia are splashed throughout, along with a mix of promo from bands that have utilized the space.
Although an avid fan of roots, reggae, dub and blues, Harrison is a lover of all music. An autographed, black-and-white photo of the indomitable Ray Charles rests in plain view in the sound room, a cherished keepsake from Harrison's grandmother, whose neighbor was the R&B icon's sister.
"Music has always been a part of my life, and I'm very grateful," he said.
Some of his influences include timeless acts such as Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters and the Grateful Dead. Sublime was a huge inspiration during his youth, and he studied their engineer, Miguel Happoldt.
"My favorite music, though, is the music playing at that time," Harrison shared with a smile when asked what genre he prefers working with. "The reason we cater to the biggest variety we can is because music is not limited to one genre, and recording is not limited to just music."
Not only are MWS's sonic services available at their 300 Ohukai Road locale, but Harrison and crew run sound at a variety of events, including the recent OluKai Ho'olaule'a celebration and this year's big series of shows with the roots reggae sensations of Inna Vision in Three's Surf Lounge.
Chef/owner Jaron Blosser of Three's in Kihei knows the challenges of sound during live shows, and said he's always pleased with Harrison's work.
"He shows up early, and is by far the most professional I've worked with here," he said.
Harrison is happy to recently work with Maui acts such as Marty Dread, The Kryptones, Chala, Dat Guyz, The Satterday Saints, Ka'ale and Mr. Kapu.
An appointment is required to use MWS, but Harrison is very flexible when renting out his affordable studio space--any day and any time.