Kevin Miso is a Southern California singer/songwriter.  Born and raised in Long Beach, California, Miso’s music is very much a product of his background and upbringing.  His father is of Hawaiian descent and his mother is full-blooded Irish.  When describing his music, Kevin explains, “There’s a duality to my songs for sure.  There’s definitely that laid-back surf feel to a lot of the tunes; but there’s also this contrasting, more folk-influenced element that comes out one way or another.”

The youngest of four children, Miso is a natural entertainer and picked up on music right away.  “As a kid, I remember the upright piano in the dining room, and guitars would always be on the couch,” he recalls, “And at any family function, you HAD to perform something!”  After teaching himself guitar, Kevin started to focus on his own music while attending college at UCSB in Santa Barbara.

Since then, Miso has taken to music full-time.  As an independent musician he has averaged over 170 shows per year, sharing the stages with artists as varied as Augustana, Sublime with Rome, The English Beat, and John Cruz.  Equipped with a loop pedal and an array of toys, Miso showcases as a multi-instrumentalist – playing guitars, bongos, djembe, keyboards, and an occasional harmonica.

Recently, Miso collaborated with producer Warren Huart (The Fray, Matisyahu, Colbie Caillat) to record his eponymous debut EP.  Along with 3 studio singles, Kevin chose to feature live, filmed, in-studio takes on the EP as well.  Miso explains, “I wanted to capture the feeling of my live shows… so I figured we’d just do the tracks live.”

Influenced by 70s-era songwriters such as James Taylor and Paul Simon, as well as current artists like Ray Lamontagne and Jack Johnson, Kevin Miso’s authenticity comes in his diversity.  “It’s Pop music… period.  But I play with the format a bit,” he admits, “You won’t get the same sound over and over, cause that’s just not who I am.  These songs are about my life, and are in the context of my lifestyle; but there’s a universal message in there that I think relates to everyone.  I guess to really get it, you’ll just have to listen.”

Kevin’s debut EP was released on Feb 8th, 2011.  His follow-up Summer EP “Smile” was released July 22nd, 2011.

Recently, Miso has linked up with Don Williams, a pioneering music publisher with works including those of Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, and Tom Petty.  Together they have cataloged a collection of songs with production by John Alagia (Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Jason Mraz), Kenny Passarelli (Joe Walsh, Elton John, Steven Stills) and Marc Ford (The Black Crowes, Ben Harper, and Booker T. Jones).  The first release, entitled Zombie, will be under Caribou Digital and is expected Summer 2014.

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About the Author

Shea Newkirk

Executive Editor, Long Beach Independent

Shea has been involved in the Long Beach music scene since 2003 helping to promote unsigned, independent bands and musicians through various media including photos, video, event production, and marketing. Founder of and Folk Revival Festival as well as a musician with over 15 years experience, Shea has a great ear for finding the best independent music coming out of the local Long Beach music scene.

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