Karl Kamakahi is one of the gold standards of house music in Seattle. Founder of Seattle’s De La Creme crew, Karl learned to DJ in 1989 in his home Pearl City, Hawaii, taught by legendary Hawaiian DJ James Coles. He began experimenting with freestyle, transitioned into techno, and eventually felt the most at home with house music in the early years of the house movement in 1992. Playing parties and residencies Minneapolis, Denver, San Francisco, Portland, Madison, and St. Paul, Karl’s latest efforts in Seattle caught the notice of Brian Lyons and Wesley Holmes of the world-renowned Flammable crew. Karl was asked to join as resident DJ several years ago, and released the first ever mix CD to represent Seattle’s flagship house music party, now the longest running house music night on the west coast, nearly 20 years of house magic.
In Seattle, Karl has played and created terrific parties in venues such as Re-bar, The Woods, The Cuff, Electric Tea Garden, Expansions on KEXP, The Underground, The Baltic Room, Havana, The Monkey Loft. In addition to Flammable Sundays at ReBar, Karl is the creator of Seattle house pillars like Proper at Baltic Room and Soft Option at Monkey Loft.
Why do you play music?
I play music because it gives me a life definition of purpose…it helps me to feel alive.
What do you see as your role in the music world going into the future?
My role is to teach folks coming in to our music scene to be organic as hell with dancing and respecting others in our underground house collective.
Favorite label or artist from the past year?
Always loved OFF recordings. Favorite artist is Marlon D!
What are you looking forward to most this year?
Looking forward to playing all the burner fundraisers and Flammable for Memorial Day weekend. Also doing our 12 hour summer set parties staring in July! Playing DJs from 10pm -10am at Soft Option with an outdoor system set up on the patio for sunrise sets staring at 4am!!!
What was your favorite night of dance music ever and why?
Flammable…because its fucking FLAMMABLE!!! I am a disciple of Flammable forever pretty much.
I just wanted to add that my answers reflect my views from a community standpoint because that’s all that really counts in my eyes.
1. Detroit Swindle – Woman
2. Shadow Child – 23
3. South Of Roosevelt – Talk Fly
4. Kevin Yost & Peter Funk – I Can I Want
5. Marc Fairfield – Restoration
6. Brooklyn Pirates – Time Flies
7. Prok & Fitch – Raw Cut
8. Prok & Fitch – Tripwire
9. Doc Daneeka Feat. Seven Davis JR – What’s It Gonna Be
10. Mark Funk – Love Theme
11. Paul Richmond – Respect Me