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An Emerging Creative Hub — Loihi Studios

All good things take time to blossom: diamonds are produced under thousands of years of pressure. To build something as tall as the Burj Khalifa (Dubai), it took a dedicated team to break ground in 2004 and finally open the tallest building in the world in 2010. Similarly for emerging artists, it takes patience and dedication to forge a thriving career.

I had a sit-down with Jonathan Humphries from Lō`ihi Studios to talk about a developing creative hub in downtown Hilo. As a businessman, tech extraordinaire, and event producer, Humphries has a desire to see the music scene in Hilo grow and evolve.

There is a lot of unheard, and untapped talent here in Hilo and Humphries’ vision was to create a space to expose marginalized artists. A hub to network and meet with artists and producers, all while writing and recording music and receiving mentorship. But Humphries needed a partner, someone he could trust with a promising track record, the skills to fully record, mix and master an album, and the industry expertise to do it well. He happened to know such an individual that checks all those boxes. 

Casey808 is a rapper, singer-songwriter, and producer based here in Hilo. As an established artist, Casey knows the unpredictable dynamics of the music industry and has managed to ride the waves with success. With their combined skill sets, they were able to fill in the gaps that the Hilo music scene needed. He says, “Jon and I had the idea of the studio after realizing that our Hilo community needed somewhere for artists to create without breaking the bank.” The rapper understands what it takes to produce a radio-quality record; that process is not cheap nor is it painless. In LA, the starting price to record is well over a grand to merely get your foot in the door. But with the Lō`ihi hub, the duo hopes for it to be an affordable alternative.

Lō`ihi has had an eclectic mix of clientele over the last year but I’d like to introduce to you Bryson Pedro (retired army vet), otherwise known as 808exile. Pedro has been a fan of Casey’s work for a decade and ultimately approached Casey808 about a studio session. Perplexed on how to begin the recording process due to having no prior studio experience, Humphries and Casey laid the foundation on what Pedro should know before tracking in the studio. And through many meetings to plan and formulate strategies later, this allowed Pedro to get accustomed to the tedious nativity of developing a record. With the stage set and expectations established, the creation process of both Pedro’s albums were nothing short of a success. “Alienation” and “Spaced Out”, produced by Casey808, are available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music.

Pedro’s album cultivation with Lō`ihi is a prime example that the studio is safe-haven for musicians, producers and artists alike. But wait, there’s more! The studio extends its services well beyond this aspect. Not only is it a recording studio, other services are available such as podcast recording, event production, and gear rental. With many events under their belt, two major clients are worth mentioning: Levitation Entertainment, Hilo Town Market, and Lō`ihi Studios hosted Hilo Idol (now renamed to Icon), a singing competition highlighting Hilo’s unsigned local vocalists. 

Lō`ihi Studios runs lights, sound and stage for the Penn Hawaii Youth Foundation’s Saturday Night Live Market every 3rd Saturday. They are also running an Emcee station at this years Merrie Monarch parade and helping Hawaii Island Adult Care with their Care-oke fundraiser April 27th.

In a town where musicians are constantly trying to fit in, trying to find a sense of purpose and longing. A place to call home, and a place where one could just settle in and find a creative community to explore the ever-changing creative expanse. May Lō`ihi be the place where you can achieve all of that. 

The Lō`ihi Studio crew is one facet of a growing number of visionaries who are doing their part to expand Hilo’s creative offerings to the local community, and the world. 

Check out the studio’s website:

To book the studio and its services, email them at 


This is Lō`ihi Studios, let your talent be heard.

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