From the ninth island, The Hypnotiques consist of five members hailing from the Big Island of Hawaii, across the land to a different sea, Manhattan Island, England, and of course, the 9th Island. An exotic magic brought these four creatures together to the City of Sin. While scoping out Las Vegas as an option to move to from San Francisco, vocalist and ukulele player Kitty Chow ran into her old friend Brent Paul, who was the guitarist in their previous Honolulu rocksteady/soul band, Soul Revival Sound System. Brent had been in Vegas for a few years now. Asking Brent if she moved, could they start a new band? Duh…fate had made the choice of whether to move. Meeting bass player, Robert John Kley, (of course) at the Golden Tiki, Jonny Bowler on drums and Brett Barnes on Vibraphone. The Tiki gods looked down and smiled.
Vocalist and rhythm ukulele player Kitty Chow is from the Kona side of the Big Island. Growing up in elementary school choruses, playing ukulele and singing traditional Hawaiian and Mid-Century musical tunes was the foundation and spark of musical passion. Later, a move to the Bay area exposed her to the exciting sounds of new wave, early ska, rocksteady, soul, jazz, exotica, and rockabilly music, coming full circle after the discovery of 1920s to 1940s vintage Hawaiian music. The beloved western swing and rockabilly ties in Hawaiian music brought her back to her Island music. Picking up the ukulele again to accompany Hapa-Haole tunes during the early 90s burlesque movement in San Francisco, Vancouver BC and Honolulu, she honed her skills with early troupes and bands. Moving back to the islands, she sharpened her chops and stage presence with her first band Soul Revival Sound System, and later moved back to mainland to start the Kitty Chow and Fisherman Exotica Trio.
From the Hilo side of Big Island, University of Hawaii Music Major Brent Paul was raised amongst traditional Hawaiian song and culture. With multiple guitars laying around the house, and the sounds of his father picking through Spanish melodies on the lanai, he started his path with the guitar. In addition to his father tuning his ear to intricate melodies, he is influenced and shaped by punk rock and metal, yet balanced on an even keel with reggae and classical music. In Honolulu, Brent has accompanied the world-traveled ukulele virtuoso Taimane Gardner, and was guitarist for Soul Revival Sound System. He has locally been involved with the CSN Jazz ensembles, and hip hop video and music production company Pathfinder Productions.
With multiple life times of experience on the road in the hard and heavy alt-rock band Magna-Fi, bass player Robert John Kley could never have known the greats he would later share the stage with while practicing his bass in his childhood bedroom. Getting a record deal and playing Ozzfest amongst rock and roll heroes and peers gave him the expertise and experience that only the road can provide. He took a break from the road to hone his talents on the other side of the camera, becoming a sought-after celebrity, fashion, portrait photographer and music videographer. As only a musician could understand, you can’t stay away from music too long, so he picked up the upright bass, and took on more melodic and intricate bass lines to complete The Hypnotiques.
Brett Barnes has established himself as a seasoned, professional musician in Las Vegas, Nevada. He has performed with Aretha Franklin, Andrea Bocelli, Ernie Watts, Bill Wattrous, Rick Danko, Ray Stevens, Tommy Castro, Bob Margolin, Leon McAuliff and many more. Barnes holds a Master’s degree in percussion and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Arkansas. Brett’s love of sharing music led him to work as a music specialist for the Clark County School district. On the showroom stage, he has performed the Vegas productions of Mamma Mia, We Will Rock You and Vegas the show along with appearances at Carnegie Hall, the Grand Ole Opry and the Smith Center in Las Vegas. For the past 10 years he has been a member of Las Vegas premier blues band The Moanin’ Blacksnakes. His love of Exotica music led him to study the vibraphone and he is proud to bring the “Good Tiki Vibes” to The Hypnotiques. Brett is proud to endorse Vater drumsticks, Evans drumheads, MRP Custom Drums and has been featured in Modern Drummer and DRUM magazine.
This multi-talented lot mix up a concoction of sounds with the ingredients of vintage Hawaiian, Jazz, early Americana pop, Surf, Tiki Exotica and a dash of Hillbilly and Bop. Their passion to share and preserve Mid-Century Americana music and culture will surely take you down some new and familiar roads with their own twists and shakes.