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NEWS

Common Kings | UNLEASHED

Jun 272022

California reggae sound at its finest! Monster Energy is proud to welcome Sasualei Maliga, Taumata Grey, Ivan Kirimaua (bass), and Jerome Taito (drums) of musical group Common Kings on Episode 34 of UNLEASHED with The Dingo and Danny.

“We’re the Polynesian Beatles! We have literally done shows on all the different islands where we’re from,” said Taumata Grey of Common Kings.

Episode 34 features all four band members of California reggae group Common Kings. Released today, the new podcast is streaming on all major platforms, including Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube.

Known for their energetic, feel-good sound, Common Kings are a defining force in California reggae. Based on Orange County, the band consists of singer Sasualei Maliga (“Jr. King”), drummer Jerome Taito (“Big Rome”), bassist Ivan Kirimaua (“Uncle Lui”) and guitarist Taumata Grey (“Mata”). Most of the band members have roots in the South Pacific and grew up in Orange County. The group’s EPs have reached the Top 10 and the album ‘Lost in Paradise’, also nominated for a Grammy Award, generated more than 500,000 single downloads. As a staple on the summer festival circuit, Common Kings have performed with A-listers such as Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Rick Ross, and Sublime.

The musicians in Common Kings met as students at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, and bonded over their Hawaiian and South Pacific roots. “We just started jamming at the house and realized, ‘Wow, you guys are pretty good. We should start a band!’ ” said Ivan Kirimaua on the show. Spending their early days as a nameless cover band on the college circuit, they began recording music as Common Kings in 2011, and the rest is history.

 

The name Common Kings reflects the fact that all members hail from royal bloodlines on the islands of Fiji, Hawaii, Samoa, and Tonga. In terms of influences, Common Kings combine elements of rock, reggae, and R&B into upbeat pop songs with a distinct island vibe. To no surprise, the band first broke through away from the mainland. “Hawaii really put us on the map! Then we toured all the islands and did the whole North America run,” said Sasualei Maliga.

 

The band’s first EPs reached the top ten on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart in 2013. One year later Common Kings had their big break supporting Justin Timberlake’s ‘The 20/20 Experience World Tour’ across Australia and New Zealand. In 2017, the Grammy-nominated album ‘Lost in Paradise’ solidified the band’s success.

 

After a short pandemic hiatus, Common Kings are back to live stages and most recently played Cali Roots festival. “There's just something different about live music. It connects to people way differently on a whole spiritual level. And you can tell that everyone was missing it!” said Jerome Taito. In July, Common Kings will hit the road with artists Pepper and Slightly Stoopid playing gigs in Idaho, Arizona, Oregon, and California. Also stay tuned for a new 22-song album dropping in late 2022.

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