AM to PM

Hawaiian musician Eli Smart spins a breezy playlist for summer daze
Music | 24 March 2022
This article is part of Playlists – Tunes to live by

Eli Smart was raised in Kauai, Hawaii by a family of musicians. Amongst the tropical landscape, they’d listen to the likes of Gladys Knight, Beck, The Beatles and Prince. It’s a postcard-perfect image that was fated to direct Smart into a music career of his own. And in his debut EP Boonie Town (released last Spring), the young musician found his own voice: a breezy, soulful groove befitting his hometown – approved by Sir Elton John, no less. Now, timing with the release of his latest single, AM to PM, Smart digs through his record collection and spins a playlist of hits that have been on steady rotation in his head (including one of his own). “Hope you dig it,” says Smart.

Guess Who by Alabama Shakes
“I’m a massive fan of this band, Brittany Howard is a musical hero of mine. She’s an incredible all around musician and songwriter. I just wanna be like her. This song showcases all of my favorite bits about their sound.”

Prototype by Outkast
“This song amazes me in every way. There are no musical boundaries, Andre 3000 is such a badass. I don’t know what planet I’m on when I listen to this. Love it.”

Elsewhere by Jordan Paul
“This is a song by one of my best friends and musical companions. We wrote it and recorded it together at the start of the pandemic. This song has brought a lot of positivity to my life through the people it’s connected me with and the memories I have of the creation of it. Jordan Paul is on a whole other level, CHECK HIM OUT!”

Your Honour by Pluto Shervington
“Give this song a listen and it’ll make you chuckle. It’s got a great sense of humour and always puts a smile on my face. It’s great to walk around the town to – proper sunshine-y.”

When You Were Mine by Prince
“This is probably my favourite Prince tune, it’s from one of his earliest records and I think he’s playing all the instruments on it. I love how raw and honest it all sounds. Fantastic tune.”

Tuesday Heartbreak by Stevie Wonder
“Stevie Wonder was 22 (my age) when this record came out. I listen to this and it pumps me up whenever I’m feeling lazy about music, it reminds me that I have zero excuses to not give music my all. Talking Book and Music of My Mind were both released in 1972, CRAZY.”

Sonho Meu by Maria Bethania, Gal Costa
“This is such a joyful tune. I first heard it on a compilation record of Brazilian music when I was young, my family had a record called Beleza Tropical which was compiled by David Byrne from Talking Heads. The whole record is amazing and every artist on it is worth exploring but this tune always stands out to me because it’s just so beautiful.”

Happy Survival by Eddie Okwedy
“Something about this tune is so haunting in the most beautiful way. It’s from a compilation of a bunch of Nigerian artists that I discovered a while back. Everything about it is beautiful.”

Lovely Rita by The Beatles
“This is simply one of my favourites, classic Paul McCartney. Hilarious little tune.”

It’s Alright by The Impressions
“There’s nothing ever wrong with a proper uplifting tune. Always good to remember, it’s alright!”

Ka moun ke by Rokia Traore
“This is an artist from Mali that a friend of mine showed me. It quickly became one of my favourite songs. Her voice is so beautiful and it’s so magical how every instrument and part in the song work together so perfectly.”

Deep Inside Your Garden by Eli Smart
“This is an older song of mine that is one of my favourites. It’s super weird and I really like that about it. I wrote it to drive to, so go on a drive and enjoy. Thank you for having me.”

Eli Smart’s new track AM to PM is out now.
Smart will be playing three nights at Liverpool’s Kazimier this April – more info here.


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