Champloose

Biography by

Champloose is one of the few rock bands from Okinawa to attract attention outside of its native land. Led by vocalist and songwriter Shoukichi Kina, the band has toured throughout the world, gaining a…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

Champloose is one of the few rock bands from Okinawa to attract attention outside of its native land. Led by vocalist and songwriter Shoukichi Kina, the band has toured throughout the world, gaining a solid reputation for its hard-edged garage rock approach. A live album, The Music Power from Okinawa, was recorded in Kina's nightclub in 1977 and released in 1991. Kina and Champloose increased their international recognition by performing at the Cultural Olympiad during the Olympic Games in Atlanta in July 1996.

The son of a traditional musician, Kina (born in 1948 in United States-occupied Okinawa) formed Champloose in 1968. Kina had become known throughout his homeland in 1961 when he wrote "Haisai Ojisan (Hello Uncle)," a contemporary-minded pop tune that became a major hit in Okinawa and Japan. In 1980, Kina wrote "Hana (Blooming Flowers in the Hearts of All)," subsequently covered by a lengthy list of artists including Henry Kaiser and David Lindley. The same year, he wrote, "Jin Jin," which reached the number two slot on the U.K. disco charts.

Since then, Champloose has alternated between band projects and albums released under Kina's name. A self-titled debut album, released in 1977, was followed by Blood Line, recorded in Hawaii with Ry Cooder, in 1980. A greatest-hits album compiled from the band's recordings, Champloose Renaissance, was released in 1992. In June 1994, David Byrne's Luaka Bop label released a 15-track retrospective, Peppermint Teahouse. The following month, the group toured the United States for the first time, performing a highly publicized benefit concert for "Walk for Justice" in New York's Central Park. A 25th anniversary album, Champloo, was released in 1995.