Andy Beth Miller | Feb 13, 2017
North shore born and bred, local boy Makua Rothman won’t for a minute allow anyone to feel like an imposition. This sentiment includes writers asking for an interview on the very day he is set to rip up the monster waves at Waimea. Just this morning, he received word that, "she's a go!" And "she" is in reference to the Quiksilver surf competition.
An Infectiously Appealing Mix of Style
“No worries, I’m here, what did you need to ask me?” Rothman gamely inquires in between sets of ab work and hefting Herculean amounts of weights at the gym. And while normally I would feel a bit guilty for interrupting such a well-known athlete’s workout routine—hosting an impromptu interview amid his sweaty squats and sets—the aloha offered by Rothman, assured me I was in no way being a nuisance, immediately put me at ease. It’s just this same appealing spirit of laid-back style and casual cool with which he approaches his interviews, and his life, that has also become a trademark of the north shore native’s music and wave-riding. An infectiously appealing mix of a little bit of everything, from reggae to rock, ‘ukulele lovin’ and pop, Rothman’s distinctly Hawaiian sound still has a character and spirit that is uniquely his own.
“It’s a beautiful life that we’re living today,” assures the singer via the uplifting lyrics of his popular song, the aptly-titled Beautiful Life. And it really is. One can’t help but sing along and become a true believer—if they weren’t already before—of the “beautiful life that we are given” residing here in Hawai'i Nei.
“It was a dream come true,” he says of his childhood days spent in the islands. “I couldn't ask to grow up in a better place, that's for sure.
Raised in Paradise
And who wouldn’t want to be that “lovely, lovely girl” Rothman adoringly describes spending sunny days on the north shore of Hawai'i alongside? Yes please, and thank you. But it’s not just the swoon-worthy words that resonate with fans of his music, but also the aloha spirit that the singer-surfer infuses into each song—a spirit that stems from a grateful Hawaiian heart.
“It was a dream come true,” he says of his childhood days spent in the islands. “I couldn't ask to grow up in a better place, that's for sure. We are lucky to be here, and to have been raised here.” Some special memories the singer shares of his keiki days are of stopping at the local 7-Eleven for some pre-surf snacks. “When we needed snacks on the go, it was the spot to stop,” says Rothman, who, without hesitation, chimes in with his favorite pick from back in the day: “Strawberry Slurpees, for sure!”
The Haleʻiwa and Wahiawā 7-Eleven's were Rothman’s and his crew’s local haunts. He still frequents the two locales regularly, but nowadays the surfer is more mindful of his munching and grabs for healthier grinds like string cheese and manapua. Hunting, fishing and diving are also pastimes that he enjoys when not strumming his ‘ukulele and making the local girls loco, or rushing the waves of Hawaiʻi’s deep blue. But whatever he is doing, one thing remains most important to Rothman—and it’s also what he sees as being most special about his Hawai'i home. “Family is number one,” he says with feeling. I believe him, and I also think that’s lovely.