Florida-native and former contributor to Green Magazine Hawai‘i, Casey Turner had a semitypical college experience for a science geek: he studied engineering and formed a punk rock band. Upon graduation, he embarked on an impressive, if expected, path. He worked on propulsion systems for NASA, hydrogen fuel cells for major car companies and on buses for the 2010 Olympics. In his spare time, he and his band spent summers touring and playing across the East Coast.
Eventually, in a turning of the tide that Casey calls “inevitable,” he took his career and his sound in a completely new direction. Moving to California, Casey eventually chose not only to pursue music full-time, but to switch up his punk sound completely in favor of a more acoustic fl are with his guitar and ukulele. His debut solo album, No Stress Express, enjoys airplay throughout the mainland, Australia, Guam and the Philippines, as well as on local stations throughout O‘ahu, Maui and Kaua‘i. Casey can pinpoint two memorable experiences that affi rmed his choice in career path: playing Kona Brewing Company’s 2012 Liquid Aloha Festival and his experience fi lming a music video in Bali. “It was cool to hear the crowd,” he says of The Liquid Aloha Festival, happily recalling the cheers as he used a looper to turn his one-man ukulele show into a full blown band, emulating the sounds of a bass, kick drum, snare and percussion for a richer, truly unique performance.
Mentioning Bali evokes a more somber reaction. “Right after I fi lmed the [“Wayan and Friends”] music video and came back,Indonesia was hit with a massive tsunami,” he says. Compelled to help those affected by the 2010 Mentawai disaster, Casey teamed up with SurfAid International to see that all profi ts from the song on iTunes went directly to emergency services in Indonesia. —Alyssa Fukumoto