BYU-Hawaii sophomore Kyle Kristian Acain said he grew up in a family of Filipino musicians and was inspired by his father’s love of music and his ability to older brother to play instruments. However, he said he had to overcome stage fright to discover that singing and playing guitar are the strengths he uses to survive in society and bring joy to people.
He said, “Singing and playing guitar are my main emotional sources and they are my stress relievers.” He added that it is “what I can give to others”.
He said two of his friends, who are also involved in music, helped him recognize his love for the art. He said they always encouraged him to sing in front of an audience, but he always refused. However, after Acain made the decision to sing for a crowd, it changed his life.
After spending time with the talented Acain, fellow student Britlyn Smith said, “His [Acain’s] life revolves around his creativity. The people he connects with, the things he prioritizes, and the joy he exudes in his personality all reflect his creative outlets and the life they allow him to have. Smith is a sophomore English major from Phoenix, Arizona.
Acain specializes in information technology and has become popular within the Laie community for his musical and photographic talents.
Music in the McKay
Acain shared in previous semesters he led jam sessions in a small hallway in the David O. McKay Building. “People knew where I was at night,” Acain said, adding that he chose this location for its powerful echoes when singing. Because of the echoes in the room, he said, people would often stop by jam sessions and join in.
Smith said she started attending jam sessions a few times a week because of the welcoming spirit Acain and her friends shared. “He doesn’t just sing. He smells the music. You can see it when he sings,” she continued.
Abish Annly Baliwas, a second-year anthropology and biology student from the Philippines, said, “Her voice is just perfect. The shape of his voice placement is very distinct. I know it’s Kyle even though I hear his voice from afar. It’s so easy.
Acain said, “Music is more than singing. It’s a way for me to communicate with others. Every time I sing a song, it’s for my girlfriend, even if she doesn’t notice.
Acain also has a band, Aninola, which he founded with four friends from the Philippines. He said he and his friends planned to start an official music club in college. Acain said he found many good singers on campus during his nightly jam sessions. “The music club will be a good place to communicate with good singers or anyone who loves music.” He added that it could also be a place for people to “discover their talents with each other”.
Acain explained that his musical talent and passion started at home with his family. “My family is a family of musicians and my father is my idol.” Growing up, Acain said his father always played classical music on a record player at home. Additionally, Acain said he was influenced by his older siblings who played guitar and piano.
When he started singing at age 8, Acain said his father, believing in his potential, frequently asked Acain to sing for him. At 14, he followed in his brother’s footsteps and learned to play the guitar. “I borrowed my neighbor’s guitar, but no one taught me how to play.” Acain said he learned the instrument by watching tutorials on YouTube.
Smith expressed his love for music and said, “His music is not just a hobby. It’s seriously part of his personality. Acain added that playing music with his friends gave him more opportunities to help discover his musical talent.
The photographic hobby becomes a business
Besides music, Acain uses another form of artistic expression: photography. He said he started out taking pictures for fun with his phone. However, he shared that the course of his photography changed when he was asked by his colleague to take photos of a couple for their anniversary. Although he did the shoot for free, mostly for practice and experience, he said the couple really liked his photos and paid him for his work.
After gaining more experience, Acain said his friends started recommending him to others and he was able to start a small photography business. He expressed how happy he was to be able to earn money from his hobby.
Jomar Gutierrez, a second-year social work student from the Philippines, said: “Even though I’m not good at posing as a model,” Gutierrez said, Acain used good angles and lighting to create good photos. from him. Even when Gutierrez was shy to pose, he said Acain laughed it off with him and helped him look more natural. Gutierrez said most of his Instagram posts were taken by Acain.
Smith said she noticed Acain wasn’t afraid to start conversations with anyone.
He explained: “When I started the business, it was only because of my connection[s] – no advertising.” Acain added, “What I’ve learned is that it’s important to build relationships before you start a business.”