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Columbus’ Own: Rock outfit Hello Luna has folk ukulele roots

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Local band Hello Luna is made up of Diego Vilasmil, Kenzie Ryan and Michael Neumaier (L to R). Credit: Courtesy of Brad Williams

Local band Hello Luna is made up of Diego Vilasmil, Kenzie Ryan and Michael Neumaier (L to R). Credit: Courtesy of Brad Williams

Before she started local rock trio, Hello Luna, Kenzie Ryan was a part of The Ukulele Club at Ohio State.

Ryan joined the club seeking an audience for her original songs, song covers and self-described “terrible poetry.”

After college, she moved to stages in local cafes and small venues and then to a studio for her first two solo albums, “Stand Alone” and “Everytime,” under the name Kenzie Coyne.

“Everything I wrote on my ukulele album (Stand Alone) was extremely happy,” Ryan said. “Maybe because it was the only thing I could do.”

In January, Ryan contacted drummer Michael Neumaier and bassist Diego Villasmil of local bands Fisher and Vianova, respectively. She sought a different kind of band, bigger than she and her ukulele. Thus, Hello Luna was formed.

“We asked her what she wanted the band to be, she said ‘I want a band to sound big,’” Villasmil said.

The band mixes Ryan’s folk music background with Neumaier and Villasmil’s rock influences.

“Relax and submit yourself to have your face melted, ever so gently,” reads the band’s bandcamp profile.

Not long after its formation, the band put out its first single, “Stitching Holes,” in April.

Hello Luna submitted “Stitching Holes,” the only song it has released thus far, to local alternative station CD102.5. As a result, the band landed in the finals of the station’s annual local artist showcase.  

“The reception has just been incredible.” Villasmil said. “People were like ‘wow you guys are so tight,’ but the truth is that we spend so much time on each song.”

The band is currently working on its first EP, with the intention to touch upon emotions such as disappointment or resignation. Ryan is the chief songwriter, but the trio works together to put the full songs together.

“The first time we sat down and really worked on a song, I thought I was back at high school” Ryan said of the comradery of the band.

Hello Luna is set to perform at Misfit Manor on Oct. 14.

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