Some songwriters write for themselves — to vent their feelings, their frustrations, even their fears. Candy Diaz cares about her listeners.

“When I write songs, I try to incorporate how I genuinely feel about my subject matter, whether it’s a storyline or something based on my actual experiences,” she says. “When someone listens to my music and has that ‘Ah-ha!’ moment, it makes me excited because that means I’m connecting with them and gaining the ability to look at my songs in a different way.”

The 30-year old Roosevelt High School graduate has made those connections since she was able to hold a microphone. She’s sung at every family party, performed at every school recital and even helped her father sell karaoke systems at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet when she was just 5 years old. Yet for every Brown Bags to Stardom or radio station battle of the bands she’s done, Candy can also name drop with the best of them.

Jack Johnson. Eddie Vedder. Matt Costa. Dave Matthews. Tim Reynolds. Justin Nozuka. Don Carlos.

As a member of the all-female songwriters collective The Girlas, she’s played alongside and shared the stage with some of the biggest names to come through Honolulu in the last 8 years. Now she’s making the transition to being a solo artist, with her debut album set for release later this year.

“I’m excited,” says Candy. “I hope that people enjoy listening to my music as much as I enjoy writing these songs.”

Besides her music, she also relies on social networking to connect and interact with fans. Between her website,, and her Twitter account (@CandyDiaz), Candy likes to think she’s only a click or two away from inspiring others and being inspired herself.

“I know I love music, and I know others love music because it makes them think about underlying issues that affect all of us,” she says. “I just want to be creative while making connections with those who may enjoy what I do.”