"Just show up as you."

— Ron Artis II

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Express Yourself

— with Ron Artis II

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“Every time I make a note or a sound, it’s to convey a feeling.”

— Ron Artis II

Ron Artis II is no stranger to the unconventional. Raised on Hawaii in a family of 11 children, Ron grew up surrounded by art, music and the natural beauty of what he calls “Heaven.” Today, Ron and his family tour the world together, bringing his musical gift and his message of personal expression to each tour stop.

Ron and his band, The Truth, represent the deepest aspects of soul music. Join Ron and his family in Portland, Oregon, for a day on tour and an important message – express yourself.

We asked Ron about his unconventional, inspiring journey. Read more about Ron’s adventures traveling and touring with his family.

Hydro Flask: You’re a touring musician but a bit unorthodox in that you travel full-time with your family. What led to that decision?

Ron: The decision to ‘Journey Together,’ started from the beginning. My wife and I traveled together for our first tour in 2014. We both agreed that we didn’t come together to spend so much time apart, and the memories we make together are timeless.

Hydro Flask: You come from a big, artistic family, including musicians. Do you have a favorite road trip story from your own upbringing?

Ron: We didn’t really travel much growing up. We moved to Hawaii when I was five. I remember leaving from Baggage Claim H at the Honolulu Airport. My father said, “Here we are kids. See that ‘H’? We’re arriving in Heaven.” I always took Hawaii for granted until I began traveling. It really is a piece of Heaven.

Hydro Flask: Being on the road must be quite an adventure with two young kids. What activities keep it fun?

Ron: My wife is amazing. When we travel to a new place, we research something the kids will love, usually a waterpark, an aquarium, or we’ll visit friends who have kids. Mostly they like to spend time with us, so we find outdoor activities or a spot to eat ice cream!

Hydro Flask: You tour around the world. How has global travel impacted you as a parent?

Ron: I know how to carry more things at once than I ever thought possible. I once balanced on my person two car seats, two guitars, a backpack, diaper bag, two rolling bags, and my daughter Ida. You learn what you’re capable of when you’re late for a flight and you’ve already dropped off the minivan.

Hydro Flask: We’ve heard about your kids joining you up on stage before – sometimes not intentionally. Any funny impromptu family jam anecdotes you can share with us?

Ron: We were performing at TEDxPortland and I started playing one of my daughter’s favorite songs. She rushed right up to the stage and my wife caught her at the last moment. But we still got some good photos out of it. Another time we played a 21+ club on the road and my daughters were backstage. We started up the music and they ran up on stage and started playing on the drumset. Everyone loved it, but the venue manager started to panic.

Hydro Flask: Are you planning to teach your kids to play any instruments? Do you envision a point where they might join you up on stage purposely?

Ron: I would love to! It would be amazing. But I also would like to give them the space to introduce to me who they are. I was hungry for music at a very young age and they are starting to show they might be as well.

Hydro Flask: What’s one piece of advice you would give to any family traveling with young kids?

Ron: Make time for each other. Enjoy the stress, you won’t remember it next week. Love each other. Listen to each other. Appreciate each other. Dads, change a diaper or two. Surprise your wife with spa appointments & unexpected scheduled Thai massages. Also get TSA precheck! It’s a lifesaver. And remember this proverb: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

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