You might not know Kamal Soliman by name, but you're probably a big fan of his backstage work. Soliman was the tour manager for Thievery Corporation before working with C3 Presents to recreate Lollapalooza while producing other C3 events, including the 2008 inauguration festivities for President Barack Obama.
Now Soliman is stepping out from the wings to tour with Damian Marley and record the latest album with his pro-cannabis party band Lance Herbstrong (named after the former pro cyclist Lance Armstrong, who jointed the band onstage once during a set at the Austin Reggae Festival).
But don't let his passion for pot trick you into thinking he's a slacker. In fact, Soliman works extra hard to fight against the stoner stereotypes.
"Cannabis users and those organizing its industry are often highly motivated people with a proven track record for success," Soliman told Civilized in a recent interview. "So many people are using cannabis these days that it’s impossible to group all of us into one category."
On top of being a musician and a cannabis enthusiast, Soliman is a father who enjoys playing with his kids as part of leading an active lifestyle.
"When not on tour, my typical day starts with waking up around 6am to get the kids off to school by 8 AM," he said. "After drop off, I work for a few hours on the computer. Then, I try to get a surf in at some point throughout the day. After lunch, it’s time to get the kids home from school, or help them with after school activities. I try to do something fun with them each day when I’m home like jump on the trampoline or swim in the pool, or go to the beach.
"When I’m on tour, my typical day starts and ends with answering questions and putting out fires left and right. There’s no let up throughout the day either. It’s a constant hustle."
What is one change you'd like to see happen in the cannabis industry?
I’d like everyone in the industry to realize that herb is more important to those that don’t yet accept it. It’s our job to help everyone come to embrace it by being responsible and leading by example. Defy stereotypes and prove the naysayers wrong.
What's one prediction you have for the marijuana industry five years from now?
It will be legal for recreational use in a majority of US States and most western countries around the world. Also, I think that big business will do its best to consolidate the industry, but I’m unsure how that will change the landscape of it all. While I’m optimistic about legalization, I am pessimistic about how the money will change things for the worse.
What's your perfect setting to consume?
I love to be outdoors in big nature when smoking, or on the couch watching compelling TV or a fun movie.
What's your favorite (and least favorite) way to consume cannabis?
Good old fashioned bong hits is the preferred method. My least favorite is any kind of edible, as it typically upsets my stomach or comes on so strong I can’t move.
What is your go-to munchie?
Ceviche, if I’m in Costa Rica and can get it. Chips Ahoy or Lays potato chips if on the couch.
Name something that you've tried once but won't ever try again.
Getting a job where I need to wear a suit everyday.
Tell us the story of the first time you consumed marijuana.
The first time I ever truly got stoned was my freshman year of college. I would go into uncontrollable laughing fits for 30 to 45 minutes, oftentimes on the ground laughing so hard with friends poking me to see if I was OK. Damn, I miss those years.