New category will be added to Na Hoku Hanohano Awards - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

New category will be added to Na Hoku Hanohano Awards

Kepa Cruse Kepa Cruse
Kuuipo Kumukahi Kuuipo Kumukahi
Kamuela Kahoano Kamuela Kahoano

By Lisa Kubota - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Na Hoku Hanohano awards wrapped up over the weekend. Organizers are already focusing on next year, and a new category open to non-Hawaii residents.

"An international category is what the board decided at the last retreat in order to stretch out beyond the shores of Hawaii to be inclusive of others who are recording Hawaiian music and music about Hawaii," explained Kuuipo Kumukahi, president of the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts.

Kamuela Kahoano is still shocked that he took home his first Na Hoku award. His album captured the top spot in the rock category which was established in 1998.

"I see categories evolving with the music evolving, and again, constantly people trying to find their way around those categories and redefine music," said Kahoano. "My passion is for Hawaiian music, but yet it's for all different kinds of Hawaiian music."

Another first-time winner is Kepa Cruse, a Kauai-born entertainer who won the trophy for best R&B/Hip Hop album. The category was added 7 years ago.

"It's a new musical style that people may not associate with Hawaii, but there's a lot of talented people in Hawaii that are doing it," said Cruse.

"There's a little less representation of the Hawaiian music as far as the entries into the Hokus. We see more of the non-Hawaiian genres coming forward," said Kumukahi.

Organizers are trying to find a balance between emphasizing the Hawaiian language and music, and keeping up with the evolution in the recording industry.

"Our local kids are recording rock and some great stuff, and so it only behooves us to really embrace all of that and not be kind of institutionalized," said Kumukahi.


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