Having grown up in a family with ties to the music industry, it’s no surprise that many of Talk Story host McKenna Maduli’s friends are musicians and entertainers. Long-time friend Kimié Miner hosted an impromptu jam session one Sunday and invited friends and fellow artists Paula Fuga, Izik, Keilana Mokulehua, Lina Robins-Tamure, Melaniie, and Jenn “JRoQ” Wright for a little talk and musical improvisation. With no audience, the musicians were free to get real with McKenna.
About Kimie Miner: Kimié Miner is a singer-songwriter, recording artist, music producer, music publisher and owner of Haku Collective, a full-service music, audio, and talent production group. She wrote and co-produced 4 albums including, To the Sea, Kimié Miner (Contemporary Album of the Year, Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards), Proud as the Sun and most recently Hawaiian Lullaby. In 2018, she won Female Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year for her song “Bamboo” (Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards). In 2018, she also won Female Artist of the Year at the Island Music Awards. kimieminer.com, @playkimie
About Paula Fuga: Praised for her originality in song composition and ability to stir the deepest emotions with spellbinding and soulful vocals, Paula Fuga has established herself as one of Hawai’i’s most respected live performers. Starting off as a poet, she bloomed into a songwriter when she began playing the ukulele in high school, studying under master instructor Roy Sakuma. Upon the release of her debut album Lilikoi, Fuga was awarded the Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Most Promising Artist. Since the release of her latest recording, the EP “Misery’s End,” which featured guest appearances by Ziggy Marley and Jack Johnson, she has headlined the Alma Surf Festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and performed with Jack at Madison Square Garden and the Sydney Opera House Forecourt. @pfunklove
About Izik: Izik, who credits his musical influences to artists like Mariah Carey, The Carpenters, Amy Winehouse, Loyal Garner, Beyoncé and Frank Ocean, has developed a unique sound. He began performing in local venues across Hawai’i in early 2013. Since then, Izik has become an award-winning performer with multiple local, national and international tours under his belt, including a Na Hoku Hanohano Award for writing the 2018 Song of the Year for “Bamboo” with Kimie Miner. The Utah-born, Hawai’i-raised singer/songwriter released his debut album Obsidian (Zeo Music, May 10, 2016) to critical acclaim and is currently working on his sophomore album, to be released in late 2019. @izikfamous
About Keilana Mokulehua: Keilana is an accomplished R&B/Soul/singer-songwriter from Honolulu, Hawaii, known for her live-looping “one woman band” solo performances. Keilana has performed globally from LA to Tokyo, touring the continental US, Asia and Europe. She was named a 2018 Creative Lab Hawaii Music Immersive finalist, co-writing on songwriting projects with notable songwriters from LA and Nashville. On top of performing weekly locally, writing for film and television, and session work, she is currently working on her debut album set to release in the fall of 2019. keilanamusic.com, @keilanamusic
About Lina Robins-Tamure: Lina brings a soulful lift to Hawaiian and Island music. A musician from the west side of O’ahu, she was born and raised in Wai’anae and hails from a long line of musicians, songwriters and hula dancers. She grew up singing Hawaiian music at the age of 2, inspired by her dad, who then introduced her to R&B, Soul, Jazz, Pop and Rock and Roll. Lina plays the 'ukulele, guitar and bass and has been performing professionally for over 10 years. One of her proudest moments was being on the Oprah Show at age 12 with one of her heroes, Mariah Carey. For the past 6 years, she has been playing Hawaiian music in 'Uhe’uhene, a trio formed by her and her cousins. They are currently working on their first album. You can also find Lina gigging solo around Waikiki. @lina_r_t
About Melaniie: Melaniie was singing before she could even walk. Her burning passion for music eventually pushed her in the direction to follow her dreams. She started singing as a featured artist in the latter part of 2012. When it comes to music, says Melaniie, “It is the only thing that feels right. It is the one thing that can make everything in this whole wide world okay. It soothes my soul.” In the summer of 2013, Melaniie had the pleasure of recording the track, “Same Boat,” on New Zealand artist, Sammy Johnson’s E.P. entitled “Prelude.” @melaniiemusic
About Jenn “JRoQ” Wright: Jenn Wright is an independent business owner, musician, songwriter, entertainer, working in artist management and booking with no time for average. For more information: @talkstorynow, @jroq