McKenna Maduli, host and creator of the Emmy Award Winning series Talk Story, takes you behind the scenes at the 43rd Annual Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards for Hulali on the Red Carpet. McKenna Talks Story with Kumu Hula Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, Kumu Hula Tracie Lopes, and singer/ songwriter Josh Tatofi about the connection between mele and hula.
During Maduli’s interview with Kumu Hula and Haku Mele Composer Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, he explains the deep connection between mele and hula and that you cannot have one without the other. Frank was recognized as a 2019 Honoree for the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as a Haku Mele/Composer of Hawaiian Music & Mele, Kahuna & Ho’oponopono Teacher, Native Hawaiian Healer & Cultural Director at the Waimanalo Health Center, and Kumu Hula of Kuhai Halau O Kawaikapuokalani Pa Olapa Kahiko. Especially during these uncertain times, Frank shares with McKenna, “I think people need to realize there is hope to look ahead to the future and we’re going to get out of this. Life will continue. In the meantime, be patient and plan. Plan what you’re going to do and then when the time happens, you’re ready!” Frank also comments on the joy of fashion: “Fashion is such a wonderful thing. Design has always been a great part of my life. I am now working on a new venture and that is designing jewelry.”
McKenna is also joined on the Red Carpet by Kumu Hula Tracie Ka'ōnohilani (Farias) Lopes. Tracie, who won the title of Miss Aloha Hula 1994, is currently an Instructor of Hawaiian Language at the Hawai’i Pacific University, and Kumu Hula along with her husband Dr. R. Keawe Lopes of halau Ka Lā 'Ōnohi Mai o Ha’eha’e. McKenna talks with Tracie about growing up going to the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards and the special memories that were made. Lopes shares the difficulties that this pandemic has brought to the hula community, “It’s been difficult because we as hula people, and just as human beings in general, we want to hug, and we want to feel, and we want to see each other.” Tracie and her husband led their halau to perform at the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards to Josh Tatofi’s song ‘For the Lāhui’. When asked why it was so important to do this mele, Tracie shares with McKenna: “For the Lāhui', when I heard that song, it just brought out all kinds of different emotions in me and in everybody. Everybody was singing it.”
Josh Tatofi, who performs and wrote ‘For the Lāhui'’ with Kumu Hinaleimoana Wong, is very humble when Mckenna asks him if he realizes that this is a song that will be a timeless classic for the rest of our lives. Josh says: “When we make music, our biggest goal is just to reach the ears of those that are willing to accept the music.” A goal he has certainly reached by being up for 9 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award nominations this year. When asked how that feels, Tatofi shares: “I’m stoked to be here. We’re doing good. We’re working hard towards our goal which is providing great mele Hawai’i and music for our people, so it’s a great indication that we’re on the right path.”
About: The Hawai’i Academy of Recording Arts (HARA) will host the 43rd Annual Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, will be filmed without an audience and on location on O’ahu and Maui. Hawai’i's Biggest Night in Music will be broadcast on KHNL on Saturday, October 10th.
Committed to celebrating the 43rd annual Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards and honoring this year’s awardees, HARA will host the event in compliance with COVID-19 mandates including pre-recorded musical performances and acceptance speeches. Music fans will also have the opportunity to watch the celebration streamed on HARA’s Facebook page and online at Hawai’i News Now.
HARA’s mission is to preserve, protect, promote, foster and advance Hawai’i's recording industry and the music of Hawai’i.
The Hawai’i Academy of Recording Arts (HARA) and Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards trace their origins to 1978 and KCCN-AM Radio, then the world’s only all-Hawaiian music radio station.
The Hawai’i Academy of Recording Arts also directs programs to promote quality and growth in the recording and music industries in Hawai’i. In conjunction with Tropical Music, Inc., Hawai’i state universities and colleges, the Hawai’i Academy of Recording Arts awards scholarships annually.