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 a very special tribute to two of Hawai’i’s favorite musicians that we lost this year: Kaulana Pakele- lead singer of Mana’o Company, and Willie K.
McKenna Talks Story with Danny Kennedy, Dillon Pakele, Roman De Peralta of Kolohe Kai, Kupu Dalire-Na’auao, and Natalie Ai Kamauu.
When asked about a favorite memory he has of Kaulana Pakele, Mana’o Company member Danny Kennedy says: " We’ve been doing it for 20 years, so there are so many, but it’s just how much positive energy he brought to the stage every time and to our personal lives. We’re going to miss him big time."
Kaulana’s son, Dillon Pakele, shares how he is planning to continue his father’s legacy. When asked how it felt to be on the stage at the Hoku’s performing with Mana’o Company, Dillon says: “It just brings back so much memories for me. Literally this time last year, we went to the Hoku’s for/ with my dad for the first time. So it was really hard to be here, but it was good to honor dad.” Dillon brought with him his dad’s guitar that some of Hawai’i's favorite songs has been written on. When asked about what he hopes that his father’s legacy could bring for generations to come, Dillon says: “The most important thing to me about Dad wasn’t even his music, it was the way he treated people and he carried love no matter where he went. So for me, it’s important to carry that and put love into anything you do. Not just the music, just making people feel special. That’s what Dad was good at, so that’s what I plan to carry on.”
Roman De Peralta of Kolohe Kai and Kupu Dalire-Na’auao also share the inspiration and memories they hold dear.
Hawai’i has also mourned the loss the honorable Willie K who represented the Island of Maui so well with his unique sound and unbelievable talent. McKenna Talks Story with a dear friend of Willie’s, Miss Aloha Hula and four-time “Female Vocalist of the Year” Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awardee and Grammy Nominated Natalie Ai Kamauu about Willie K.'s talent. Natalie shares found memories with him and her impression of watching Willie K. perform: “Just mind blown, amazing, sit-down, jaw-dropped, watching in complete awe.”