The Mana Maoli Collective, a group of Hawaiʻi musicians, is soon to release its second CD to support charter schools throughout the state.
Ma hope o ka holomua kūpono ʻana o kēlā makahiki aku nei, ua paʻi hou ko Maoli Music i kekahi pā CD hou aku me nā mele i ʻoki leo ponoʻī ʻia e ia mau kula hoʻāmana nei. A no kona kākoʻo mau, ua hoʻi hou ʻo Jack Johnson e kōkua pū.
“Aia au ma ka pāhana CD mua a ʻaʻohe mea e koe aku koʻu mahalo i kā kēia mau kula hana, he mea nui ke kākoʻo ʻana i nā keiki a me ka lāhui.”
A ua nui hou aku nā puʻukani kaulana ʻē aʻe ma waho o Jack Johnson e paʻu pū ana ma ke kākoʻo ʻana aku i kēia papahana nei ʻo Mana Maoli. He papahana ia i hoʻokumu ʻia no ka pono o ke kākoʻo ʻana i nā kula hoʻāmana ma Hawaiʻi nei.
“Nui nā puʻukani e kākoʻo ana i kēia hui o Mana Maoli ma ke ʻano he aʻoaʻo i kēia mau keiki ma nā ʻano ʻaoʻao like ʻole o ke ao mele,” wahi a ka luna alaka’i ‘o Keola Nakanishi.
A ma ke alulike ʻana o kēia mau mākau a pau, ua hoʻowili ʻia kekahi CD kūikawā no ka makahiki hou.
“He kūikawā kēia CD no kona hoʻokumu ʻana aku i nā kula hoʻāmana he ʻumikūmālua me ko lākou mau ʻano mele ʻokoʻa,” wahi a Keola.
A ʻo ka lua o nā mea e kūikawā ai kēia CD no ka makahiki hou, ua paʻi pū ʻia kekahi wikiō e hoʻolele pū ai me ke mele i haku ʻia na Jon Cruz, ʻo “Little Bit of Love.”
“Ua pā koʻu naʻau i ka ʻike ʻana i ka ʻimi ikaika o ia mau keiki. A ke alu like ka nui poʻe, ʻaʻohe kumu e holomua ʻole ai.”
A ma loko nō o ka hana nui i hoʻokomo ʻia e hoʻokō i kēia pāhana hoʻoulu kālā nei, lana pū ko Kola manaʻo e aʻoaʻo aku i ka lehulehu no ia mau kula hōʻamana nei.
“ʻOiai e ʻimi ana mākou i ka hoʻoulu kāla ʻana ma o ia mau mele nahenahe, ke lana nei ka manaʻo e hoʻolaha pū ʻia ana ko mākou pono ma waena o ka lehulehu i mea e kākoʻo ʻia kā mākou hana.”
A ʻo Paula Fuga kekahi o ia mau kākoʻo nei. “Ua pōmaikaʻi ʻia au na Ke Akua ma ke ao mele, a ʻo koʻu kuleana kēia e hāʻawi hou i kēia ʻano papahana me kēia pōmaikaʻi oʻu.”
“ʻIke wau i ke ʻano o ka nohona ma Hawaiʻi, a he mea nui ka ʻike ʻana o ia mau keiki i ka waiwai o ka hāʻawi pio ʻole. Ke kō kēlā, ua maha koʻu naʻau,” wahi a Paula.
“Hana nui ka noʻonoʻo ʻana i nā kumu o koʻu kākoʻo ʻole ʻana ʻoiai he mea nui iaʻu, koʻu kākoʻo piha iā lākou,” wahi a Jack Johnson.
Maoli Music has come up with yet another wonderful CD of original hits. And back for round two was none other than Jack Johnson.
“I was on the first one and such a positive experience you know, working with kids, and helping out to help preserve the Hawaiian culture and make sure there’s a lot of focus on all the beautiful aspects of the Hawaiian culture.”
Together he shares this passion with other well-known artists who are also a part of Mana Maoli, a program created to support these Hawaiʻi public charter schools.
“Hundreds of artists are a part of this Mana Maoli collective,” says Executive Director, Keola Nakanishi. “Some donate their time and talent to mentorships to the students, guitar, bass, ʻukulele, engineering, radio talk show hosts, singing, song writing.”
And their collaboration led to a new twist for this year’s CD production.
“Two things unique about this project is this time we have a dozen Hawaiian charter schools, each contributing one track to the CD. Whether it’s traditional Hawaiian oli, mele Hawaiʻi, or Reggae or other kinds of music,” says Keola.
Secondly, a music video was filmed to accompany the song: “Little Bit of Love” written by Jon Cruz.
“It just inspires me to see the children getting connected again. And any way I can be a part of that, is great. Whenever you can get a bunch of people to get together to do something, it’s, you cannot go wrong.”
And through the hard work, Keola hopes that this CD will not only raise money, but raise awareness for Hawai’i charter schools too.
“While we are here to raise money and we hope people will support really good music for a really good cause, we also hope to raise awareness and send a message to those who have the influence to enforce the existing law and strengthen existing laws to really raise that critical mass of awareness of people who know and care about the success of charter schools and want to support it.”
Singer Paula Fuga is one of these great supporters. “It’s my kuleana you know, it’s like my responsibility to be involved in things like this because I’m a musician and I was given this gift you know, from Akua and along with the gift comes responsibility.”
“I was once a youth and I know how it is growing up in Hawaiʻi and I know that every kid could use just a little bit more hope, so if I can help to inspire hope in any child, you know, that’s what makes it all worth it for me,” Paula says.
“I’d have to sit here all day to give you reasons why I’m here cause it’s too easy to tell you all the good reasons,” says Jack Johnson, “It’d be hard for me to find a reason why I wouldn’t be here today.”