The Hawai’i Academy of Recording Arts (HARA) and Mele Mei have announced “Mele Mei: An Evening of Song” – a preview of the month-long celebration of Hawai'i's music, language and culture known as Mele Mei.
The dinner concert takes place Sunday December 28, 2015 at the Kahala Resort and Hotel (5000 Kahala Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816) and features entertainment by multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winners Natalie Ai Kamauu, Ku’uipo Kumukahi, and Maunalua. Reservations can be made by calling the Resort at (808) 739-8760. Cost is $70 plus tax and gratuity. The doors open at 5pm for dinner; the concert is from 7 to 10pm.
A former Miss Aloha Hula (1990) and multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winner (including Female Vocalist of the Year three times), Natalie is best known for her powerful yet angelic voice – although she is also a talented songwriter. Her extraordinary talent and down-to-earth, thoughtful, and loving nature shine very brightly through her music, as they are an integral part of who she is.
Known as the “Sweetheart of Hawaiian Music,” Ku’uipo Kumukahi has won Female Vocalist of the Year honors several times (in addition to her many other Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards). One of her albums received an unprecedented 9 Nā Hōkū nominations in 1994, and garnered 5 awards. She is a long-time board member (and past president) of the Hawai’i Academy of Recording Arts.
Maunalua (Bobby Moderow, Jr., Kahi Kaonohi, and Richard Gideon) released their first album in 2000, and promptly won the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for “Hawaiian Album of the Year.” Their next two albums also won Nā Hōkū Awards, including Group and Favorite Entertainer of the Year. All strong vocalists, the group is known for its tight harmonies accentuated by Moderow’s falsetto and prowess with slack key guitar.
Established in 2011, Mele Mei begins in late April and continues throughout the month of May, culminating on Memorial Day weekend with the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards (Hawai’i’s GRAMMY© Awards). The celebration features many of Hawai’i’s top artists in concert (many of the concerts are free) at a variety of venues throughout the islands. Other cultural events are also included, such as hula (including Merrie Monarch winners) and the Book and Music Festival; as well as workshops with representatives from the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS – the GRAMMY© people), the Honolulu International Film Festival (HIFF), and more.
For more information about the preview concert, call (808) 739-8760. For information about Mele Mei and the upcoming events for 2015, go to http://www.melemei.com/
In the past few days, my mailbox has started filling with CDs from artists entering their 2014 releases for consideration for a 2015 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award (Hawaiʻi’s GRAMMY©). Each year, some of the artists (or sometimes their record companies or distributors) take advantage of the mail out or e-mail blast service offered by the Hawaiʻi Academy of Recording Arts (HARA) to send CDs, postcards, flyers, download cards, emails (often with links to digital files), etc. to the voting members of HARA either prior to the preliminary ballot being released, or afterwards (if they’ve made the final ballot).
I’m often asked by artists if I think it’s worth the time and expense to take advantage of this service, and my answer is – it can be, but you need to weigh the cost with some other factors. While not every voting member of HARA listens to every CD (or digital file, etc.) they receive through this service, many do – and if you’re relatively unknown, not getting any radio airplay, not active on social media, and especially if you self-distributed and your release isn’t available in brick and mortar stores, this may be the first time anyone has ever heard of you or your release. Speaking from experience, I’ve voted for a release based on hearing it (and of the artist) for the first time because it landed in my mailbox or email box via the HARA mail out service. (I’ve also booked people on Pakele Live after hearing their release via the mail out service.)
However, using the mail out service is not a guarantee that you’ll win a Hōkū or even get nominated, so I always advise my clients to weigh their options. Some older members of HARA are not active on social media, and receiving a CD might be the only way theyʻll know about you. But for many other voters, a well-done social media campaign can also do wonders. Some of my favorites were some creative, funny, and very well-done YouTube videos by (multiple Nā Hōkū Award winners!) Waipuna that were also shared via Facebook and Twitter for the 2013 Single of the Year; the 2012
Favorite Entertainer of the Year (and the blooper reel); and for their nine (nine!) nominations in 2012 for their 2nd album, “E Hoʻi Mai” they did individual videos for each song on the album. Here’s just one of them, for Kamehameha Trilogy (my favorite track, a.k.a. TRACK 10! TRACK 10!). Here is the result of their efforts in 2012 (they've since won more Hōkūs):
If you’re interested in taking advantage of HARA’s mail out/e-blast service to voting members, here is the information and pricing schedule. And remember - YOU DON'T NEED TO BE A HARA MEMBER TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS SERVICE!
If you’re a Hawaiʻi-based musician who released an album, EP, single, or video (of any genre, not just Hawaiian music) between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014 and would like your work to be considered for the 38th Annual (2015) Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards (Hawaiʻi’s GRAMMY©), you have until January 16, 2015 to submit your nomination forms and materials to the Hawaiʻi Academy of Recording Arts (HARA). YOU NEED NOT BE A HARA MEMBER to enter! Non-Hawaiʻi residents are also eligible to enter under certain circumstances.
The nomination forms and guidelines are available on the HARA website. You may also enter online however; hard copy (product(s)) submissions must still be received at the HARA office by the deadline. Failure to do so will result in disqualification.
NOTE: Sometimes an artist’s record company or distributor submits the nomination paperwork on behalf of the artist, but don’t assume! Check with your label or distributor, and if they aren’t submitting on your behalf, do it yourself! (I provide this service for my clients, but will also submit on behalf of non-clients for a small fee.) If your label or distributor have or will be entering on your behalf and they haven’t consulted with you on certain categories, be sure to ask what they have entered for Song of the Year (if applicable), Instrumental Composition of the Year (if applicable), and for the adjudicated categories (if applicable) which tracks are being submitted for Haku Mele; Hawaiian Language Performance; and Engineering. If you disagree with the tracks they have chosen for any of these categories, request that they be changed to tracks of your choosing. Your engineer(s) should also be consulted, as for the engineering category the tracks (three of them) are to be those of the engineer’s choice “that best exemplify the engineer’s craft”.
>>>>>There have been a few rule and category changes, so be
sure to read the guidelines first! Also, the January 16
deadline to submit is a “received by” date, NOT a
“postmark by” date. All submission forms and materials
(CDs, DVDs, lyric/translation copies, and for online digital
releases only: track sheets, credit listings and cover art)
must be received at the HARA office by the deadline. No
Best of luck to all who are entering!
Originally from California, Iʻve lived on Oʻahu for a number of years. Music has always been my passion and Iʻm fortunate to be able to work with and support many of Hawaiʻiʻs musicians. For such a tiny speck in the middle of a very large ocean, we have an amazing wealth of talent here!