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Transcending Contemporary Island music with an infusion of bilingual lyrics and jazzy reggae beats, Honi Honi pays tribute to Hawaii’s sacred greeting of affection, the honi. Culminating in a truly artistic and original form, each track honors Hawaii’s magnificence in an epic representation of music in today’s culture.
Executive Producer, Composer: BULA AKAMU
~Vocals, Guitar, 'Ukulele
Recorded, Arranged & Produced by: MATI LAINO
Horn Arrangments by: DUNCAN BAMSEY
~Tenor / Alto Saxophone
TOM ZABLAN & JIM SUMMEY
~Drums / Percussions
Written and composed with the deepest embodiment of aloha, Honi Honi pulls from the energy surrounding Hawaii’s sacred greeting, the honi. In ancient Polynesia, the honi was a common demonstration of affection by which two people touch forehead to forehead and nose to nose and the mana, or spiritual power, between them is shared.
As they touch, each person inhales, and as they do, they exchange with one another the breath of life. Bula Akamu shares with us his ha, or breath of life, as he immerses the audience in a world of beauty showcasing his sweet harmonies, bilingual songwriting, and intricate arrangements. As a true labor of love, this album speaks of enchantment and passion found in romance, paradise, reflections of the past, and dreams of the future.
Original music // "Honi honi"
This honorary greeting represents the exchange of "ha"- the breath of life, and the "mana" - the spiritual power between two people. As with the deep rooted meaning of the honi in Hawaiian culture, the meaning behind the lyrics of this song are deeply rooted within my heart. The inspiration for this song came form thousands of text messages in 2009. I was playing a for a luau show and my future wife came up on stage to learn to hula.
Being on vacation from Wisconsin, she didn't know many Hawaiian words. One of the first things I taught her was the meaning and importance of the honi. From then on, our messages to eachother always ended in one word... Honi.
When she moved to Hawaii a few months following our meeting, I greeted her with a song. As our relationship grew over the years, the melody and composition of this song grew and transformed into what is now "Honi Honi".
Original music // "wahi pana"
Everyone has a wahi pana. It's the place that's most dear to you.. the place that you keep in your heart to visit at the end of a long day... the place of peace that fills your dreams at night. For me, my wahi pana is my hometown, Pahala, a tiny old sugarcane town. I can close my eyes and smell the sugarcane fields, remember the feeling riding down the dirt roads in my dad's truck and see me picking mangoes with my best friend.
Sometimes when I play music, I imagine myself as a little boy sitting on the steps of our plantation home playing my 'ukulele. Pahala town doesn't have any luxurious hotels or extravagant buildings, but it does emit a sense of aloha and love for the 'aina (land), kai (ocean), and it's po'e (people) which leave you wanting nothing else. This love is it's greatest comodity and what has grounded me for life.
Original music // "Hawai'i my home"
No matter where life takes you, the beauty of home is that it lives within your memories and remains in your heart so you are never far away.
Home is more than a place; it's a feeling.
It's not until you leave home that you really learn to appreciate it and it's magnificence.
Hawai'i... my heart... my soul... my home.