EXPRESS YOURSELF – Music And Style Collide At The 39th Annual Nā Hōkū Awards
Here at Poi Planet, we’re known for our PR work but also for our event and production savvy. This year, we’ve created a new contest and award, “The Style Award.” It is a pre-award show segment that’s been created specifically for the annual Na Hoku Awards and something that everyone, not just the final ballot nominees, can participate in.
What is style?
To many, style equals fashion. Style is self-expression through clothing, accessories, a great haircut, and, most important of all, attitude. Really great style doesn’t only reflect what someone is feeling inside, it can also transform these feelings to reveal our more empowered and confident selves. And in Hawai‘i, style is a combination of influences within our own cultural mash up. From classic Hawaiian, free-spirited bohemian chic, pared-down minimalism, or all-out glitz and glamor, anything goes for the island’s style mavens and mavericks.
During the arrival hour (4:00 to 5:00 p.m.) interested attendees get a chance to show off their outfit while a panel of experts judge them from head to toe on their overall style. The judges include Georja Skinner from DBED/Creative Arts Industries, designer, Allison Izu-Song, and Carol D’Angelo & Dexter Doi of Ecolicious.
Prizes include a weekend staycation from the Ala Moana Hotel, outfits by designer Manaola and Allison Izu, accessories by Reyn Spooner and Ecolicious, and haircuts by Dayna Okuma-Mau of DADA Salon. The winners plaques will be designed by KoAloha Ukulele. The wahine and kane winner will be announced during the dinner portion of the evening.
Bring your A-game. Good luck!
There was a time in my corporate PR life where business travel was all about rushing to the destination, running around with a jam-packed itinerary, going in and out of meetings, and not having any time at all to experience the city. Well, that was a long time ago. Luckily for me, business travel is still a bit of work, but at least a bit more fun. Ok, I confess. It is a lot more fun. Case in point, on a recent business trip to LA with the team from KoAloha Ukulele. We were there to participate in a large community festival in downtown LA with the lovely folks from JANM (Japanese American National Museum). Performances and a few meetings were on the schedule, but was balanced out with a few activities.
What activities you ask? Well, no visit to S. California is complete without a visit to see Mickey and the gang at Disneyland. Did I mention that we are all adults? And that the team is comprised of all men and I’m the only woman? When I’m hanging out with them, I’m just one of the dudes in the group. We go on rides, check out the attractions, and basically ate our way through the park. Another visit was made to Universal Studios Hollywood, where for years, I assisted the LA Tourism Board with bringing journalists there, yet I hadn’t gone to experience it myself in many years. All I can tell you about that park is that you must go on the Transformers ride. Thankfully, I didn’t puke, but instead found myself screaming and laughing along with the rest of the team. And that’s the point of it all- bonding, spending time together, and just allowing ourselves a little break.
In between the work and activities, there are the usual stops at the neighborhood Nijiya market for snacks, the mandatory stop at Cafe Dulce for a box of bacon donuts and local coffee by Stumptown Roasters, and meals at local restaurants such as Daikokuya, El Coyote, and at least one stop through the drive through for In-n-Out Burger or Del Taco. Oh and… Joe’s Crab Shack! Friends and colleagues have actually asked me if they could join me on one of these trips because they sound like so much fun? My answer is this: “Sure, as long as you can pay your way and handle the pranking to be had.” Didn’t I tell you? The guys like to pull pranks all along the way. And I do mean ALL the way, literally from the time you sit in your seat on the plane. That in itself is another story. Still I’d take this type of business travel over the old trips I used to take, any day. Until the next one…
Oh what a night! On Aug. 29, 2013 Los Angeles experienced some Hawaiian love via the talents of Tony Conjugacion, Tj Mayeshiro, and Pali Ka’aihue. The event was called “Aloha Spirit, KoAloha Style” and was held in the Clive Davis Theatre of the Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles.
The venue is an intimate 200-seater and provides the perfect environment to enjoy the strumming sounds of ukulele. The audience also received a few fun surprises! KoAloha Ukulele president, Alan Okami, treated guests to his beautiful falsetto voice while Tony C. accompanied him. Later, VP of KoAloha Ukulele, Paul Okami, got up to dance a hula with guest dancer, Ualani Ho’opai. Aloha spirit is everywhere!
KoAloha Ukulele is a client of mine and through the years, they’ve turned into a second family. One of the best parts of my job with them is to help keep an eye out for musicians who would be a good fit for our Artist Partner program. One day, Alan Okami of KoAloha, and Pali Ka’aihue, one of our artist partners, shared a link that they saw online of a “little girl” named Kawehi. Turns out this “little girl” is a young 20-something year old, married for seven years, hard core musician in boots. I tracked her down, well- literally stalked her, and finally connected via email. During a business trip to LA, I located her performing at Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade and found her to be so charming and humble. Her style of music is very unique (she created some songs with a looping pedal and in one album, composes and recreates tunes with toy instruments) as well carries a magnetic on-stage presence. I’m always proud to meet nice folks like her who have moved away from home in order to further their career. In Kawehi’s case, you can take the girl out of the islands, but you can’t take the islands out of the girl.
From L to R: Albert, Brian, and Kawehi, checking out various ukulele models in the KoAloha Ukulele shop in Kalihi, O’ahu.