Posts Tagged ‘colbie caillat’

Q & A With Colbie Caillat [Video]

October 2, 2009

A-ight peeps. Hurr it is! Your questions, answered by Kauai’s own, Ms. Colbie Caillat herself.

Boy, what an experience! Having dinner with her and her band in Reno, catching (part of) her show, then driving down to Sacramento to catch her appearance there, THEN jumping aboard her tour bus to get this interview. And on top of all that, she’s like the sweetest person you’ll ever meet. Please go out and buy her music and show some love for our Kauai girl. She soooo deserves it.

K, nuff awwreddy! I know you just want me to shut up and get to the video, so here it is… Check it!

[YN]: when is she coming to singapore to perform?

Singapore. I think we’re going most likely in January or February (2010). As of now, that’s what the schedule is looking like so I hope that still happens.

[bB]: what is her favorite song that she wrote and why?

I think my favorite song that I wrote is “Battle” on my first album CoCo because I wrote the whole thing in a matter of minutes. It was because I was feeling so strongly about a situation. Family members of mine were having this feud and it was going on for years, and I was tired of all the drama and all the sadness that was tied into it, where people couldn’t be in the same place at the same time and I really wanted to write about it and express my feelings that we need to get past this and both people can be sorry and things can get better with the relationship.

[NeedaHobby]: is she able to get back to Kauai very often? What are some of the foods she has to have when she’s back home?

*laughs* The last time I was in Kauai was when I was writing in January ’09. *laughs* Before that, it was the summer before that, so I don’t get to go there enough. I want to go back right this second. When I go back to Hawaii, we always have barbeques at my aunt’s house, and I go to Bubba Burgers, and I get smoothies all the time. And all the local boys, we hang out at the beach. They go fishing and they cook us… I like ono, and my uncle goes out fishing and gets like really good ahi. I love fish, it’s amazing.

[rayboyjr]: Her music has a laid-back feel like music from Hawaii. Does she know of or ever heard the local Hawaii music? Any influences from Hawaii?

Well Justin Young! Who’s in my band… I actually knew of his music because my friends were listening to his music and every time I go to Hawaii and hear his songs. Every time I hear Hawaiian music or the ukulele, it brings back those warm feelings that I get when I go to Hawaii. And the people, how everyone’s so nice, and the weather. I heard… isn’t Pepper from Hawaii? Yeah so I mean just going there and getting to hear all of these artists and bands, I learn from them and I listen to them when I go back home.

[frankie]: I love the harmonies in “Magic.” Does she have any more collaborations planned?

Well, on my new album “Breakthrough”, Jason Reeves and I, we have a collaboration… we have a duet called “Droplets”, and I just did “Lucky” with Jason Mraz, and then after that, I really want to do a collaboration with a hip-hop artist like Common or Pharrell Williams or someone… Timbaland maybe. That’d be cool.

[skycastles]: How has becoming famous changed her life – the good and the bad?

It’s weird to say I’m famous because I don’t… it’s just weird. The good thing about it is that I get to travel the world and I have a nice tour bus and I stay at nice hotels. I get to travel and play my songs for people in different countries and all over the US. You get treated very well, people bring things to you all the time and you get to go to the front of the line, like stuff like that, that’s awesome. The bad part about it is that there’s so much work involved with it that I’m never home enough, I’m never with my family enough or I can’t have a dog out on the road with me, I don’t get to be in Hawaii as much as I want to, I have to miss out on things: weddings, birthdays, and having people… it’s very strange, when you have people taking pictures of you, you feel like you’re in a zoo in one of the cages and you’re like one of the zoo animals, so that’s weird, but it all comes together and you have to look at it in a positive way, so that’s what I try to do.

[mcat]: i’m curious on how much she visits HI & if she’ll ever do a concert here? (again)

I visit Hawaii… I try to go twice a year, and even that, that’s not enough. Right now, I’ve been begging my manager to try and book us a show in Hawaii. I haven’t played there for over a year now so I’d really love to go back. My band wants to go back, Justin Young who’s in my band is from there… we’d be sooooo happy to go back there and play a show, so hopefully soon. Really really soon.

[NEO]: Wow, Colbie Caillat, first off, you’re beautiful… I love your voice… secondly, where do you find most of the inspiration for your songs?

Aww. Well thank you NEO, that’s very sweet. I find inspiration for my songs from my personal experiences in life. Whatever I’m going through, whatever I’m observing with friends or family around me, going through a situation in life, or if I’m falling in love with someone or having to break up with someone. I just write about whatever is going on in here. *points to heart*

[kuya.d]: What “dream venue” does she want to perform at?

The dream venue that I would love to perform at is the Hollywood Bowl. That’s where I saw my first concert, I saw Fleetwood Mac perform there when I was younger and I’m from L.A. I want to perform at the Hollywood Bowl. Hollywood Bowl would just be “Ahhhhh!” *laughs*

[matt]: does she have any aspirations to transition to different media types or does she strictly see herself as a musician?

I pretty much see myself as a musician and eventually as just a song writer for other artists. I could be eventually talked into acting. I have been saying no for a long time, it’s not really my thing, but I’m trying to… that’s like my next goal is to be open to other situations and not be scared of things and acting I was kinda scared of so if a good opportunity comes up, I might try it, but I’m not sure. *smiles*

[MB]: does she have another duet with Mraz planned anytime soon?

Jason and I don’t have another duet planned yet but we’re friends, we see each other all the time, we perform “Lucky” together and I’m sure we will write another song together just by hanging out all the time and loving each other’s music so much.

With this interview, I’ve done three fairly high profile “Hawaii celeb” interviews in a row:

Not bad ah? Who you like me shoot fo’ next? I really think I’d enjoy one with Barack Obama, but I realize that that’s next to impossible. Plus, I no like get frisked in places I’ve never been touched before. 😛 I dunno, perhaps the peeps currently in the news might be interesting (e.g. Mark Dacascos or Carrie Ann Inaba from Dancing with the Stars, or the like)? The Rock would be fun too.

Apologies if I skipped your question. Tried to avoid repeating similar questions…

Hope you enjoyed it yo! Lemme know what you think!

In the meantime, check out the full article and interview here:

Colbie Caillat - A Star Is Born
Colbie Caillat – A Star Is Born

Since these traditionally don’t get a lot of feedback, let’s chat about what y’all have planned this weekend! 🙂 Happy VH07V Friday!

Colbie Caillat – A Star Is Born

October 1, 2009

In every lifetime, there comes one special star destined for greatness. A glowing beauty, full of energy and warmth, that shines big and bright for the world to admire.

In this lifetime, that star is Colbie Caillat.

Born Colbie Marie Caillat on May 28th, 1985 to a music producer dad and model mom, Colbie inherited greatness from both sides: the looks of a Hollywood actress with the voice of an angel.

Colbie could always sing and was a part of musical theater casts from 8 years old. At 11, she heard the Fugees’ Lauryn Hill sing “Killing Me Softly” for the first time and was blown away. She started taking things more seriously, writing, recording, and picking up instruments along the way.

In 2006, her producer friend convinced her to record several songs to put up on Myspace “just for fun.” Before long, her songs went viral. Members added her songs to their pages after seeing it on their friends’ pages. It multiplied and multiplied until she became the #1 unsigned artist in her genre for four consecutive months. That’s when the record companies came calling and the rest, as they say, is history.

Here’s her story…

Colbie Caillat – Personal Life

Personal Life:

Edward Sugimoto) Not too many people know that you have roots to Hawaii. Can you kind of explain your history with Hawaii?

Colbie Caillat) I grew up going to Kauai when I was 11 years old with my parents. And my aunt and uncle live there and they own Bubba Burgers in Hanalei. And ever since, I’ve been going once or twice a year with my family and bringing my friends and my cousins. And then I worked there for a summer, I worked there for a couple months at Bubba Burgers in Kauai. As so Hawaii is just… everyone, the people, the food, the weather… it’s just like my second home. It’s the one place that I would always want to be.

Bubba Burgers
Bubba Burgers

Edward Sugimoto) What was it like when you first heard Bubbly on the radio?

Colbie Caillat) When I first heard Bubbly on the radio, I was in Southern California at this restaurant that my family and I always go to, and we heard it playing in the background, and all of the sudden my mom like gets up and starts dancing, and then everyone starts singing at the table. That was the first time I realized that it was actually really being played cause people tell you it’s played but that was my first time knowing that it was real.

Edward Sugimoto) I hear you are a true arteest. You like to take photographs and you like painting a lot. Are photobooks or art in your future?

Colbie Caillat) I’m really into photography and painting. I like watercolors. So my dream job is to move back to Hawaii and be a photographer and paint and live that lifestyle. That’s what I want to do eventually. And yeah, I paint all the time on my tour bus when I’m traveling. And I save all the paintings. We’ll see what I’ll do with them. *modest laugh*

Edward Sugimoto) A little art gallery maybe?

Colbie Caillat) I don’t know. Maybe. For my mom. *laughs*

Colbie Caillat
Colbie Caillat

Edward Sugimoto) When you’re not out being “world famous” Colbie Caillat, what do you like to do in your downtime?

Colbie Caillat) Whenever I have downtime, if I’m on tour, I hang out with my band and crew and we barbeque outside of the bus, we go sightseeing, we take pictures, just super mellow since the schedule’s really crazy. When I’m home, I like to be with my family and my close friends and my dogs. Stay at home, listen to music, barbeque, go swimming. I’m super mellow.

Edward Sugimoto) I noticed you got some new ink on your arm.

Colbie Caillat) *laughs*

Edward Sugimoto) Any significance with that? Is there a story behind it?

Colbie Caillat) My flower tattoo, well this smaller flower I’ve always had for a couple years and that’s the logo for my first album CoCo. And then this new flower I got in Paris a couple months ago. And that is the Breakthrough flower for my new record. So this is the new logo for like all my merch, my T-shirts, on my CD. I had wanted it for a couple years and I new it was a big commitment getting a big tattoo on my arm so I made sure I still wanted it and I got it.

Edward Sugimoto) So after a few albums, your whole arm is gonna be covered?

Colbie Caillat) *laughs* My dad was actually like, “Honey, that flower better not keep growing!” I don’t want a sleeve, but I could see how tattoos are addicting.

Colbie Caillat
Colbie Caillat

Edward Sugimoto) Let’s play Faves. First thing that pops into your mind when I say this/when I ask this question: Favorite all time song?

Colbie Caillat) Bob Marley “Waiting in Vain.”

Edward Sugimoto) Favorite musical artist?

Colbie Caillat) Bob Marley or Lauryn Hill.

Edward Sugimoto) Favorite TV show?

Colbie Caillat) The Office.

Edward Sugimoto) Favorite movie I heard is “Dumb and Dumber”. Is that still the case?

Colbie Caillat) Favorite movie is Dumb and Dumber. I quote it probably every day. *laughs*

Edward Sugimoto) Favorite web site (besides AroundHawaii)?

Colbie Caillat) *laughs* Besides AroundHawaii? Um, Youtube!

Edward Sugimoto)

Colbie Caillat) I could promote myself, but no Youtube is way more fun! *laughs*

Edward Sugimoto) Favorite food?

Colbie Caillat) Favorite food is either Mexican food or sushi. Either one.

Edward Sugimoto) How about least favorite food?

Colbie Caillat) Least favorite food? Um, I don’t like goat cheese. Is that ok, or did you want like a full on like kinda food? *laughs*

Edward Sugimoto) What is the one thing you always need to have in your purse before leaving the house?

Colbie Caillat) I’m addicted to chapstick or lipgloss. My lips are, I always want to reapply every 5 seconds. My camera I always have in my purse. My cell phone, gum, water bottles.

Colbie Caillat
Colbie Caillat

Edward Sugimoto) If you weren’t doing music, what would you be doing career-wise?

Colbie Caillat) I would be living in Hawaii doing photography and painting.

Edward Sugimoto) These stats are a little off cause I did it about a week ago, but you had over 438,857 Myspace friends and over 40,615 Twitter followers.

Colbie Caillat) Wow!

Edward Sugimoto) How does it feel having that kind of accessibility to your fans?

Colbie Caillat) I think the Internet is so amazing. I mean that’s how I got my career started was because of Myspace a few years ago. People found my music and played it so much that I became the #1 unsigned artist and I got a record deal. And now, to be able to keep in touch with my fans by sending out a text to Twitter anytime, telling them what I’m doing, and they can reply and I can reply to each person individually. I think it’s the coolest way of being able to just stay in contact with your friends, family, fans. Internet’s great.

@ColbieCaillat's Twitter Site
@ColbieCaillat’s Twitter Site

Edward Sugimoto) So that’s actually you on Twitter then?

Colbie Caillat) Yeah it’s me.

Edward Sugimoto) Your songs are pretty huge for weddings I’m guessing. We (wifey and I) actually used your “Magic” for our wedding song.

Colbie Caillat) Awww, so did my friend.

Edward Sugimoto) And a lot of people cover your songs on Youtube. Is that pretty flattering?

Colbie Caillat) It’s really flattering. This year, I’ve heard that “Lucky” was the wedding song. Last year, I heard it was “Bubbly” and “Magic”. But to know people cover my songs and try to learn them like I’ve learned other artist’s songs that I admire and adore, it’s really cool to know that I could be like that for other people. It’s a wonderful feeling.

Edward Sugimoto) You mentioned today on the stage about your constant struggle with fear/fright and stage fright and that’s why you named the album “Breakthrough”. What kind of specific things can you tell other people who have that kind of fear on how to get over it?

Colbie Caillat talking about her struggle with stage fright
Colbie Caillat talking about her struggle with stage fright

Colbie Caillat) It’s just like anything. It takes practice and you have to work on it every single day. I mean I went on tour and performed every night and every day for two years straight and as hard as it was for me, as difficult and terrifying as it was I had to keep doing it. And slowly each time it got better and I got more comfortable. And just the past 6 months I really trained my brain to just remember to have fun out there. People are there to hear the music and music’s supposed to make you feel good, and have fun and smile. So when I remember to smile and look at my fans who are smiling and singing back it calms my heart down a little bit and you just have to remember that you’re up there doing something great and people admire that so you have nothing to be afraid of.

Colbie Caillat – Music Life

Music Life:

Edward Sugimoto) You started singing at 11 after hearing Lauryn Hill’s/Fugee’s “Killing Me Softly”. Did you have “it” back then or is it something you had to really work on?

Colbie Caillat) “It”? *smiles*

Edward Sugimoto) It: the voice, the singing.

Colbie Caillat) I’ve always been able to sing. I remember my parents saying I could sing when I was younger, and like when I was 8, 9, I was in musical theater. I did musicals, but I was still always afraid of being on stage and performing so I would never audition for like one of the lead parts, I’d always be in the background. And then when I got into 6th grade, I sang “Killing Me Softly” with my two best friends for our school talent show. And my other two friends, who I’m still best friends with, they can’t sing at all. *laughs*

Edward Sugimoto) You carried the team!

Colbie Caillat) Yeah, I guess, I didn’t realize it at the time. But um, yeah I’ve always been able to sing but I had to also train my voice. I mean I followed Lauryn Hill and learned how she did her licks, and I took vocal lessons for years to keep… I still have to warm up every single day. You have to keep your voice. Just like working out you have to stay in shape.

Edward Sugimoto) You kinda touched upon your Myspace history. Can you kinda expand on how you got discovered after that?

Colbie Caillat's Myspace Page
Colbie Caillat’s Myspace Page

Colbie Caillat) Well, pretty much I was writing songs and I was friends with my producer, and every time I’d play him a new song in the studio, he was like, “let’s record it right now and put it up on Myspace just for fun.” And so we would put it up on Myspace and after 6 months I had grown such a large fan base. They were playing my songs everyday like 50,000 times. People would add my songs to their pages and then their friends would hear it and I kept rising on the charts and I eventually became #1 and then I got all the record label calls. I went to New York and met with the different labels. Universal (Republic) was the first one that I met with and I just knew that I belonged with them. They were just great and so personable. So that’s really how I got my career started and then went on tour with the Goo Goo Dolls and ever since then, everything keeps going.

Edward Sugimoto) Your dad is famed producer Ken Caillat who produced people like Fleetwood Mac. Why didn’t he just hook a sistah up instead of making you work hard for it?

Colbie Caillat) *laughs* Well, first of all, like I said, I was shy and had stage fright and so, I didn’t know how to play an instrument because I wasn’t writing when I was younger. I could sing, but I was shy. If you asked me to sing, I wouldn’t sing. So he couldn’t have done anything for me in this business because I wouldn’t have made it. I was too shy and if someone asked me to sing and I had to, I would mess up because I was so nervous. Plus my dad really wanted me to become a musician and become a song writer and establish my career for myself and he knew that was the best way to go about it, and at the time I didn’t realize that, until I was 19 and I learned how to play guitar and I wrote my first song and I realized that he was right.

Edward Sugimoto) I read somewhere also that he was the one that kinda made you play instruments and pick up piano and guitar and all this kind of stuff. Are you kinda glad you took that advice?

Colbie Caillat) I’m so glad I took my parents’ advice. I learned how to play guitar, a little bit of the piano, and I can play a little ukulele now, and battle Justin. It’s great because I’m able to write songs now and I’m able to accompany myself when I’m singing and doing performances. It feels good to know how to play music and to be able to express your emotions in song writing.

Colbie Caillat with her ukulele battling Justin Young on stage
Colbie Caillat with her ukulele battling Justin Young on stage

Edward Sugimoto) You mentioned the ukulele. Jason Reeves played it on “Tied Down” on the last album. Do you get to play it a lot and is it going to be featured on future songs possibly?

Colbie Caillat) The ukulele, I think we might have it on “Rainbow” on my new album “Breakthrough.” But yeah, I always want to keep the Hawaii ties tied into my music, the whole reggae islandy vibe. I want to learn how to play more chords on it. I only know a few chords right now so that’s my next goal: to get better on the uke. *laughs*

Edward Sugimoto) You guys shot “The Little Things” in Kauai. Was that kind of like your shout out to your hometown?

Hanalei Bridge in Kauai
Hanalei Bridge in Kauai

Colbie Caillat) I always wanted to shoot a music video in Kauai. On the north shore, that’s just where I grew up going. The song “The Little Things” where I shot the video for, I wanted to sum up the summer that I had with my friends when I lived there. I worked at Bubba Burgers, we rented a rent-a-wreck car and had our jobs and we’d go to the Hanalei Pier and we’d jump off every day and go swimming and hang out with cute boys (*smiles*) and have bon fires. That’s what I wanted to show. What I’m like, what I like to do and what that song means.

Old Hanalei School Building
Old Hanalei School Building

Edward Sugimoto) For the album “Breakthrough” I think you went to Kauai for a few weeks with Kara Dioguardi from American Idol? If things hadn’t worked out, is that something you might’ve considered (going on the show)?

Colbie Caillat) Oh, I would go on American Idol. Yeah, being a judge, it’s…

Edward Sugimoto) Oh actually as a performer. If you hadn’t made it until now.

Colbie Caillat) Oh. I auditioned twice actually. The second time I auditioned, I auditioned “Bubbly” right after I wrote it, but, like I said, I was shy and when I had the audition I was like, (*subdued*) “Been awake for awhile now.” Like I was quiet, I didn’t look at them and they want somebody outgoing and fun so no, I didn’t make it. *laughs*

Colbie Caillat
Colbie Caillat

Edward Sugimoto) They must be regretting it pretty much.

Colbie Caillat) Well, now that I’m friends with Randy (Jackson) and Kara and all them, they laugh about it. They’re like, “I can’t believe that we passed that up.” But I understood why. I wasn’t ready for it at that point.

Edward Sugimoto) Had you made the show and Simon (Cowell) gave you like a negative comment, try and give us your best comeback to him.

Colbie Caillat) I wouldn’t have been mean to him. That’s the thing, I would be like, “OK.” I think criticism is, you need that. Someone can’t always tell you you’re good because you’re not. You need to learn and grow from it. I mean he is harsh, *laughs* but I think the combination of all the judges, giving them their compliments and then giving them their critiques is good.

Edward Sugimoto) Is it true that you and Jason Mraz traded emails to write the lyrics to “Lucky”?

Colbie Caillat) Well, yeah, Jason Mraz, he emailed me and that was the first time we ever contacted each other. He said, “Hi, it’s Jason. I like your music. I want to write a song with you.” And we exchanged numbers and we talked through email and on the phone and he sent me “Lucky.” He had it started, and so we finished writing the song together through email. We still had never met each other, and then I flew to London when he was recording his record (“We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things”) and we recorded the song.

Jason Mraz
Jason Mraz

Edward Sugimoto) Wow, that’s an amazing story.

Colbie Caillat) *laughs*

Edward Sugimoto) A lot of your songs make your listeners feel warm and fuzzy about love. Is this because your real love life is like that? 8)

Colbie Caillat) *blushes* *laughs* Yes, my love life is very warm. I’m very happy. I’m in love with someone right now. Yeah I guess when you can express how you’re feeling and people can relate to that, it’s really good. That’s how love is supposed to be. You’re supposed to feel just giddy and butterflies with that person everyday.

Edward Sugimoto) How about another warm and fuzzy: when you’re on stage and you’re singing to your fans and they’re actually singing back. That must make you feel pretty good?

Colbie Caillat) Well, the thing with my stage fright is when I see my audience singing all the songs back to me, smiling and cheering, it makes me feel sooo warm and comfortable up there and I don’t want to get off the stage anymore, I’m having so much fun. So it’s all because of them. They keep coming to my shows and making me feel good up there that I love what I do now.

Edward Sugimoto) CoCo – peaked at #5 on Billboard’s Top 200… (by the way, this is all from Wikipedia so I hope it’s accurate). *laughs*

Colbie Caillat) Yeah, that’s right.

Edward Sugimoto) … and sold 51,000 copies in the first week, and went to Double Platinum status! Breakthrough – already hit #1 on Billboard’s Top 200, and sold 106,000 copies in the first week, and debuted at #1 on iTunes.

Colbie Caillat) Yes. *big smile*

Edward Sugimoto) You must be pretty stoked, pretty excited!?

Colbie Caillat) It’s yeah, it’s incredible. You always hope for success like that. I never expected it because I don’t like getting my hopes up, and I don’t know, I can’t really explain it. It’s such a great feeling knowing that everyone involved on both of those records, helping me get to where I’m at, and all of our hard work and the love that we put into these songs, knowing that the world notices that, and wanted to support and listen to the songs, I’m just, I’m so honored.

Colbie Caillat
Colbie Caillat

Edward Sugimoto) You’ve been on tour with The Goo Goo Dolls, Lifehouse, John Mayer, and had songs featured on movie soundtracks (“Here Comes the Sun” on “Imagine That”), TV shows (“Battle” on “The Hills”), and even for the Olympics you had a song (“Somethin’ Special”). Your music has been nominated for numerous awards (nominated for the AMA, Teen Choice, Teen Music Awards and won BMI Pop Awards for Songwriter of the Year and Song of the Year). You’ve even been illustrated in a comic book (Archie). And this is pretty much just the beginning! How crazy is that!?

Colbie Caillat) It’s crazy. I mean it’s been two years and getting all of these great things that keep happening. I mean, it’s a lot of hard work. I mean every day it’s not just like “Oh, the life of a rock star.” It’s really difficult. There’s early early mornings, you go ’til late at night, people pulling you in all directions, but the people I surround myself with: my band, my crew, my management, my label… Everyone is so great so I have fun with it. We all work together. Seeing it pay off, it’s like a team effort.

Edward Sugimoto) Anything you’d like to say to your Hawaii fans out there?

Colbie Caillat) Aloha! *big smile* I can’t wait to come back to Hawaii to all the islands to play shows. I appreciate all of your support and for listening to my music and I hope to see you all soon. Aloha! *smiles*

Beyond her movie star looks and to-die-for voice, there is an inner beauty to this 24 year old songbird that is beyond compare.

Side story: You see, wifey and I had the honor of joining her and her bandmates for dinner the night before her Reno concert. She was warm and friendly and never once gave off the air that she was better than us (as other celebrities may). Mellow and laid back, she tried to blend right in with the rest of us, even though she obviously couldn’t. Due to an unfortunate case of food poisoning that night, I wasn’t able to make our scheduled interview the next night, but, instead of being upset, she was genuinely concerned.

The next day, they were going to play at “A Day In the Zone” in Sacramento’s Discovery Park, so she and Justin suggested that we meet up with them there, catch the show (with “all access”) and do the interview afterwards. They even told us not to worry about accommodations! Since we were catching our flight out of Sacramento early the next morning anyway, it was a perfect idea.

Following the show (which was amazing by the way), we headed to their bus and just hung out outside so as not to bother her post-show wind-down. I looked up to see her peeking out the window and as soon as she saw us, she practically ran out to give us a hug and see if we were feeling better. With the sun beating down, she immediately asked if we wanted something to drink and to come on board her tour bus which was cooled by A/C.

Remember, we were total strangers whom she met just two short nights ago. Granted Justin (who is in her band) is our mutual friend and yes, she knew that I was flying in special for the interview… She really didn’t have to go out of her way to be that nice to us. You could tell that it was just in her nature and that minus all the celebrity and bright lights, she was still as genuine and as sweet as they come.

It was refreshing to see such “realness” from someone who has made it so big. Much like her counterpart in the sky, this star’s warmth is breathtaking.

A star in every sense of the word. You know… The kind destined for greatness.


A special Mahalo to Diana Baron and Nicole Dona of D. Baron Media Relations, Inc., Diony Sepulveda, bruddah Justin Young, and especially Ms. Colbie Caillat. Thank you for being so nice and caring to us. All the best to you. You deserve everything coming to you. Enjoy the ride, and we’ll see ya back in Hawaii in the future! 🙂


Shortest to Tallest: Wifey, me, Colbie Caillat and Justin Young (I swear there was a slope! :P )
Shortest to Tallest: Wifey, me, Colbie Caillat and Justin Young (I swear there was a slope! 😛 )

Ask Colbie Caillat Your Questions

September 14, 2009

First you guys submitted your questions for BJ Penn

Then we collected um for Shane Victorino

Now, (I think) we got part-time Kauai native and talented singer/songwriter Colbie Caillat (“Bubbly,” “Realize,” “Magic,” Fallin’ for You”) lined up for an upcoming interview…

So… like before, gah-on and post any questions you may have for the beautiful songbird in the comment area below and I’ll try to get them answered for ya!

Colbie Caillat performing at the Diversity Harmony Peace Event (Photo Credit: Blaine Fergerstrom)
Colbie Caillat performing at the Diversity Harmony Peace Event (Photo Credit: Blaine Fergerstrom)

Talk to me:
* Post your question(s) for Colbie Caillat below!
* Did you pick up her new CD Breakthrough yet (or download it on iTunes)?
* What is your favorite song from that CD? The CoCo CD?
* What is your favorite Colbie Caillat song overall?
* Who (from Hawaii) would you like to see me interview next?
* I’m probably gonna run into bruddah Justin Young too while I’m there. Got any messages for him?

Here’s her music video on YouTube of her latest single, Fallin’ for You:

Fave Five Friday – Music Groups

July 24, 2009

My co-worker was laughing at me the other day when I told her that I’m really into Rockapella. Some also find it hard to believe that I dig on country music. What other secrets can we pull outta me? We shall see. But not without y’all sharin’ too!

  1. Flo Rida or Twista – there’s just somethin’ about Flo Rida’s beat that makes me wanna get up and dance. Twista’s flow is insane! Respect.
  2. Jason Mraz – cool cat with mellow, catchy grooves. Seeing that he’s a genuinely sincere/nice person when we met him at the Road Runner Music Hall just solidified my respect and admiration for him.
  3. Colbie Caillat – kinda da kine for me to admit this, but sistah’s got some good kine jams. I like that she’s from Hawaii and that she seems to still be grounded after all of her success. Trying to line up an interview with her one of these months. Wish me luck!
  4. Rockapella – can’t think of any other a capella group as talented as these bruthas! I need them to redo their lyrics to “Where In the World is Carmen Sandiego?” and sing “Where In Hawaii Is Edward Sugimoto?”! 😛
  5. O.A.R. – My alt rock ear gets its fill with this group. Love the brass infusion! 8)

How about the local acts?

  1. Ekolu – Lukela Keala’s voice is a thing of beauty!
  2. Koa ‘Uka – ultimate party song band. Makes me wanna skank. I still wanna see them in person.
  3. Justin Young – soulful voice with a laid-back, humble personality. Deservedly goin’ places now that he’s rollin’ with sistah Colbie.
  4. Na Leo – spine-tingling harmonies, memory inducing hits. Don’t get no bettah.
  5. Fiji – his live appearances are like no other! He knows how to get a crowd going fo sho!

Share your fave groups below yo!

P.S. Wish me luck in the Tinman this Sunday y’all! 🙂 The bummahz part is that we play the Advertiser that night in our Media Basketball league and my legs will be shot. D’oh! If we lose, I won’t hear the end of it from Queenie, WesNaks and Bruddah Kwon (and maybe even StevieT! 8) ) LOL!

Happy VHO7V Friday y’all! Have a good weekend and I’ll see y’all on Monday! 🙂

Happy Birthday to WWE-eeeeee!

April 28, 2009

A year ago to the day, the world was fortunately unfortunately exposed to the mind of me, and I hereby apologize.

You see, the peeps at the ’tiser opened thangs up for me in the backend *snicker* and shortly thereafter, the first ever World Wide Ed blog (to the Advertiser community) – simply entitled “Aloooooha!” – was born (in the USA)!

Things were slow at first, as I tried to find my place amongst the big dogs *woof WOOF* like Stephen Tsai’s “The Warrior Beat,” and Catherine Toth’s “The Daily Dish,” but eventually, I found my virtual footing and carved a cozy little niche out for myself and you fun, faithful readers.

Hoooo! I can’t believe it’s already been a year! *wipes away Visine induced tears* As some of you mentioned in yesterday’s blog, time really does fly when you’re having fun eh? It still amazes me that there were THAT many topics to write about on the daily. Sure, I did miss a few days here and thurr due to travel, holidays, and a little thing called a wedding, but for the most part, I was pretty on top of it wouldn’t ya say?

In fact, if my math is correct (and don’t truss’ me ’cause I suck at math), I probably wrote about 261 posts, give or take a few.

365 (days in the year)
– 104 (weekend days)
= 261 actual week days of possible WWE blogs

OK, I checked out our backend *snicker* and saw that I actually posted 200 fitty blogs! (I tol’ you my math sucks!) Either way, I think that’s quite a feat if I do say so myself. *bends over and waits for a pat on the back* (*snicker*) In theory, if I continue this blog on that torrid pace for the next 30 years of my life, I would’ve bored you to tears with 7,500 posts! Seventy five HUNNY!


Don’t be.

It’ll be all good in the ‘hood going forward. Trust.

I think I’m finally getting the hang of this. No more posts about nails, my broken mandible or MMA. I heard you (or rather, I didn’t hear you at all in the comments) loud and clear. Jeez, and it only took me a year to finally get it! Ha!

Mahalos to each and errry one of you for reading. E Komo Mai to those coming by way of seeing my spooky face in today’s paper. Whether you’re new and this is your first hit of WWE, or you need to be sent to WWEA pretty soon, I send mad love to you! Please continue to read and post your feedback in the comment area. That’s really what keeps me going. I love reading and interacting with the `ohana we got goin’ on here. You guys are the ones who make this blog fun for me! Keep it up yo!

Talk to me (Help a brutha improve WWE)!

* What was your favorite post?

* What was your least favorite post?

* What do you want to see more of? Less of? (Be honest, I can takeum!)

* What’s missing?

* How can I improve?

* What prompts you to want to comment/participate?

* Hints for future posts?

* Some of your favorite WWE memories/highlights of the last year?

* What’s the biggest thing that happened to you in the last year?

* What do you hope to do in the next year?

Here are my answers. Post yours below k?

* What was your favorite post? – The Fun Day Monday: You Know You’re Local If… post cause we made triple digit history with that one son! LOL!

* What was your least favorite post? – The MMA Television Programming posts because it took like FOREVER to put together and nobody ever commented on it. 😦

* What do you want to see more of? Less of? – More comments, less low comment counts. 😉

* What’s missing? – Guest posts. Will try to get more of y’all involved with posts of your own for us to dish on.

* How can I improve? – I’m all ears!

* What prompts you to want to comment/participate? – ditto the above

* Hints for future posts? – Yes please. 8)

* Some of your favorite WWE memories/highlights of the last year? – the appearance and disappearance and reappearance of Chicken Grease (he was actually my first ever commenter, and it was a positive one at that. In fact, it was so good that it jump started my drive to make this place good), giving away free movie passes to readers like JMAW, Miss Priss, and liane, talking high school supremacy shmack with frankie, celebrating the Phillies’ World Series victory with uncle jimmy, starting and growing the Where in Hawaii series (and being flattered by a few copycats 8) ), scratching my head at Helen‘s ridiculous comments, the funny wedding jokes and videos like the Best Man Blunder Video, making up nicknames for all of you, the thank yous for my periodic PSA posts, the turning point from single digit daily comment counts to double digit daily comment counts (woo hoo!), assigning roles (hunter, chef, law enforcement, etc.) on our desert island, the birth of Scott‘s boy, standing up to tita leerz (and getting pwned! in the process), brightening the start of your work week with Fun Day Mondays, getting my blogs hijacked for totally unrelated topics 😛 , the moderation bot’s strange rules/flags, kuya.d‘s successful “Prom Songs” guest post, the “Good Morning”‘s from M, the lowdown from the female perspective from snow, NeedaHobby, skycastles, kako_mochi, kate, YN and mcat, the sage lecturing advice from hemajang, MakiSushi, Coconut Willy, Kage and Kel Sr. (and jr.), the humor of Ynaku, bB, and rayboyjr, the periodic appearances of Dave, Syxx, BananaFysh, S Ticket, che, zzzzzz, Lose Money, soogs, miLL-viLLe, EMM386, HNL2LAS, Paco, Takeshi, MoOgooGuypAN, L, and Bre, being the first ’tiser blogger to break the Susan Boyle story, collecting names for our future WWE Fantasy Football league, seeing new faces come out of lurk mode, learning what VHO7V meant, and much more! Keep the memories a-comin’!

* What’s the biggest thing that happened to you in the last year? – Hands down, da big dance, fo shizzle.

* What do you hope to do in the next year? – Plan and take an RV trip, interview more Hawaii celebs (BJ Penn, Shane Victorino, Colbie Caillat, holla atcho boy!), etc.

Thanks again for sticking with me for the last year. Here’s to another 7,250 or so y’all (yeah, I used a calculator for that one… whut!?)! Hehe, Shooooots!

Just In Time – A Conversation With Justin Young, Superstar In the Making

April 1, 2009

I still remember it like it was yesterday. The year was 1995. The place was Tower Records Kahala (R.I.P). I was with my boy Grant, vibin’ on the new “Hawaiian” releases on Tower’s listening stations, and came across a new fella by the name of “Justin.”

The album was “No Better Time Than Now” and featured a young dude in a white tank, crouching on a sandy beach, holding a uke. I was like, “Oh, I gotsta see what this bad boy is all about!”

Justin Young's debut album - No Better Time Than Now
Justin Young’s debut album – No Better Time Than Now

One by one, bruddah impressed me with his soulful, unique tone, mature beyond his appearance (he looked 12 on the cover). I loved the way he infused his R&B/Soul inflection into every one of these otherwise local kine jams… And then, I got to track 7: Ikona. ‘Scuse the French, but hooooly crap! Bruddah can SANG!

I was sold. This boy’s gonna get some airtime in my Civic hatchback on the way home and Grant was gonna like it.

Weeks later, I was still boomin’ it in the big red machine and I told myself that I needs ta get a hold of him to get him on the Internet. He’s got way too much talent to keep cooped up locally. The world, beyond Hawaii, has got to find out about this gifted brutha, and I wanted to be the guy to help him out.

Eventually, I was able to contact him and find out that he was down for a lil’ WWW action as well. We met up, talked about stuffs, and a new web site (and friendship) was born.

Justin and the author, back in the day
Justin and the author, back in the day

As expected, thanks to local airplay, his notoriety in the islands exploded with hit songs like “No Better Time Than Now,” “Crazy Love,” “Soothe You,” “Streets of Waiks,” “Never Forget Where I’m From,” “My Eyes Adore You,” “Leaving On a Jet Plane,” “Gonna Meet the Clouds,” “More Than Words, ” and “Shake Me.”

After a successful career in the 808, it was time for Justin to try and parlay that into success in Hollywood. He made the move to L.A. in the early 2000s and has been slowly but surely making headway in his goal of “making it.” He changed his hair cut ( 😛 ), has been gigging regularly, released several self-produced albums, had songs featured on feature films, and is now recording and touring with national recording phenomenon (and local girl) Colbie Caillat.

Here’s his story…


Edward Sugimoto) Give us a little Justin history (Were you a rascal? Good student? Girl Crazy?) and were you always interested in music from small kid time?

Justin Young) I’d say I was a good kid and I THINK my mom would agree. My mom did a good job of shaping me into one of those kids that wants to be good because that’s the right thing to do, and not because I was afraid of getting caught. I can’t say that I ever liked school, but I was always a good student. I was always pretty shy and on the quiet side in school though. Ha! Never girl “crazy”. I was always quietly pining away for a girl who I was too scared to talk to or who wasn’t reciprocating the crush. I’d just stay home and try and write a song to win her over…Maybe if they had been crazy for me I could have been girl crazy. Don’t think that was ever an option.   I have always loved music. I used to sing songs from The Sound of Music and Annie to the neighbor’s cats and dog when I was like 3. I played in bands in high school, so it’s always been there.

Little Justin
Little Justin

Edward Sugimoto) Your mom has been an inspiration for you in your life. Describe your relationship with her.

Justin Young) My mom is great. It has always just been me and her growing up- so we have a special relationship. Although she was a single parent, she never looked at our situation as anything less than a blessing, even through financial struggles. Besides being a good parent, she was a volunteer in the Peace Corp and has dedicated most of her life as a teacher to helping children. She’s teaching overseas right now and I miss having her in Hawai’i when I’m back home.

Justin and his mama
Justin and his mama

Edward Sugimoto) Hobbies, other than music?

Justin Young) Being a Chicago Bears fan, playing basketball, watching football, watching documentary films, checking out live music, listening to public radio.

Edward Sugimoto) Do you have a day job or is music what pays the bills?

Justin Young) I used to joke that my day job was doing those four hour bar gigs playing cover songs all night. But no, no day job. I haven’t had a “real” job since high school when I worked for my friend’s janitorial service. Yes, I worked part-time in high school as a janitor. I mean, those urinals weren’t going to clean themselves! Glad the music thing has worked out…So far.

Having fun in the studio in August, 2003
Having fun in the studio in August, 2003

Edward Sugimoto) What is a typical day in the life of Justin Young?

Justin Young) That’s a tough one because there is no typical day really. I guess when I’m off the road and there’s nothing going on- it starts with cereal and almond milk, and at some point there is coffee, some emailing, some guitar time and some exercise. Recently I’ve been wasting an hour of my life everyday playing Madden on my PSP.

Edward Sugimoto) I know you’re a hardcore Bears fan? It was close in ’05 and ’06 and even ’01, but how tough has the last couple of decades been? *grin*

Justin Young) Oh boy, it has been rough. When I was a kid I used to try to stay home from school on Mondays after losses. It has gotten easier in some ways though. I try and just enjoy watching the games and to not be so attached to the outcome. The whole thing is a zen lesson for me. And it is true- losses DO help you appreciate the wins. Now when I do get tied up in knots over a game, I listen to the Chicago radio stations’ post-game shows online. I call it my “therapy”. People rant and rave about the Bears and somehow- I feel better knowing that I’m not alone in my pain.

Da Bears! [Photo Courtesy Justin's MySpace]
Da Bears! [Photo Courtesy Justin’s MySpace]


Edward Sugimoto) How would you describe your music to a first time listener?

Justin Young) Oh crap, I should be able to answer this…Um, acoustic based, island influenced, soulful, pop music? Or something. I love the sound of soulful songwriters like Amos Lee and David Ryan Harris.

Edward Sugimoto) Though your voice is still as unreal as I remember, your sound is very different from your days in Hawaii. Describe the evolution of Justin starting with your days here (in Hawaii) to now.

Justin Young) Well, I recorded my first record 12 years ago. (Whoa!) Didn’t have much experience performing or recording and the first songs I wrote ended up on that album. I think just experience – musically and living life – has had as much to do with it as anything. I’m glad I haven’t stayed exactly the same after 12 years.

Justin gigging at The Living Room in New York City [Photo Courtesy Justin's MySpace]
Justin gigging at The Living Room in New York City [Photo Courtesy Justin’s MySpace]

Edward Sugimoto) When did you first realize that music was your calling?

Justin Young) I guess 8th grade is when I realized I wanted to do music. I just LOVED it. I’d spend hours after school arranging harmony parts and learning songs by ear. When you’re young you don’t realize that becoming a famous singer is pretty farfetched. I just believed that I could make it happen.

Justin takes aim at a career in music [Photo Courtesy Justin's MySpace]
Justin takes aim at a career in music [Photo Courtesy Justin’s MySpace]

Edward Sugimoto) Who are your musical influences/heroes?

Justin Young) Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, Donny Hathaway, Boyz II Men, A Tribe Called Quest…That’s a good place to start. Those are the people who first made me want to do what they do SO badly.

Edward Sugimoto) If you could work with anyone in the music industry who would it be and why?

Justin Young) I STILL want to work with Boyz II Men. That’s one of those childhood dreams that will always be there. I would also love to work with Amel Larrieux. She has one of my favorite voices of all time and seems like such a cool chick.

Edward Sugimoto) If you could emulate anyone’s career in the music industry, who would it be and why?

Justin Young) I have to say that Jack Johnson seems to do it right. He has been extremely successful without compromising who he is and what’s important to him. He balances his career and family and has furthered philanthropic causes that  he’s passionate about through his music, really making a difference- but never being preachy. Can’t draw it up any better than that, I’d say. Kudos!

Justin and Jack Johnson at the 27th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards in 2004
Justin and Jack Johnson at the 27th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards in 2004

Edward Sugimoto) What is your fantasy concert scenario?

Justin Young) Man, I’ve gotten to be on stage with some amazing musicians. Half of the time I feel like Forest Gump, somehow ending up in the middle of  all this great stuff happening. So I’m content. I have to say that one of the coolest things that happened to me on tour was when we performed on a TV show in Paris. We had flown over night from Mexico (DON’T DRINK THE WATER!!!) and sick with no sleep we went straight to tape this show. When we got there we found out it was hosted by Manu Katche, world renowned drummer. I found a dark hallway to warm up in (as to not bother anyone) and I started singing a new song I wrote. About a minute into it walks out Pino Palladino. He is one of the funkiest bass players ever and someone I had recently become slightly obsessed with because of his work with D’angelo- live and on the VooDoo album. He strolls out with his wife and tells me they had to come out and see who was playing and they were so encouraging and complementary. That was a moment!

Edward Sugimoto) What is your ultimate goal musically?

Justin Young) Honestly, I just want to do something great. I appreciate a “good” song or performance, but greatness…That’s special. I want to someday- as Bruce Spingsteen has put it- “make 1 +1= 3.”

Justin at Pakele Lounge in 2007
Justin at Pakele Lounge in 2007

Edward Sugimoto) Whether it be in your music, or your clothes (slippers), or stickers (of the Hawaiian Islands, etc.) you put on your guitar, or never forgetting your friends from back in the day, you seem to always remember your roots and where you came from. I’ve always admired that about you. Put this into words if you can. Is reppin’ Hawaii important to you?

Justin Young) It’s really not so much a conscious choice, it’s just part of me and a part of the way I express myself. But, yes I am very proud of where I’m from. Especially living away from home, I cherish where I came from.

Justin - never forgetting where he's from [Photo Courtesy Justin's MySpace]
Justin – never forgetting where he’s from [Photo Courtesy Justin’s MySpace]

Edward Sugimoto) You’ve been touring with Colbie Caillat for some time now, and you’ve even got a duet with her (“Turn Your Lights Down Low”) on the radio now. How has that experience been so far?

Justin Young) Amazing. The experience of touring the world with a hit record is rare. I’m just happy I got to go along for the ride. We could do a whole interview just about this, but to sum it up- touring was wonderful and exhausting. Colbie is great! Just as sweet and talented as you’d hope. I love everyone on that tour and made lifelong friends. I feel grateful for the past year and a half.

Justin on stage with Colbie Caillat [Photo Courtesy Justin's MySpace]
Justin on stage with Colbie Caillat [Photo Courtesy Justin’s MySpace]

Edward Sugimoto) Be honest, it must be nice standing across the stage and hearing Colbie sing “I wanna give you some good good lovin'” to you. 😛

Justin Young) No complaint here! It’s nice hearing Colbs sing anything to you. She has such a special gift. Her voice and her instincts as a singer are incredible. She also has one of my favorite voices of all time. Girl can sang!   She still trips me out. We do show after show and if I am ever not feeling into it that night, I just  focus in and listen to her singing and it takes me to where I need to be. What a job I have!

Edward Sugimoto) Is it nice to finally get the recognition that you’ve fought so hard for and no doubt deserve/earned?

Justin Young) Well, it’s interesting. I mean, the better part of me hopes I don’t need recognition. But yeah, it has given me a sense of validation as a musician that I had lost as the background music/bar guy I became for a while in LA. But on the other hand, all the things we’re doing, I can’t really take credit for. It’s Colbie’s accomplishments and I’m just a lucky spoke in the wheel.

Edward Sugimoto) Where would your life be if it wasn’t for music?

Justin Young) I’d probably be in jail or on the streets. Haha… Nah, isn’t that what people usually say? I’d love to be a documentary filmmaker.

Edward Sugimoto) What is the most exciting/rewarding part of doing music?

Justin Young) There isn’t one particular part for me that stands out. I guess the best part is just the fulfillment that anyone gets when they are doing what they are passionate about and they’re called to do. That’s how it should be and what I wish for everyone to find and have the courage and faith to follow.

Passionate about his music [Photo Courtesy Justin's MySpace]
Passionate about his music [Photo Courtesy Justin’s MySpace]

Edward Sugimoto) What’s next for you?

Justin Young) Right now I’m doing some work on Colbie’s new record with some serious musicians. Again, feeling like Forest Gump. I’m also really excited to record a new album of my own with a producer/engineer friend out here in LA. Gonna get into a real studio this time and have a pro turning the knobs. Then I’ll be out touring again with Colbs and sneaking in my own shows when I can. Oh, and of course impatiently waiting for my Bears to start the next football season.

Edward Sugimoto) Anything else to add to your friend/fans out there?

Justin Young) I gotta give a shout out to a guy that was very instrumental in helping my career. Back when I was on 56k dial-up, he approached me about putting together this crazy new thing called a “website” on the world wide interweb…Hehe. He’s been a huge help and a great supporter and friend. Ed Sugimoto, wherever you are, take a bow!

Coming full circle: Justin being as generous and giving as always. He flew down, performed at, and totally legitimized my wedding [Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong]
Coming full circle: Justin being as generous and giving as always. He flew down, performed at, and totally legitimized my wedding [Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong]

I look forward to the day when Justin does make it. He’s as genuine as they come and it can’t happen to a better person. I cross my fingers on the regular and hope that some label or record producer would one day give him a chance. It would be a true, inspirational story that shows that hard work and persistence pays off. An end (or beginning?) of a long journey that started back in ’95. When will it happen?

No better time than now.

Justin Young [Photo Courtesy Justin's MySpace]
Justin Young [Photo Courtesy Justin’s MySpace]

Fun Day Monday: Please Interview…?

March 9, 2009

Last week, y’all went off on the “You Know You’re Local If…” topic. Much love for that! You guys are da bomb! 🙂 It got me thinkin’ though. Thinkin’ that we may have something here with the interactive thang. This week, I’m gonna try a lil’ sumthin’ sumthin’ and, although it probably won’t get as much action as last week, it might just get us a-talkin’ again. (At the same time, it’ll help a brutha out with some ideas for future articles… 8) )

So several months ago, I interviewed local songbird Anuhea Jenkins, and this month, I recently wrapped one up with MMA fighter Jason “Mayhem” Miller. Yesterday, I got an email from my boy Justin Young (RE: our interview) so we’ve gots that one in the queue as well. I still really want to hook it up with BJ Penn (so if anyone has any connections, holla!), but, after getting real close, have been unsuccessful thus far. And… I may have one lined up with Colbie Caillat (*cross your fingers*) in the coming months. EXCITING!

I promise I’m getting to a point here… Hehe!

The point is, or rather, the question for this week’s Fun Day Monday is…

What (local) celebrity do you want me to interview?

* Who’s hot? Who’s interesting to you? Who do you want to know more about?
* AND/OR… If you’re a celebrity reading this or you can hook it up with one, holla atcho boy! 8)

Monkeying Around with Jason Mayhem Miller
Monkeying Around with Jason Mayhem Miller

I’ll start… BJ Penn and Colbie Caillat are next on my wishlist. You?

“News Day” Tuesday: Jason Mraz’s New Video Lucky

January 6, 2009

Sorry for being a bit MIA gang. I’ve been shmall kine slammed at work…

The good news is that we’re starting yet another “game” up in hurr. Awwww yeah!

Lessee, we’ve already got “Where In Hawaii Wednesday” (which I promise to get back to tomorrow 😛 ), “Survey Thursday,” and “Fave Five Friday.” “So what else could dat genius Ed think of next!?” you goin’ ask as well you may? Well, how about… wait for it… wait for it… *drumroll* “News Day Tuesday!” Woo hoo! *fireworks* *crowd erupts in cheers*

OK, so not quite as exciting as it may’ve sounded, but at least play along yeah?

Now, before I go an’ discover/invent “Funday Monday” (you heard it here first yo! 8) ), let’s concentrate on one thang at a time. This time, it’s the revolutionary “News Day Tuesday.”


So on News Day Tuesdays, I’ll periodically scan the scummy parts of the earth, oh, let’s say like the’s of the world, and if and when I find something interesting for us to chat about, I’ll post um here (yeah, I know it sounds strikingly similar to sistah Shauns – and some others here – a bit… but cut me some slack willya? 😛 ). For today though, here’s some oddah news that’s WWE worthy.

Jason Mraz, one of my favorite artists, finally released his duet with Colbie Caillat called “Lucky”, from his “We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things” album. The music video just hit the airwaves but was first made available as a bulletin announcement on MySpace. Check it out here and let’s discuss amongst ourselves below shall we?,t=1,mt=video

Talk to me!
* Is yous a fan of Jason Mraz too?
* What do you think of the song?
* Is yous a fan of Colbie Caillat?
* How about the music video? Like um?
* Ever had a L.D.R. (long distance relationship) like this? Can/Could you relate to how they feel?
* What other songs are out there right now that you dig on?
* Doesn’t my new photo (with the Maile Lei and all!) make me look like ______?


How to Get Married In Hawaii

December 1, 2008

With the festivities to my own wedding here and gone, I’d like to think that I’ve got a pretty decent grasp on what it takes to get married here in our beautiful islands of Hawaii (Oahu in particular). From quality vendors to use to helpful tips to help make your (or someone you know) special day one to remember, here’s a brain dump of what I’ve learned in the long and arduous process.

Location, Location, Location

As in real estate, the most important element of your special day is location. Be sure to pick your blessed spot AT LEAST a year in advance, as everything else (booking vendors, guest’s travel arrangements, etc.) revolves around when and where it will all be going down (no pun intended).

Depending on the location’s availability, you may have to be a little flexible as to when you will want your wedding. Last year’s 07/07/07 is a prime example. I’m sure everyone and their grandmama wanted to get married on that day, so most venues were probably already spoken for years in advance. If you really want a certain location on a specific date, it is imperative that you plan WAY in advance.

Also, as in real estate, it’s often difficult to get a feel for a place without physically visiting it. Like my muscles, you won’t believe it unless you see it with your own eyes. 😉 If you have the luxury of time, do what we did and visit the places that interest you. Wanting to make sure we didn’t leave a single stone left unturned, we did site visits to Koolau Ballrooms, the Honolulu Country Club, Lanikuhonua, Paradise Cove Luau, Moana Surfrider, Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort, Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort, Ihilani Resort, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Sheraton Waikiki, and the Waialae Country Club (must be hosted by a member). Notable ones missing were Halekulani and Hale Koa. Nothing wrong with them, we just personally felt that there were too many weddings held there and wanted to be different.

What we did – We went with the Sheraton Waikiki based on the view of their Niihau room (see below) and in anticipation of the renovation of their ballroom.

Recommendations – Though our experiences with the Sheraton on the day-of, and every other staff member throughout was absolutely amazing, we had numerous issues with our one, single contact there. I was raised to not say anything at all if you have nothing good to say, so I won’t get into it, but it’s difficult to give a recommendation as long as this person is there. Otherwise, I would highly recommend them. Their food is excellent, the Niihau Room view is amazing, and the newly renovated bridal suites and ballrooms are just gorgeous, etc.).

View from the Niihau Room (our ceremony location)
View from the Niihau Room (our ceremony location)

Next on your hitlist should be the Photographer and Videographer.

Just Shoot Me

Like the location, these guys get snatched up pretty quickly. If you know who you want, you should call ’em and book ’em right away Danno. A year or more is also the recommendation here.

Choosing the right one, aside from their portfolio or slide show reel, is all about feel. You’ve gotta genuinely like and be comfortable with their personality. They really are the ones who will get the emotion out of you. If they irritate you or can’t make you feel good/happy, it’ll show in the pictures. If you think about it, you will be spending most of your day with them. Be sure you choose the one that you don’t mind spending that time with.

When negotiating with your chosen vendor, inquire if you can get the originals as part of the package (RAW or JPGs for Photographers and unedited footage for Videographers). Something neat to also get these days is having your footage shot in HD (High Definition). Ask if there is an extra fee for this.

What we did – We went with Love Story Weddings for Photography and Advanced Visual Arts for our Videography/Slideshow.

Recommendations – If you can, request Vince Shin from Love Story Weddings. He’s a fun/funny guy that can get your bridal party going. A shout out to Sharmil Elliott as well. She knows her stuff and did an amazing job at the reception! Greg Ventura from Advanced Visual Arts gave us an affordable/reasonable option for Videography/Slideshow services (sold in packages). He also offered to shoot it in HD as part of the package. His video style is pretty basic and straight-forward… Nothing fancy, as some of today’s contemporary/artsy/cinematic videography companies are, but you get the “day-of” coverage you are looking for… Though he did miss our key dance entrance scene! D’oh! Initially, we were a little worried about his response time, but it was probably because he was busy with other weddings. When it came to crunch time, he came through like a champ and turned out a wonderful product. We got our fully edited DVD (of the entire day) just two weeks following our wedding. Amazing!

The next group would probably be the Florists, Hair and Makeup Artists, Emcee, DJ/Entertainment, Officiant, and Day-Of Coordinator (if you need a Wedding Planner from Day 1, this priority should go before finding the location above.)

Flower Power

Florists are also very important and book up very quickly. They handle everything from the ceremony (bouquets, altar, flower petals on the ground) and reception room decoration (centerpieces, cake, head table, trim) to the leis worn by the groom, special guests and beyond.

What we did – We went with Sue from Su-V Expressions.

Recommendations – Though really, REALLY busy, she came through in the clutch and did a superb job!

Setting up the ceremony site
Setting up the ceremony site

Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful

This one is primarily for the ladies and they also book fast. They will not only be the ones who come early on the day of, but also can be hired for trial sessions and the engagement day photos.

What she did – The wife and her bridesmaids went with Naturally You and loved them.

Recommendations – Wifey had CJ Bae from Naturally You and highly recommends her/them.

MC HAM-mer

The Master of Ceremonies can make or break your wedding reception. If you are trying to cut costs and will be asking a favor of one of your loud friends, be sure he or she has some wedding emceeing or public speaking experience. Just because they are loud and funny in small group settings, it doesn’t necessarily translate to funny and entertaining through the course of several hours. The worst is when they tell inside jokes, or there are moments of silence as they try to figure out how to stretch in certain situations.

We were fortunate enough to have a friend who is also a professional. I highly recommend a pro who knows how to keep things flowing. There aren’t too many good ones around town, so book these guys early as well.

What we did – We went with a longtime friend and former roommate, Bryan Min. And, oh, by the way, he’s Bruddah Bryan, DJ on KCCN FM100 94.7 KUMU and has done many-a-wedding as a side gig.

Recommendations – I’ve had numerous compliments from my guests about Bruddah Bryan for his off-the-cuff humor. It probably helped that he knew many of us and may’ve been more comfortable letting loose, but he’s very responsible and on-time, and even cleaned up pretty nicely for our event. Much love Bruddah B! Email Bruddah Bryan Min here.

Bruddah Bryan, Wedding Emcee
Bruddah Bryan, Wedding Emcee

Entertainment Tonight

Emphasis put on entertainment really depends on the couple. Some are ok with a friend simply controlling things through a CD or iPod. Others want the full-fledged lighting and sound action. And still others want live music on top of that. There’s nothing wrong with any of them, but like any of the other “live person” hirings above, you should book in advance, as there is only one of them.

What we did – We had the luxury and honor of having friends in the professional DJ (Brian) and professional musical artist arenas (Justin and Jon), so they did it out of the kindness of their hearts.

Recommendations – For DJ services, we fo sho recommend you contact Brian Ebisui from Signature Audio Hawaii. We also highly recommend Justin Young and Jon Yamasato, though booking them may prove challenging. Justin lives in California and is regularly touring with Colbie Caillat (go Justin!), and Jon is a full-time real estate agent and just does music as a hobby for now.

Your boy singing with his boys Jon Yamasato and Justin Young (why are they laughing?)
Your boy singing with his boys Jon Yamasato and Justin Young (why are they laughing?)

Will You Marry Me?

For those who don’t attend church or are generally non-denominational, it could be difficult to think of an officiant that you will feel comfortable with, taking care of one of the most important moments of your life. Not only should you book the one you want far in advance, you should probably start researching or inquiring around even sooner.

What we did – We really wanted Gaius Thede, a long time mentor and friend to reside over our wedding, but he, unfortunately passed away (R.I.P.). Fortunately, we fell upon Rev. Mel Morishige and were delightfully thrilled with him.

Recommendations – Not too sure if he does this as a full-time gig, but if he does, we highly recommend him: Phone: (808) 225-5540, Email:

What, me worry?

Initially, we didn’t think we needed a day-of Coordinator, but looking back, it was probably one of the wisest investments we’ve ever made. You definitely want a professional who’s been doing it for many years. They know what to look for, and more importantly, what to look out for. Hiring a friend may be ok, but it can’t be their first time. It requires big time multi-tasking and being on top of your game non-stop. The key is that this person needs to take care of all the problems of the day (they will inevitably come up) so that you don’t have to worry about anything other than enjoying yourself and the moment.

What we did – We left this until the last minute as we thought we would just have a friend help us with day-of coordination. Boy, are we glad we decided against it. We were lucky to hire Dianna Shitanishi of Hawaii Weddings and Events last minute (her original event on the same day got cancelled) and she was a savoir.

Recommendations – Her resume is exactly what you want to see in a coordinator. She is totally on top of her game and her email response time is astonishing. She helped to ease our mind with all of the issues we had with our contact at the Sheraton. In a sense, she saved the day. Absolutely, unequivocally recommend her 100%. Book her early!

The next group would probably be taking care of the invitations, wedding cake, centerpieces, favors, the wedding gown, bridesmaids dresses, and tuxedos.


If you’ve got the time and want to cut costs, you may opt to make your own invitations. If you aren’t a crafter by nature, however, be forewarned that the cost you save may quickly disappear with all the supplies you may need to purchase (e.g. paper, glue, printing, stamps, cutters, etc.). Time is the key here. You’ve got so many other things to worry about, that using up precious days to put your invitations together may not quite be worth it. If it is not, you should hire a professional or enlist the help of a crafty friend.

What we did – We bought the materials from Paper Source and customized (printing, embossing, etc.) to our liking.

Recommendations – Do only if you have time and are comfortable with crafty projects. It took longer than expected and took us away from other burning issues at the time.

One box of goodies from Paper Source
One box of goodies from Paper Source

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

The general rule of thumb is to book this 6 months in advance, but the wife says the earlier the better. Search for cake designs that you like in places like wedding magazines, Internet web sites, etc. This will help your hired cake designer get a feel for what you are looking for, if different from what they have in their portfolio. Wifey’s notes: Did you know that each layer of your cake can be a different flavor? Also, you can do a cake tasting before you make your final decision!

Warning: Check with your hotel FIRST to see if they have a cake-cutting fee (for 3rd party cakes). If they do, it is usually a per slice fee, which, depending on the amount of guests you have, may turn out to be as much or more than the cost of your cake.

What we did – Went with Cake Creations Hawaii.

Recommendations – The wife took care of all of this, but she was very happy with their product. Again, be sure to check with your hotel first on that cake cutting fee before placing any order with an outside vendor.

Here's our cherry blossom themed wedding cake
Here’s our cherry blossom themed wedding cake

Centerpiece On Earth

This section only applies to those who are not going to have flowers (through their florists) as their centerpiece. Start looking or thinking of possible centerpiece ideas that will help capture your dream or theme. Keep in mind that one lucky person on that table will be taking it home and keeping it (hopefully) forever! 😉

What we did – Consistent with our Japanese theme, we decided to go with Asian Lamps as our centerpiece. We went with Claire and Roger from Aloha Mana’o Imports.

Recommendations – They are a cute couple whom we met at one of the many craft expos. Their prices are cheaper than the other guys, but the quality is better. They are very responsible and even offered to assemble all of them for us. They also offer rental lamps for the day-of. Highly recommended.

Our Asian lantern centerpiece
Our Asian lantern centerpiece

Favor Faaaave!

Like the centerpiece, you should try to keep the favor consistent with your wedding’s theme. It has to be affordable enough so you don’t break the bank (one goes to every guest), but presentable enough that you are happy with the results. I’ve seen anything from chopsticks to cookies to chocolates to customized CDs. Be creative!

What we did – The ‘rents helped with this one. They were able to find an affordable, but good quality masu (sake box) online from a company in Japan called Kishimoto Kichiji Shouten. They even customized it with whatever we wanted. Later, you’ll see how the masu fit into our sake ceremony. In the masu, we ordered half-dipped heart-shaped cookies from the Honolulu Cookie Company, wrapped it nicely and placed it right in the masu. It fit perfectly!

Recommendations – Sake boxes were off the hook, but you’ll probably need to know and be able to read Japanese to read and order from this site/company. The cookies were delish and added a nice touch. Even opting to wrap the cookies in a nice presentation and having that as your favor would be good enough in my opinion.

Our customized masu (sake box) and cookie favor
Our customized masu (sake box) and cookie favor

Dress to Impress

Other than the tuxedos, I’m not too up to speed in this area. Apparently, wedding dresses are a big deal. And the earlier you know what you want, the better. Visit the local shops around town and, again, look through bridal magazines and web sites. Often times, if a magazine has it, the bridal shop can bring it in.

Bridesmaids dresses are in the same arena. Look for something you like. It may be a good idea to consult with your bridesmaids, as they may have certain preferences based on their comfort level. I hear that lately, the bridesmaids may choose to wear different styles of dresses with the color being the one constant. It’s up to you what you decide.

Tuxedos. Now there’s something I can talk about. Usually, the bigger tux shops are the way to go. I heard of one shop closing soon after the groom had his wedding. It worked out though as he and the groomsmen got to keep their suits, but imagine if it happened before?

Keep in mind that you have to decide on colors (suit, vest, tie, shoes, handkerchief, etc.), AND styles. The groom should be in one style (the main attraction), while the groomsmen and fathers (and ring bearer?) should have yet other styles and colors. Be sure to check with wifey on color approval (to match her bridesmaids).

Have your boys come in for a fitting months in advance to be sure that they are sized right. Several days before the big day, they will have to come in again for a final fitting and to pick up their tuxes. Don’t forget to assign a friend the task of returning your tux the following day when it’s due. You will be too busy to worry about returning it.

What we did – Bridal Gown from Bridal Emporium, Bridesmaids dresses from Masako Formals, and tuxedos from Celebrity Tuxedos.

Recommendations – Ladies, correct me if I’m wrong, but where you get the bridal gown really depends on who has the one you want and at the right price. Wifey went to several bridal shops and Bridal Emporium just so happen to have the one she wanted. My dad knows the owner of Masako Formals so that is the reason why we went there for the bridesmaids dresses. I signed up for a special deal at a wedding expo for tuxedos from Celebrity Tuxedos. It turned out to be a good thing as Elsie from Pearl City’s Celebrity Tuxedo was very good. All three locations’ computer systems (Ala Moana Shopping Center, Pearlridge Mall, and Windward Mall) are linked together so your boys can go to any location to get fitted, do pick-ups and do their returns. VERY convenient for those who live all over the island. Highly recommended.

Da Rest!

Cranes – If you are doing a tsuru (crane) display, be sure you have enough time to fold 1,001 (1,000 by bride, 1 by groom) and book the mounter in advance.

What we did – We went with the more traditional crane mounting that uses the actual crane as the design. In our opinion, Morris Atta from SuMoCa Arts is on top of the game.

Recommendations – He had us biting our nails down to the very last minute, but came through on the morning of, with an incredible work of art. For obvious reasons, he can only take on so many projects at one time, so book early.

Our tsuru (crane) display: her family's mon on the left and my name in kanji on the right
Our tsuru (crane) display: her family’s mon on the left and my name in kanji on the right

Engagement Photo – Schedule this with your photographer in enough time to take it, print it and mount/frame it.

Rings – Find your favorite jeweler or jewelry and purchase it in advance as you may need some time for resizing.

What we did – We went with Russell Oshita from the Diamond Specialists. Russell is da man!

Recommendations – Russell is a jeweler first and salesperson second, so you can be sure that he’s not going to rip you off. Before any big purchase, he takes you through a crash course, if you will, educating you on the ins and outs of diamonds. Highly recommended!

Rentals/Reservations – If you are renting a limo or need to make reservations for your photo shoot location, do this about this time. You should also start thinking of your rehearsal lunch/dinner location (where you’ll be taking your bridal party after the rehearsal) and whether or not you need to make reservations for this.

Banzai – Popular tradition says that you should do at least one banzai at your wedding. This brings good luck and long life.

What we did – We went with two of the most amusing and entertaining banzais I’ve ever seen, one from a friend and the other from his good friend (my brother-in-law).

Recommendations – I don’t think they are for hire, unless they too are YOUR friends. We recommend pitting two friends against each other like we did though. They will try to one up each other, which makes both more spirited than ever.

The banzai toasts: Dave vs. Lee
The banzai toasts: Dave vs. Lee

Bridal Party Gifts – Hawaii tradition says that the bride and groom pays for everything for the bridal party (tuxedo rentals, bridal dresses, jewelry, shoes, etc.). It also says that you should buy them a gift for being on your party. I’ve personally received, money clips, shades, a pen, etc. I’ve also heard of beer, watches, customized goods, etc. Be sure to buy these in advance so you can present it to your buds the night before.

What we did – Wifey bought her bridemaids necklaces from Maui Divers , treated them to a spa day, and more. I spoiled my boys with Reyn Spooner Aloha Shirts, customized NBA T-shirts, and brand new Spalding basketballs (which we also used in our photo shoot).

Recommendations – Think of things that you have in common. For me, it was basketball. All of us could also use the Aloha shirts for work or otherwise. I also felt that since it was once in a lifetime and they’ve been my best friends in life, why not spoil them right!? I guess they deserve it! 🙂

Me, Bari, Grant, Kelvin and Tommy in our customized NBA Tees.
Me, Bari, Grant, Kelvin and Tommy in our customized NBA Tees.

The flip side
The flip side

Hotel Rental and Plans for the Bridal Party for the Night Before – Don’t forget to book your hotel for the night before the wedding. This will ultimately be the last time you get to spend with your boys as a single man. Make the most of the opportunity!

What we did – I was fortunate enough to have an awesome connection at the UFC who hooked it up with a special meet and greet at the BJ Penn/Georges St-Pierre event that was going down at the Blaisdell Concert Hall! That was a !#$% killah experience and what perfect timing! Much love to (Big Wave) Dave Jackson and the rest of the staffers at the UFC! Best MMA company in the biz!

Recommendations – If meeting UFC fighters is not high on your priority list, then perhaps some other high testosterone activity might be fun for you and your boys. Shooting guns at a shooting range, taking some cuts at the batting cages, etc., may be other options.

The future(?) and current UFC Lightweight champs. BJ Penn... What a cool brutha!
The future(?) and current UFC Lightweight champs. BJ Penn… What a cool brutha!

Something Unique/Different – I’ve been to weddings where they had a traditional Chinese lion dance or a Japanese taiko drum performance. I recently heard about one wedding that included mochi pounding. Do something unique and different that will leave a lasting impression on you and your guests.

What we did – We did a traditional Japanese celebration called Kagami Biraki. It’s where you open the top of a sake barrel with a mallet for good luck.

Recommendations – Though you won’t be the first anymore 😛 , we highly recommend it. It was a hit, as evident by the long line of guests waiting to try a sip of the sake (using the masu that we gave as our favors)! My dad knew somebody at a local place  called the Cherry Company. Couldn’t find a web site for them, but I found their number via Google: 808-422-6555. Give ’em a call!

The family opening the top of the sake barrel
The family opening the top of the sake barrel

The guests enjoying the fruits of our labor
The guests enjoying the fruits of our labor

Music – We tried to go old school and nu skool with our picks for background music. I got a lot of suggestions from commenters on my blog too. I thought I’d share a small sampling of some of the songs we used to help get you started on your quest. Woah, givin’ away our secrets! You’re welcome! 😉

  • Bitty McLean – Forever Be Mine
  • Bread – If
  • Brian McKnight – Everything
  • Color Me Badd – Let’s Start With Forever
  • Heatwave – Always & Forever
  • Hi-Five – I Can’t Wait Another Minute
  • Imua – Swing
  • Jason Mraz feat. Colbie Caillat – Lucky
  • Jets – You Got It All
  • Joe Cocker – You Are So Beautiful
  • Johnny Gill – My, My, My
  • Jon Basebase – Suddenly
  • Journey – Open Arms
  • Kalapana – Nightbird
  • Keith Urban – Making Memories Of Us
  • Klymaxx – I’d Still Say Yes
  • Michael Bolton – Soul Provider
  • Na Leo Pilimehana – Saving Forever
  • New Edition – Earth Angel
  • New Kids On The Block – I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)
  • Opihi Pickers – Love You Forever
  • PC Quest – Can I Call You My Girl
  • Peter Moon Band – Flying
  • Stylistics – I’m Stone In Love With You
  • The Lovin’ Spoonful – Do You Believe In Magic
  • Tony Terry – Everlasting Love
  • Trey Lorenz – Someone to Hold

Miscellaneous – There are often things that you may overlook for the day-of. Be sure not to forget the creation and printing of your program, table cards, sign-in sheets, etc.


If you’re a first-time wedding planner, the following tips helped us and will help you in your path to planning bliss.

– Visit the Wedding Café for their regular workshops. They invite vendors in the industry to come and do presentations to the public. You can then inquire about availability based on what you saw or set up a future meeting with them to discuss in greater detail.

Note from the wife: “These are the best ever! I highly recommend these workshops so that you can meet vendors in one casual meeting rather than booking 5 or 7 separate meetings with each individual vendor. Most are free workshops sponsored by the Wedding Café. We found our Videographer, Florist, Hair/Makeup w/ the help of the workshops!”

– Go to wedding expos & shows when they are available. There are at least 2-4 per year. You can find vendors or look for ideas to take away to your own wedding. Craft fairs also sometimes help.

– Read wedding magazines for inspiration and ideas for colors, dress styles, makeup/hairstyle ideas, what’s hot, what’s not, etc. You can bookmark the pages you like or just rip ’em out and bring them to your vendor to discuss your options.

– Visit web sites like and for community support. Read what others are doing or get reviews on vendors in your area.

– Enlist the help of your friends. We cannot stress this one enough. I had to practically force the wife to ask for help (she is the type to not want to bother anyone else). All of your projects go by so much “funner” and faster. Plus, they are all willing and wanting to help. Why not put ’em to work right? 😛 Seriously though, your friends are just as excited as you are and spending the time with them working on various projects leaves memories to last a lifetime. Cherish it.

WHEW! OK, I think that’s it. There are probably a few details I missed, but I’m sure you’ll do just fine. I hope this article will provide at least a bit of help for those who wish to get married in the most beautiful place in the world: Hawaii!

Newly Married!
Just Married!

Good luck with your wedding y’all!

Ed (and Mai)