Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

Cougar Pride – Three Kaiser High Grads Making a Difference

November 1, 2010

When it comes to careers, they have an old saying… “Do what you love and you never have to work a day in your life.” Most of us chug along through the day to day of life, wondering if there’s a better way. Personally, though I love my job, I often wonder if the folks in Major League Baseball are still out there looking for a mediocre-ly built, over-the-hill, talented (in-his-own-mind) right arm to be the next best thing in the bigs. And then I wake up.

A lucky few, however, are fortunate enough to find something they fall in love with and follow that path towards something they can make a career of. Below is the story of three such men.

Jody Kamisato – `Ukulele Hale

Jody Kamisato is the owner of Ukulele Hale, an ukulele school in Kaimuki that teaches students – from small kid time all the way up to our senior citizens – the art of our beautiful 4-stringed instrument.

Though we both knew of each other from our Kaiser High School/Hawaii Kai days, I think I actually first met Jody when I asked him to perform at an event I was putting together back in September (the inaugural Rice Fest). Not only was I impressed by the talent he showcased during his performance on stage (through his group Heart & Soul), but I was also taken aback by the way he mentored and encouraged his students before their performances.

Here’s an interview I had recently with Jody:


An Interview with Ukulele Hale’s Jody Kamisato

[Edward Sugimoto] When did you first pick up the `ukulele and how long was it before you fell in love?

[Jody Kamisato] Geez, I first picked it up in elementary school. So I went to Kamiloiki Elementary and in their Hawaiiana class, they offered ukulele. So that was my first time, and started taking lessons, and actually it wasn’t until high school that I got really into ukulele.

[Edward Sugimoto] Kaiser right?

[Jody Kamisato] Kaiser. *winks*

[Edward Sugimoto] That’s right!

[Jody Kamisato] Kaiser! *laughs*

[Edward Sugimoto] Kaiser baby! *laughs* At what point did you know it was the path for you?

[Jody Kamisato] Um, well actually Jake Shimabukuro from Pure Heart had come to do one of our assemblies at Kaiser, and he was in a group called Pure Heart along with Jon Yamasato who’s another Kaiser graduate… Um, but after that, I just you know, I saw what he did and I was just amazed at what the ukulele, you know, the possibilities of the ukulele. And just the way he played and the style that he played in really caught my attention, so I just called him up and I was like “Hey, can I sign up for lessons?” and so I did and a few years later he asked me to teach. He opened a school called Ukulele Academy in Hawaii Kai and so that’s where I kinda got my start from… was teaching at his studio.

[Edward Sugimoto] Do you draw from any positive experiences from some of your mentors from your past and apply them to your teaching methods today?

[Jody Kamisato] Absolutely. You know, I think one of the greatest gifts with music is the ability to share it. And so, some of my mentors, which included Peter Moon, Jake Shimabukuro, Troy Fernandez…You know these guys have really done so much with music and really taken it to, not just Hawaii, but outside of Hawaii so, they’ve gone international. And especially with Jake, and so, just from that, he’s really opened a lot of doors with music and with ukulele. So that’s what I want to try to do with our music… it’s to take it on another level and share it with people not just from Hawaii but around the world.

[Edward Sugimoto] And you have a business: Ukulele Hale. Talk to me about your keiki.

[Jody Kamisato] Alright, well, we have a school called Ukulele Hale in Kaimuki and I’d say a majority is students, is the keiki. You know we actually teach students of all ages and skill levels. So we start them… Our youngest is 3 and a half years old, and we also have senior classes as well. Right now we have about 170 students.


Kody Kiyokawa and Jody Kamisato jammin’ on the uke

NOTE: Kody Kiyokawa recently represented Ukulele Hale at the Duke’s Ukes contest and came home with a brand new Kamaka Ukulele after winning the Best Showmanship award.

[Edward Sugimoto] On top of being a teacher, you also have a group with Chris Salvador called Heart & Soul? Tell me a little bit about that.

[Jody Kamisato] I partnered up with a friend of mine, his name is Chris Salvador, and we call ourselves Heart & Soul, and we are actually in the recording studio now working on our debut album. We’re hoping to have it out, gee, in the next few weeks and actually have our CD release party in November. It’s set for November 21st. Chris and I just got back from touring Japan as well as New York. We participated in the New York Ukulele Festival, and also Japan has this event called the Ukulele Picnic which draws 10,000 ukulele fans. So it was an amazing experience and we just feel very blessed to follow our passion and play music.

Poster for Heart & Soul Debut CD Release Celebration (click to enlarge)
Poster for Heart & Soul Debut CD Release Celebration (click to enlarge)

[Edward Sugimoto] Where can we pick up the album when it’s ready?

[Jody Kamisato] It’ll be available on iTunes and definitely in music stores and book stores throughout Hawaii. Yeah, so go out and support local music. *laughs*

[Edward Sugimoto] You were mentioning that you guys tour a lot, you were in New York and you go all over the place. You were at the Rice Festival of course…

[Jody Kamisato] Rice Festival, yeah!

[Edward Sugimoto] … Where else can we find you guys going forward?

[Jody Kamisato] We’re definitely going to be performing more. Right now we’re focusing on the recording. Once that’s finished, we plan to do more steady gigs for the public. And definitely we’re actually planning a Japan tour this coming December. We’re going up for about a week and a half. It’s a Heart & Soul CD Japan Release Tour.

[Edward Sugimoto] That’s awesome.

[Jody Kamisato] Yeah, we’re excited.

[Edward Sugimoto] You’re all over social media. You wanna give some plugs out there to your various locations?

[Jody Kamisato] *laughs* Sure. Alright well you can come check us out on Facebook. Um, I just set it up recently. It’s uh facebook…

[Edward Sugimoto] *shows Jody his notes*

[Jody Kamisato] *laughs* facebook.com/jody.kamisato. Or you can visit us on Youtube. Just type in “Jody Kamisato”, “Ukulele Hale”, or “Heart & Soul”. And Twitter. I’m ukulele…

[Edward Sugimoto] jody

[Jody Kamisato] jody *laughs* Thanks Ed! @ukulelejody

[Edward Sugimoto] Cool. Good stuff.

[Jody Kamisato] Thanks a lot. Take care. Keep jammin’ the uke and live aloha. *shaka*

Ukulele Hale
Kaimuki Professional Building
1109 12th Avenue Suite 203
Honolulu, Hawaii 96816 (map)
(808) 258-7237
ukulelehale@gmail.com

George Kotaka – IKF Hawaii

George Kotaka is legend in karate. He is a 4th degree black belt with 30 years of training under that belt. He is the son of Chuzo Kotaka (a legend in his own right), the man responsible for bringing IKF (International Karate Federation) Karate to Hawaii. George is one of the main instructors for IKF Hawaii teaching students at dojos in Kamiloiki, Kailua, Kaneohe, Kapolei and the University areas.

My first memory of George was seeing him grow through the karate ranks right alongside of the rest of us. Under Sensei Kotaka (Chuzo), I was fortunate enough to earn my brown belt, and I remember little (at the time) George showing up at our dojo to train periodically. Eventually our paths crossed again while attending Kaiser High School.

George sat down with me during this recent interview:


An Interview with IKF Hawaii’s George Kotaka

[Edward Sugimoto] First of all, please introduce yourself George.

[George Kotaka] My name is George Kotaka, I’m 33 years old and I’ve been taking karate since I was 3 years old.

[Edward Sugimoto] Back in the day, your father (Chuzo Kotaka) was my sensei at IKF in Kahala. Is this where your interest in karate first came from?

[George Kotaka] My interest in karate began, like I said, when I was 3 years old, and my father actually didn’t really force me to take karate. He was just bringing me by the dojo and kinda like just like anything else, you know, where you’re introduced to it so often, after a while you just start to pick it up. I just was really kinda just drawn to karate. Never forced to start it.

[Edward Sugimoto] As the sensei’s son, did you feel any extra pressure to be better and perform well because your dad was the sensei?

[George Kotaka] Being the sensei’s son, I really didn’t feel any pressure at all. I always just went to practice, worked really hard, always had goals in mind that I wanted to achieve since I was young. Just, you know, just like short term goals in the beginning and then later on, fulfilling my long term goals, but never had the pressure because I always just knew that if I just relied on my training and my skill, you know, good things would come about.

[Edward Sugimoto] Lyoto Machida of the UFC, he became the Light Heavyweight Champion a while ago (UFC 98 on May 23rd, 2009) and probably burst karate into the mainstream. Did you kinda feel that karate/”Lyoto Effect” in your studios/dojos?

[George Kotaka] I would say there was a little bit of an affect from the UFC fight where Lyoto won the UFC title. We saw a little bit of an influx of students inquiring about karate, interested in martial arts, especially the traditional martial arts. He comes from a traditional Japanese background, his style is called Shotokan, and it’s a very very popular, I would say one of the four major styles of karate in Japan. So I would say there was a little bit of an influx of students when that happened.


George Kotaka knocks out opponent (from shotokan68’s channel)

NOTE: George does not endorse this clip (a popular video on Youtube with over 29,851 views) and was frankly quite embarrassed of it when I brought it up. I snuck it in here just to give you a glimpse at what George’s karate is capable of.

[Edward Sugimoto] What inspired you to take the next step and become an instructor?

[George Kotaka] I always was intrigued and motivated to be an instructor, to be a teacher. Ever since I was about 14 or 15 years old, I began helping my sister at one of the local karate classes and being kind of like a junior assistant or junior leader and from since that time on, I was really just drawn to teaching, I always liked working with other people. So even after the competition aspect, I could always rely on going back to teaching and falling back to that background.

[Edward Sugimoto] You mentioned your competition background. You’re pretty much a karate legend here and around the country. What do you have in store going forward?

[George Kotaka] Most importantly right now, after retiring from competition in 2008, is just to really work on my students and giving back to the dojo and going back to that teaching. Whether it’s producing the next state champion, national champion, Pan-American PKF Champion or even world champion, that would just be great. I just want to produce quality students most importantly. They don’t have to be champions. If that comes along that would be great but overall I just want my students to be good mannered students, have good morals and ethics and really go by the karate way.


George Kotaka Highlights (from CHAMPOFFICIAL’s channel)

NOTE: This clip I found on Youtube is probably a better representation of what George is all about (as opposed to the previous one). Check it.

[Edward Sugimoto] Cool, thank you very much.

[George Kotaka] OK, thanks.

IKF Hawaii – Main Office
7231 Nuulolo Street
Honolulu, HI 96825
(Click here for individual dojo locations/information)
(808) 395-1774
ikfkotaka@yahoo.com

Todd Tanaka – Team HK

Todd Tanaka holds a black belt under the prestigious Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu system. He is the owner and head instructor of the Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Team HK team, with locations in the University area, Kaimuki and Lutherville-Timonium in Maryland. He teaches the art of jiu jitsu and self defense to keiki (ages 5-13) and adults of all ages. He (along with George above) also just started a women’s cardio kickboxing class on Sunday nights (5:30pm-6:30pm).

Of the three, I probably knew Todd the best during high school. We ran in similar groups and hung out at some of the same places. Todd helped me land my first “celebrity” interview with his good friend Jason “Mayhem” Miller and even let me train at his dojo for a little while.

Here’s Todd and I catching up in this recent interview:


An Interview with Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Team HK’s Todd Tanaka

[Edward Sugimoto] Please introduce yourself.

[Todd Tanaka] Hi I’m Todd Tanaka and I’m the head instructor and owner of Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Team HK.

[Edward Sugimoto] Long before the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)/Jiu Jitsu explosion, you were training with Relson Gracie before anyone knew what it was. How long ago did you start training in the art of jiu jitsu and why did you first start?

[Todd Tanaka] I started in 1990 and I was in, I believe, 8th grade. That’s when (Jean Claude) Van Damme and Steven Seagal was all popular, and me and my friends John and Jared wanted to take a martial art because of the popularity of the martial arts. We were thinking about taking like kickboxing, aikido and stuff and Jared’s father suggested that we go with him to this jiu jitsu class, Brazilian jiu jitsu classes, and we were like, “What is that?” We had no idea. And the dad was like just come down and see if you like it. So we went down, met Relson, started taking the classes from there, and we fell in love with it from day 1.

[Edward Sugimoto] What inspired you to take the next step and become an instructor?

[Todd Tanaka] Well after the UFC started (1993), a lot of my friends wanted to learn and they’d always see me at the weight room and ask me to teach them and I was like “Man, sounds like a good deal.” You know, I could use the side cash so I asked Relson “Eh, can I start teaching?” and he said, “Well I want you to take an instructor program from my brother.” So he flew me up to his brother Rorion’s school in Torrance California, which Royce Gracie was there at the time and the dad (Helio)… And I stayed there, I took their instructor program, and I came back and I helped Relson open his new school in Kaimuki. And that’s pretty much how it all started for me in teaching.

[Edward Sugimoto] Talk to me about your kids. What brings you the most joy when you teach them?

[Todd Tanaka] The most joy is probably just seeing the smiles on their face and seeing how they really like it when they actually do the move correctly.

Todd Tanaka watching over his students
Todd Tanaka watching over his students

[Edward Sugimoto] Do you have an opinion or any comments to those who feel jiu jitsu is dangerous for young kids?

[Todd Tanaka] Yes. You take a risk in any sport… You do… but they have to understand that jiu jitsu and MMA is totally different things. I don’t teach my students to fight. I teach them to defend themselves, self defense, you know. And, you know, if you go in there and you think that jiu jitsu is all about fighting, then yeah, you’re gonna have that perception, but I’m gonna let you guys know that the Relson Gracie jiu jitsu system is about self defense and not fighting.

[Edward Sugimoto] What about personal goals? You received your black belt in July of last year? Anything else in store?

[Todd Tanaka] Um, well, I’m just gonna keep training. I currently just opened two other schools this past year. I have a branch in Kaimuki, and I opened one with another Kaiser classmate/alumni Stuart Ramos. He opened a school under me in (Lutherville-) Timonium, Maryland. Hopefully I dunno, maybe my schools can start growing.


Relson Gracie Promotes Todd Tanaka to Black Belt (from GracieTeamHK’s channel)

[Edward Sugimoto] How about any professional fighting for you at some point?

[Todd Tanaka] *laughs* No, I’m too small and old for that.

[Edward Sugimoto] Finally, you’re big into social media. Do you find that it helps a lot?

[Todd Tanaka] Yes. I can’t remember where I heard this, and I’ve always been using this for years… It’s not who you know, it’s about who knows you. So I’ve always put myself out there. You know, they say there’s no such thing as bad publicity right? Everything’s good publicity, so whatever I do, I put myself out there, I’m easy to find. *smiles*

[Edward Sugimoto] Why don’t we do some plugging of some of those web sites?

[Todd Tanaka] Alright, I got my web site: ToddTanaka.com, and I have my jiu jitsu web site: TeamHK.net, I have my Facebook: facebook.com/toddktanaka, I have Twitter: twitter.com/toddtanaka, Youtube: youtube.com/gracieteamhk, and, man, I got a couple others but I can’t remember all of them right now. *laughs*

[Edward Sugimoto] Alright cool, thanks a bunch Todd!

[Todd Tanaka] Thank you!

Team HK
(Click here for individual dojo locations/information)
(808) 277-1128
todd@teamhk.net

Three great individuals doing great things in their respective communities… who, oh-by-the-way, all happen to be graduates from my proud Alma mater of Henry J. Kaiser High School. They have found a way to follow their passion and find a career doing something that they absolutely love.

I guess you can say they never have to work a day in their lives…

Visit Us at the 1st Annual Hawaii Rice Festival!

August 1, 2010

Save the date for September 11th, 2010, a day when rice takes center stage. Diamond G Rice presents the 1st Annual Hawaii Rice Festival which will celebrate with the rest of the country the joy that is rice. This unique, one day event will be held at the Waterfront at Aloha Tower from 12PM to 8PM and will be packed with family fun, entertainment, food booths, educational activities, rice products, and much more!

Diamond G Rice Presents the 1st Annual Hawaii Rice Festival
Diamond G Rice Presents the 1st Annual Hawaii Rice Festival

The Rice Festival will be an opportunity for people from different cultures to come together and celebrate one of the unique elements that unite them. From celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, to entertainment to contests like the “Riceipe” contest and the SPAM Musubi eating contest, this festival will celebrate the world’s melting pot, Hawaii and its diversity. The otherwise ordinary grain that is consumed in Hawaii on a daily basis will be transformed and infused with new and fantastic flavors that will tantalize everyone’s taste buds. This one-day event will explore the many different uses for rice, as well as the cultures who use it, and will provide attendees with a deeper appreciation for rice and its many functions.

Rice Fest

Of course, what would a day of fun be without giving back to those who are less fortunate? Part of the proceeds from the Diamond G Rice presents the 1st Annual Rice Fest will go to Lanakila Pacific, who will also be collecting donations of brown rice at the event.

This 8-hour, one-day event will expect to draw in thousands of people, filled with both appetites and a curiosity of all the different vendors available related to rice and great tasting food in general.

Visit the Oceanic Time Warner Cable booth at the Rice Fest!
Visit the Oceanic Time Warner Cable booth at the Rice Fest!


Watch the Rice Fest Commercial

Road Runner customers, check your August newsletter (or click here) for a link to download a coupon for FREE admission to the event. Don’t forget to also visit the Oceanic Time Warner Cable booth for free giveaways and show only specials! Come on down and join in on what will indeed be a very RICE day!

Download the Rice Fest Poster!
Download the Rice Fest Poster!

Rice Fest

Diamond G Rice presents the 1st Annual Hawaii Rice Festival
Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace
September 11, 2010 from 12PM-8PM
For more info: Ricefest.com / Twitter / Facebook
To RSVP: Twtvite / Facebook Event

The Droid Experience

November 6, 2009

Just waking up in the morning gotta thank God
I don’t know but today seems kinda odd
No barking from the dog, no smog
And momma cooked the breakfast with no hog

Ok, so it wasn’t quite like how Ice Cube rapped it, but “today was like one of those fly dreams” and definitely “A Good Day“. 8)

Why you axe? Welp, this morning, the much anticipated Motorola Droid was released to the public through Verizon Wireless, and, like every other nerd out there, I found myself standing in line, waiting to get mine.

Billed as the iPhone killer (watch iDont commercial here), this smartphone attacks and addresses all of the iPhone’s shortcomings. Being a non-AT&T Wireless sub and a Google and open source fiend, I literally NEEDED it. It’s running the newest Android 2.0 OS (the first phone with it) and has neat features like seamless Gmail and Facebook integration as well as free navigation via Google maps. I literally just got it, so I didn’t have much time to play with it yet, but here are a few quick tips/things I learned in this short time. Perhaps it’ll help some of y’all out.

Ed’s Tips/Notes:

* Not sure how crowded the other stores are, but the Pearl Highlands one I went to was not too bad. They opened at 7AM, and when I got there at about 6:30, there were only 4 people ahead of me. The woman at the front of the line said she got there at 5:15 with the next guy coming at 6:15. Before the doors opened, there were just about 15-20 of us (including couples). From what I heard, Verizon had 200 in stock, so if you get down there now, you should be ok.

The line outside Verizon Wireless at about 6:45AM
The line outside Verizon Wireless at about 6:45AM

* The phone itself is $199 ($299 with a $100 mail-in rebate). With the Snap-On Gel Cover ($16.99), expect to pay over $300 out the door.

* With this phone, you must upgrade to a $29.99 data plan (if you didn’t already have it). I was coming from an enV Touch with a $15 VZW Mobile Web plan/package, so it was about double. It made me think about it for a split second, but for the extra goodies and the Wi-Fi action, I think it’s worth it.

* If you’re used to slim (narrow) phones, this one’s pretty wide. Compared to my Touch, it’s a beast. Gonna be interesting to see how it fits/feels in my pocket.

The Motorola Droid next to the LG enV Touch
The Motorola Droid next to the LG enV Touch

* To keep the phone as slim (flat) as possible, the QWERTY keypad was built pretty flat. If you have big hands (like me), it may take some getting used to.

Closeup of the Droid's QWERTY keyboard. Like how I focused on E-D?
Closeup of the Droid’s QWERTY keyboard. Like how I focused on E-D? 8)

* The Snap-On Gel Cover may also feel like it’s getting in the way sometimes, so using it would be up to personal preference.

The Motorola Droid with slider open
The Motorola Droid with slider open

* The camera’s a bit tricky to get used to (accessing, saving, sharing, etc.), but once you get the hang of it, the 5 megapixel camera takes pretty good shots. Here’s a pic my friend/co-worker Maribel using the Droid in artificial light.

(resized) 5 Megapixel photo taken with the Droid
(resized) 5 Megapixel photo taken with the Droid. Click here for the full version.

* Even though you have VZW backup enabled, you must still manually import your contacts into your Droid (via Gmail). You actually download the CSV file from verizonwireless.com/backupassistant, and then import it into your contact list in Gmail. If you have tons of contacts in your Gmail account and tons of numbers in your addressbook (from your old phone), it could get a little messy. I still have yet to check what it did to my dupes (it said it merged them). Yikes!

Check out the step by step shots (for downloading and uploading your contacts) below.

The Verizon Wireless Backup Assistant login page
The Verizon Wireless Backup Assistant login page

Your list of contacts in Backup Assistant
Your list of contacts in Backup Assistant

Gmail Contacts page
Gmail Contacts page

Import Contacts screen in Gmail Contacts page
Import Contacts screen in Gmail Contacts page

Importing CSV into Gmail Contacts
Importing CSV into Gmail Contacts

Import complete!
Import complete!

Big ups to Tara Reyna from the Pearl Highlands Verizon Wireless store. She’s really helpful and smart, so go see her a-ight? For more information on the Droid, go to DroidDoes.com or visit Motorola’s consumer page here.

All in all, it was mos def, A Good Day… 😉

Any questions or comments? Post ’em below…

Survey Thursday – Do You Facebook?

April 23, 2009

* Do you Facebook? If not where do you call (social networking) “home”?

Lately, the old older peeps here at work have been asking me about this strange new thing called “Facebook.” As the resident “Web Expert” I guess I’m the go to guy for these types of questions and boy, have they been a-comin’! First I smirk (at how late they are to the party) and then I proceed to explain to these newbies what it’s all about. How you use it, why people use it, privacy concerns, etc. The look on their face is priceless. It’s the same as that of someone who just watched TV in color for the first time. (at least I think that’s what they looked like. 😛 )

Facebook, at least to me, is where it’s at. There are so many features to control privacy, friends, microblogging/notifications (ala Twitter), and, as evident by the interest from the old older peeps here at work, it’s catching wind. I’ve gotten back in touch from old friends from yesteryear that I haven’t spoken to in years, and all the company and corporate peers are there as well! There are so many more relevant people up in thurr than say a MySpace. If I had to compare the two, I’d tell someone that MySpace is more for kids and ‘tweens and Facebook is more for adults. (No, not that kind of “adult” you perv. 😉 )

There is a downside though. With so many of your professional contacts up in the heezy, you really have to watch what you say and post. It’s not like I have anything to hide really, but posting that drunken party pic from the weekend (I don’t do this – just an example) is probably not something for your boss’ eyes. I’ve heard of stories of those kinda things coming back to haunt employees, and that doesn’t really surprise me.

How did we get to this point? I remember the good ol’ days when these social networking type sites were strictly for us “young” peeps? Let’s turn back the clock a bit shall we… Remember these?

Chat/Talk on UH’s Unix system –> HCU –> Asian Avenue –> IM/Messenger type services (AIM/Windows Live/Yahoo!/Google Talk) –> Friendster –> LinkedIn –> MySpace –> Facebook

Oh YEAH! I bet ya forgot about some of those gems eh? Ha!

And that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what other sites are out there (Yelp, Flickr, TwitterBebo, Hi5, YouTube, and yes, we even have one on AroundHawaii.com).

Is there something after Facebook? Probably, but for now, this is where the party’s at yo. Holla if ya hear me! 😉

Talk to me!
* Do you Yahoo! Facebook?
* If so, how many friends ya got?
* Do you add anyone or just the people you know IRL?
* Are your bosses or company’s executives on there too?
* What’s your favorite part about Facebook?
* Your least favorite?
* What other social networking sites do you frequent?
* If you’ve never joined Facebook or any other social networking site, why or why not?

Possible Hijacking Topics 😛
* American Idol dish
* Hell’s Kitchen dish
* The Office dish
* Survivor: Tocantins dish
* CSI dish
* Grey’s Anatomy dish
* Harper’s Island dish
* Southland dish
* Dancing With the Stars dish
* The Biggest Loser dish
* Lost dish
* NBA Playoff runs
* etc.

Happy Survey Thursday… Woo Hoo it’s almost TGI(F)F!

Top Chef…Go!

March 5, 2009

Sorry gangy. Been pretty slammed lately. Dis going be one quick one, but I promise to be back with a vengeance tomorrow.

Lots o’ stuffs going on in the world:

* NFL: Terrell Owens gets cut from the Cowboys (Ed’s notes: damn diva!)
* Entertainment: Chris Brown charged with 2 felonies (Ed’s notes: did you see Rihanna’s face!?)
* Entertainment: Much anticipated Watchmen movie coming out (Ed’s notes: can’t wait!)
* MMA: UFC 96 Jackson vs. Jardine happenin’ this Saturday (Ed’s notes: Gooooooooo Rampage!)
* Tech: Facebook mimics Twitter (Ed’s notes: interesting…)
* TV: Tonight, the American Idol judges will pick the final 3 to make the Top 12 of season 8 (Ed’s notes: I really want Anoop Desai, Matt Giraud, and Ricky Braddy, but I think Megan Corkrey will slip in there somehow)
* WWE: Had a pretty cool, laid-back interview yesterday with Jason “Mayhem” Miller (Ed’s notes: article coming soon!)

But most importantly, at least for you WWE peeps,

* TV: The Top Chef reunion show was last night! Haha!

Let’s talk about any of the above or…

“Top Chef…Go!”
(I told you I would do it leerz! 😛 )

Monkeying Around with Jason “Mayhem” Miller

March 1, 2009

Jason “Mayhem” Miller and I have been “friends” on MySpace for years, but he probably had no idea. Sure, we’ve traded a few emails about him possibly becoming an AroundHawaii columnist one day, but that was way back in the day. You know, before he really became the Mayhem we all know and love today.

Jason "Mayhem" Miller posing during a match in Japan's Dream tournament (photo courtesy of Mayhem's Myspace)
Jason “Mayhem” Miller posing during a match in Japan’s Dream tournament (photo courtesy of Mayhem’s Myspace)

Who the heck is Mayhem you ask? The question really should be who Mayhem isn’t ’cause he’s just about everything you can think of in a real life action figure. He’s part wrecking machine (a sick professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter), part comedian (one of the funniest, off-da-wall guys you’ll ever meet), part Hollywood (gots more personality than a WWE wrestler), and part geek (loves him some video games).

Mayhem on Xbox Live (photo courtesy of Mayhem's Myspace)
Mayhem on Xbox Live (photo courtesy of Mayhem’s Myspace)

Mayhem’s humble beginnings started back in June of ’03 (well, at least it did for us Hawaii MMA fans) where he beat Jay Buck at the SuperBrawl 30 – Collision Course event. He followed that up with successive wins against Sean “Tornado” Taylor, and local favorites Egan Inoue and Ronald Jhun. By this point, us Hawaii peeps started taking notice. His ring entrances were magic and his post fight interviews even better. Hawaii had no choice but to fall in love with this charismatic S.O.B. (wassup Anuhea! 🙂 )

Then it was off for a brief stint in the UFC before returning for more fights in the islands under the Icon name. And then… it happened…

KABOOM!

The world of MMA pretty much exploded into the mainstream phenomenon it is today, and, along with it, “our” beloved Mayhem. He’s now got numerous sponsors, is pretty much the face of HDNet Fights, writes regularly for FIGHT! Magazine, appears on a segment called Mayhem Mondays on Jason Ellis’ Sirius Satellite Radio show, is a favorite for all MMA related magazine and TV show interviews, and even has a worldwide cult following called the Mayhem Monkeys.

Mayhem Monkeys cult leader (photo courtesy of Mayhem's Myspace)
Mayhem Monkeys cult leader (photo courtesy of Mayhem’s Myspace)

In preparation for this interview, I tried to “osmosisize” as much Mayhem info as I could. I knew it was going to be a wild ride as I’ve seen him wreak havoc (in a good way) on TV shows many times before. I was going in with the mindset that my questions would simply be the footnotes to the show that would be Mayhem. That’s pretty much how it all went down yo. Enjoy!

Edward Sugimoto) For those who aren’t in the know, please give a little background on who Jason “Mayhem” Miller is and what makes him tick.

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) Aw c’mon that’s the easiest question ever! What do you mean describe who I am? By the end of this interview, if you don’t know who I am… then you’re not reading. So if you read this… if people read this, well Bob’s your uncle.

Edward Sugimoto) (persists) OK, so for those non readers and non-MMA fans out there then, who the heck is Mayhem?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) NO! I’m not going to answer that. Mayhem is Mayhem. If you don’t figure it out by the end of this interview, either you didn’t give a good enough interview, or the person did not read well. You’re gonna figure it out over the course of this magical journey.

Edward Sugimoto) Who are the Mayhem Monkeys?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) Mayhem Monkeys are a cult. Like any other cult we do whatever it takes to further our agenda and, on a daily basis, we’re furthering our agenda.

Edward Sugimoto) And it got started on the Internet?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) No, they got started in my backyard when I was 16.

Edward Sugimoto) Is it true that you used to be a computer geek growing up?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) I am still a computer geek to the fullest. I just switched over to a Mac and I think that anybody who doesn’t switch over to Mac is pretty much a retard and should not be allowed to breed. And I say that with every drop of my soul involved because Mac is so much easier and it doesn’t crash half as much and when it does crash it comes back to life normally. And they have service that is light years above and beyond that of the PC… the call centers in India where they don’t even speak English well and they’re just faking like they do and they say their name is “Ted” but they’re name isn’t “Ted.” Their name is some varied Indian name but they can’t say that so they gotta pretend that and say they’re in Indiana but they’re not! They’re in Mumbai.

Edward Sugimoto) So I take it you’re sponsored by Mac?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) No! I wish! If Mac would come though, I would gladly… uh… You know what? I would even do it for just some new computers. Some Macbooks and new uh… I want one of those Airs, but I can’t justify spending that much money when I can’t even put a CD in that thing.

Edward Sugimoto) How did you go from being a computer geek to punching people in the face?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) I’m still a computer geek. I never left. I just punch people in the face. It’s the same thing dude. Fighting is the same as anything else. You figure out a system to win, and you try to win, you know what I mean. Life is just one big video game. If you figure it out, you try to find the best skills to do whatever you need to do well then Bob is your uncle you figure it out.

Mayhem victorious (photo courtesy of Mayhem's Myspace)
Mayhem victorious (photo courtesy of Mayhem’s Myspace)

Edward Sugimoto) What’s a typical day in the life of Mayhem like?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) Usually wake up, go for a run, eat an egg white omelette, cruise MySpace, go on Facebook, go box, eat lunch, try to pick up chicks, go back to training again, at night, kickbox or jiu jitsu or something, try to pick up chicks, write my article for Fight Magazine, go to sleep and do it again.

Edward Sugimoto) You’ve always given props to your Hawaii fans. What is it about them that you vibe on?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) What do you mean? Hawaii is like my home. Hawaii is like my hometown, you know, so what the hell, like I can’t really turn my back on the whole deal, just because I’m living on the mainland trying to make a bunch of money being a TV star, beating people up in the mainland and in Japan. You can’t just turn your back on your family you know. Believe me I tried because my family is out of their goddamn minds.

Edward Sugimoto) OK, we won’t put that in there.

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) NO! Put that part in. I don’t care. My family knows they’re all out of their damn minds. My dad’s crazy, my mom’s crazy, my sister’s crazy. And that’s all I got in this world. That and Hawaii.

Edward Sugimoto) Your ring entrances are legendary…

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) Legend!

Edward Sugimoto) How do you come up with it? Where does it come from? Why do you do it?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) What I do is an art, an art form. That’s just part of the art, the expression, so, I do it.

One of Mayhem's many "artistic" ring entrances (photo courtesy of Mayhem's Myspace)
One of Mayhem’s many “artistic” ring entrances (photo courtesy of Mayhem’s Myspace)

Edward Sugimoto) It’s not to intimidate the opponent?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) Why? It’s for me, it’s for the fun. I only get to be magic for one night in the fight world so I’m gonna make the most of it you know. Everyone’s paying attention so, you know, I try to express myself in other ways than punching the guy, kicking the guy, and choking the guy.

Edward Sugimoto) You’ve got two pretty good badges of honor (your cauliflower ears). I’m jealous.

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) Badges of honor? They’re an annoyance.

Mayhem's cauliflower ears (photo courtesy of Mayhem's Myspace)
Mayhem’s cauliflower ears (photo courtesy of Mayhem’s Myspace)

Edward Sugimoto) Be honest, it helps you with the ladies doesn’t it?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) Yeah, if they know what it is. If not, they think I’m retarded. You know, whatever. I was just too lazy to wear a headgear honestly. And then I got the ear and then the doctor said to wear the headgear and I just never wore it, so you know, it’s nothing special. I wish that I didn’t make my mama cry. She stopped drinking for 9 months so that I wouldn’t be retarded, and I still ended up retarded.

Edward Sugimoto) What was up with that sudden retirement? Were you seriously just done with it all?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) Yeah, I never was retired, I said retarded. Yeah and then everybody thought I said retired so I just rolled with it and said yeah, I’m retired and just agreed with everyone. So, I dunno, I just didn’t have any fights scheduled so I said whatever you know.

Edward Sugimoto) You’re next fight is against tough guy Kala Kolohe Hose on April 18th. Are you ready to go?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) I’m ready to do it right now… in the parking lot… on University at Team H.K. I’m ready to do it right now in the parking lot, but whatever, I’ll wait, you know. I’ll wait and train even more.

Kingdom MMA Mayhem vs. Kala poster (poster courtesy KingdomMMA.com)
Kingdom MMA Mayhem vs. Kala poster (poster courtesy KingdomMMA.com)

Edward Sugimoto) You also have a new reality show coming out on MTV this month called “Bully Beat Down.” Let’s talk about that.

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) What do you want to talk about?

Edward Sugimoto) You know, what it’s all about, what’s the premise, that kinda thing.

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) The premise is, you know there’s bullies all over the globe. I step to the bully and offer ’em 10 Gs to step in the cage against one of my fighters. Now, more often than not, they agree to do it AND they get their ass kicked… and we all have a good laugh.

Edward Sugimoto) Good for TV right?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) Dude, it’s TV platinum. It’s not even TV gold, it’s TV platinum. I’m taking it to the next level.

Edward Sugimoto) I expect global notoriety and worldwide domination after that. You?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) It’s already there. I’m just getting out to a different demographic now. I’m getting out to the MTV generation of retards.

Edward Sugimoto) Anything else you ‘d like to say to your Monkeys out there?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) They already know. Yeah, they’re in the know. I don’t need your web site to tell ’em.

Edward Sugimoto) *laughs* Ouch!

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) No offense. *smirks*

Edward Sugimoto) Alright, thanks a lot man.

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) Yeah of course. My pleasure.

Probably one of my most adventurous interviews yet. I knew going in that I would be laughing my butt off, but I didn’t think it would be after every single question. Though he’s pretty intense and intimidating at first (perhaps it was because I met him right before some serious training?), he’s got a likable way about him that makes you feel comfortable as well. It was almost as if it were just two friends shooting the breeze one evening. Well, MySpace friends at least…

Mayhem flashin' the shaka
Mayhem flashin’ the shaka

(Would like to send a special shout out to Todd Tanaka of Team HK for setting things up and letting us use your dojo for the interview. Mahaloz also to the students there for letting me sit in and watch you guys train. Lastly, mad props to Jason “Mayhem” Miller for the time. Good luck in your upcoming fight and TV show).

http://www.myspace.com/mayhemmiller

Anuhea Jenkins – Reppin’ Hawaii One Song At a Time

January 1, 2009

You know how sometimes, when you’re out on the town, eating and drinking with your homies, background music is just that, background music? Neither here nor there, it’s usually just “stuff” filling the empty spaces around your conversation. Well, once you hear her voice, there’s no way that one Anuhea Jenkins can ever be considered background again. You see, back in November, when my boys took me to Tiki’s Grill & Bar for stop one of my bachelor party, I heard a voice that went beyond filling empty spaces.

Since then, I’ve been intrigued and wanted to know more.

Via Google, I was able to find her on Myspace and eventually messaged her to ask for this interview. Turns out, sistah is big on social networking/viral marketing and has been getting her hustle on since 2006.

Anuhea Jenkins

And it’s all about to pay off with her debut album coming out later this month.

Here’s her story:

Edward Sugimoto) What is the history/significance behind your folks naming you Anuhea? Looking up “Anuhea” online, I read that it translates to “cool mountain breeze.” Is this accurate? Did you like growing up with such a unique name? What nicknames did/do your friends call you?

Anuhea Jenkins) My great grandma who is almost pure Hawaiian had a dream with the name Anuheakealaokalokelani before I was born. Same thing with all her great grandchildren’s names. It means the cool fragrance of the heavenly rose, which is the Maui flower. Friends call me Anu. Anuhea by itself does mean cool breeze.  Growing up in Hawaii Anuhea wasn’t too hard to live with, especially at Kamehameha, but going to the mainland its difficult to get people to remember it. I tell them It sounds like “a new hea dew”, minus the “dew”. (Like, I just got a new hair dew…)

Edward Sugimoto) You grew up in Maui right? Give us a little history of little Anuhea. Were you a rascal? Good student? Boy Crazy? Whut?

Anuhea Jenkins) I grew up in Makawao, Maui. Went to Hawaiian immersion school, Kula Kaiapuni, where you speak Hawaiian for every class, then I changed schools a bunch throughout Maui. I think people were tripped out to see this little blonde hair blue eyed girl who could speak Hawaiian fluently. I spent a lot of time running around the neighborhood barefoot. Hide and seek and rock fights with the neighborhood kids and my 3 younger siblings. I was a good student, got a full ride to Kamehameha in 7th grade so spent the next 6 years of school boarding on Oahu. Not a girly girl in the slightest but not a full fledge tomboy. My dad was a basketball coach/PE teacher, so a lot of people on Maui know him. I was known as Mr. Jenkins’s daughter. He’s really strict, so boys would be scared to talk to me cause they were afraid of my dad! But luckily he’s a cool guy too, everyone loves and fears my dad.  I think a lot of people thought I was weird, probably still do!  I have an interesting sense of humor, class clown style.  Jackass was me and my friends’s favorite TV show and we’d reenact the shopping cart scenes, and tripping and falling on busy sidewalks on video camera was funny to us.  I surfed a lot, played sports, waterpolo in high school, drama and theater, video club president, always had a video camera with me.

Anuhea and her BFF Mandy
Anuhea and her BFF Mandy

Edward Sugimoto) Your first love was film, earning numerous scholarships for film school. Why’d you lose interest?

Anuhea Jenkins) I wasn’t really focused on video when I was studying it, to be honest. The shock of being in Orange County from Hawaii was pretty intense for me for some reason, and I think it was just bad timing. I had a boyfriend that I missed a bunch back home on Maui, so I’d write songs and work 2 jobs to buy plane tickets home instead of studying. I chalk it up to all things happen for a reason, cause if I didn’t leave who knows what I’d be doing. Although video is something I will always pursue as a hobby. Someday I want to make a real documentary.

Edward Sugimoto) What made you want to run for Miss Maui? What if you had won!?

Anuhea Jenkins) I know, dodged that bullet, huh!  No but I ran for Miss Maui for the challenge. I thrive off of challenges. I had hit a point where I was pretty stagnant, and I had some student loans I really wanted to pay off. Plus you see pageants on TV and stuff as a kid, and I just always wanted to try to be that girly girl for once in my life. If I had won, I honestly would have pursued my platform which was education through media. Although even at the time of the pageant I knew music was what I wanted to do. It was great practice for a life in the entertainment spotlight.

Edward Sugimoto) What is one thing people may not know about you? (Anuhea trivia if you will.)

Anuhea Jenkins) That I’m a huge MMA fan. I admire the dedication it takes to commit to a fight and the training and then the performance in the octagon. Its reflective of how I view a career in music sort of. How you practice practice practice for one show, then its over, how you have to earn your fans based on performance, and how you must live and breathe it everyday.

I love BJ Penn and all he’s doing to make a name for himself to the world while representing Hawaii and Hawaiians. I want to do the same. Shine a light on true Hawaii through any successes I may come to in this career.

With The Prodigy, BJ Penn
With The Prodigy, BJ Penn

Edward Sugimoto) Hobbies, other than music?

Anuhea Jenkins) I’m getting really into stand up paddling. Tried it for the first time this year, and I’m dying to buy a board of my own. I also love the outdoors, hiking, running in nature, the beach, etc. Being outside often is vital.

Edward Sugimoto) Your day job (if you have one)?

Anuhea Jenkins) No day job anymore. I worked super hard right before I went to LA to record in May of 08, been gigging for my pocket change ever since. I was a barista for a long time, and I even have a song about it on the album called “Barista By Day”… about working that 9-5 and wanting so badly to play music instead. I was not cut out for the type of job where you clock in and clock out. I like my livelihood to encompass my every action. Makes life easier.

Edward Sugimoto) What is a typical day in the life of Anuhea Jenkins?

Anuhea Jenkins) No two days are the same for me anymore! I usually am up late at night either at a gig or out and about, so I don’t get to bed till late, which means I wake up kinda late. Coffee is VITAL for me, as is breakfast. I check my internet stuffs, do something like run Koko Head crater or hit the gym before everyone gets out of work and it’s packed, and then I am on the hustle the rest of the day. I spend a lot of time online and on my phone picking up gigs, trying to open doors and get balls rolling. I’m hustling to get as many people to know who I am before the album is out so when they see it they’ll already have heard of me. Steady on the grind, hustling all day. At night I might have a show or go support other friends. Since moving to Oahu in September, anytime I have a chance to meet new people and network, I’m on it. It’s hard moving somewhere new, so I’m getting into the scene slowly but surely. I practice guitar and try to learn a new song every week, especially with my weekly gigs its always fun to learn the popular song on the radio and do my rendition of it. I know all this will change once the album is out… we’ll be traveling way more, and even more inconsistent days living out of suitcases and such. Can’t wait!

Music:

Edward Sugimoto) How would you describe your music to the Anuhea virgin? (type of sound, similar to who?)

Anuhea Jenkins) I’m influenced highly by R&B and Soul, Hip Hop and Funk, but my instrument is acoustic guitar. I’m a typical chick born in 85, influenced by everything that every other 23 year old is influenced by, so my style is just a mixture of it all. I hate to compare specific artists, but I may say Jack Johnson or Jason Mraz meets Fergie. Lyrics are super important to me, and every song has a real meaning behind it. So hopefully people will dig the melodies as well as the message.

Anuhea and her guitar
Anuhea and her guitar

Edward Sugimoto) The first time I ever saw/heard you was at Tiki’s for my bachelor party. I wasn’t facing you, but as soon as you opened your mouth, I had to turn around and see who the h*ll that was. 😉 Your voice is so original, though the first thing that popped into my mind was Colbie Caillat. Do you get that a lot? Why do I get the feeling that you don’t really like that comparison?

Anuhea Jenkins) Thanks for the compliment! But the Colbie thing? Ahhhh I get that all the time. She hit mainstream before I did (hehehe..) so I expect everyone to compare me to her since she’s pulling the Hawaii card and has sort of that acoustic island vibe about her. But I say I’m funkier, edgier. I’m looking to collab with rap artists and funk bands, do some things that chicks with acoustic guitars haven’t done before. I really need to write some songs in all Hawaiian though, something my tutu is pushing me to do, and I haven’t gotten around to.

Edward Sugimoto) Is that why your Myspace says, “Sounds like: Anuhea”? You like to be unique vocally and musically?

Anuhea Jenkins) Yes, it’s so easy for people to categorize artists with others, oh she’s just another Jewel or whatever. I’m guilty of doing the same thing with other artists for convenience sake. But we are all ourselves, and unique in our own way. I pride myself in certain things, and being from Hawaii makes me proud. Hawaii has such a unique music scene, our own style that the rest of the world doesn’t even realize. I want people in the rest of the world to be conscious that I’m from Hawaii right off the bat.

Edward Sugimoto) When did you first pick up music and why? When did you realize that it was your calling?

Anuhea Jenkins) Kamehameha schools has song contest every year, so between that, chapel two times a week, and Young Life club that I was a part of, I was singing all the time in school, but so was everyone else. My aunty being a singer, I knew all her songs in and out since I was a little kid. But looking back I think I was into it more than others. In sixth grade around the Spice Girls era my friends and I started a little girl band called Cloud 9… ha! I still remember the songs we wrote. In high school me and my friends would make music videos and one of my BFFs Kimie, who also sings, and I made this music video commercial for Ragu Pasta that we won a contest for, and got like a years supply of Ragu Express and a shopping spree and stuff! Music was always just for fun. Started playing guitar in 11th grade, and used it to write songs for fun from then on. Wasn’t until after I got back from Australia did I think I could take it on as a career. But my grandma has some video footage of me as a three year old singing songs that I made up, and pictures of me dancing to New Kids on the Block on TV.

Anuhea blowin' [Photo courtesy of Stan at BJPenn.com]
Anuhea blowin’ [Photo courtesy of Stan at BJPenn.com]

Edward Sugimoto) Your musical influences/heroes?

Anuhea Jenkins) Jack Johnson. Number one. Talked to him a few times and he said he’s heard of my music through friends and stuff… I almost fainted. He’s a huge reason why I play guitar. India Arie and Jason Mraz as well. They all have such style. I think that’s the most important thing in music, actually in ANYTHING you do… style.

Edward Sugimoto) If you could work with anyone in the music industry to make that #1 hit, who would it be and why? Same question, but pick a local, artist from Hawaii (who hasn’t hit it big).

Anuhea Jenkins) I would love to work with Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes again. We did one song together on a whim after meeting at one of his shows in San Francisco. He’s extremely talented, and has the vibe that I think could tear up the main stream hip hop BS that’s clouding right now. But making some stuff from scratch with him could be cool. He loves Hall and Oates and classic rock although he makes hip hop, so putting it all together should be interesting to see what conspires.

As far as Hawaii goes, there are so many that I want to collab with. From Maui there’s B.U.B’z who is an amazing producer as well as singer/rapper with mad style. We’ve started working on some dub versions of my songs, stay tuned. Guerrilla Jazz is an up and coming group from Maui as well that are so unique – hip hop and ukulele- I want to do something with them too. J-Boog too! His voice is so sick.  I’ve already gotten to work with King Kekai (Rhythm of the Falling Rain) who is an amazing producer as well, and he’s coming out with his 2nd album December 30th.  He’s breaking some boundaries of the Hawaiian music scene, and talking about stuff nobody really touches on.  I admire him for that.  I’d love to do more with Kekai as well.

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

Anuhea Jenkins) Jason Mraz had a very grass roots beginning, lots of focus on his acoustic stuff before he hit mainstream pop. I really like that. It gives validation to his talent since its not just a hype, he really deserves it.

And Fergie, and Rihanna! They’re the go-to girls when you need a hook sung or some female flavor to hip hop/r&b songs – I’d love to jump in that pool. Bring some Hawaii to it.

Edward Sugimoto) What is your fantasy concert scenario (e.g. jamming with who? at where? in front of how many? singing what?)

Anuhea Jenkins) Jamming with Jack Johnson at a backyard BBQ with just a couple dozen peeps, and Jack singing background harmonies to one of my songs…. Hehehe…. 🙂

Edward Sugimoto) Ultimate goal/dream musically?

Anuhea Jenkins) To have a song that I wrote change someone’s life. To me that would have made my life worth something, you know? But of course I strive to have something on MTV, to win a Grammy, to tour the world singing songs I love. I just want to be able to do music for the rest of my life and to be happy.

Edward Sugimoto) “Rhythm of the Falling Rain” gives sort of a local, Hawaii vibe (ala Ka’au Crater Boys), while still putting your own, hip-hop, funky stamp on it. Is reppin’ Hawaii in your music important to you?

Anuhea Jenkins) Absolutely important, and inevitable. Reggae music is a huge influence of mine although my style isn’t necessarily reggae per say. And like I mentioned before, Hawaii has such a unique thing going on with our music scene, I want to be able to fit into this scene as well as mainstream. Maybe be that bridge that connects our style to the rest of the world.

Anuhea with Shawn Pimental on drums
Anuhea with Shawn Pimental on drums

Edward Sugimoto) Your aunty is Nalani Choy from Na Leo. Did you grow up watching her, thinking that career path might be interesting to you?

Anuhea Jenkins) I got to witness at a very young age all the cool things her career involved. Traveling, the performing life, playing instruments, having songs on the radio and TV… it was really cool to witness, and it made it more of a touchable reality seeing her do it.

Edward Sugimoto) Now you’re signed to her label OneHawaii Music. How has it been working so closely with your Aunty?

Anuhea Jenkins) It’s been awesome, she’s one of my biggest role models. We keep it pretty professional when it comes to the business stuff, but she is my blood aunty so it’s nice to know she’s always there for me. I’m so blessed to have her shape my career like this.

Edward Sugimoto) When is your album supposed to be released?

Anuhea Jenkins) It’s going to be released on iTunes exclusively on January 27th. For one month the only place you can download it is there, then the street date is February 24th. It’s been a long road, but I’m beyond excited and I know it will be worth the wait, and all the hard work.

[Editor’s note: album release date has been pushed back to Tuesday March 24th with an iTunes release of Tuesday Februrary 24th]

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

Anuhea Jenkins) I think about that sometimes, and I have no idea! All I know is the type of person I am, and I can not stand complacency. Change is comfortable to me, so a regular job wouldn’t work. Something to do with entertainment, either a concert promoter or behind the scenes of a reality TV show or something like that. Or even a broadcast journalist. I used to be into that in high school too, anchorwoman style!

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

Anuhea Jenkins) The most rewarding part of this music thing is when people tell me that a song I wrote is “their song”… or that it helped them through something. This couple from Australia found me on myspace and hired me to play at their wedding in Waimea Valley last year. They chose my song “I Just Want You Around” as their wedding song… and knowing that forever more, that song is “their” song… crazy. Affecting peoples lives through doing what I love, it amazes me. Exciting though is meeting and slowly beginning to jam with people that I was once just a huge fan of… like Natural Vibes and Fiji. I know it will happen more and more, but it’s such a trip!

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

Anuhea Jenkins) Thank you so much for the support thus far. The positive reinforcement is what keeps me going. In this viral age, I’m super into myspace, Facebook, youtube, etc. so if you are too, hit me up online! Very easy to check up on.
www.myspace.com/anuheajams
www.facebook.com search Anuhea Jenkins
www.youtube.com/user/anuheajams
www.megapress.com/anuhea
www.anuheajams.com
www.twitter.com/anuheajams

With her voice, her passion, and her hustle, there ain’t no way that Anuhea Jenkins will not succeed. Come February 24th, Anuhea will come to the foreground.

Anuhea at sunset [Photo courtesy of Brooke Dombrosky - www.brooklynhawaii.com]
Anuhea at sunset [Photo courtesy of Angelina Hills – www.alohaportraits.com]