To achieve a dream, boundaries must be challenged, chances must be taken and the uncharted, though often dreaded, must be explored. MānoaDNA was on such a quest with “Live Aloha.”
It all began with a trip “off the rock” when Alx ventured from the island of Oʻahu to the big city of Los Angeles. Traveling solo, through the dark streets of LA, was almost daunting, but as they say, there is no reward without risk. Meeting Grammy award winning producer Ken Caillat and a stable of veteran songwriters gave Alx a rare opportunity to learn from the masters. Alx absorbed and adapted; writing and recording songs reflecting a myriad of emotions. Being alone with the unknown inspired “Break the Silence”. “Just for You” and “Everywhere You Go” talk about opportunity and adoration. And “Fire and Rainbows” is an obvious nod to James Taylor and the folk-rock styling that stirs Alx’s soul.
Dad-Lloyd and brother-Nick soon joined Alx in Santa Monica to lay vocal and instrumental tracks and they quickly found themselves immersed in the music culture there. Recording with the best helped raise the bar for MānoaDNA and presented them with a whole new set of tools and challenges. Their remakes of “Sweet Embrace” and “Saying Goodbye”, along with their single cover of “Land Down Under” are a direct result of these new experiences.
With more trips and more lessons learned, the group moved further along the learning curve. Alx continued to write as MānoaDNA continued to record. “Say I Do” speaks, in a quiet voice, to the beauty of eternal love. And then, the mood swings upbeat with a tribute to a special hula girl in “Mine All Mine.”
MānoaDNA has spent years honing their collective and individual skills as vocalists, songwriters and musicians; challenging each other to learn and improve. But they are Hawaiʻi Boys at heart, so no matter where they go, no matter how far they travel, they will always keep their feet in the sand. It’s a lifestyle ~“Live Aloha.”
released November 18, 2013
MānoaDNA is Lloyd, Nick & Alx Kawakami
Studio Musicians are Tim Pierce (Guitar and Bass - 1-3,5), Matt Laug (Drums and Percussion - 1-3,5), Zac Rae (Keyboards - 1-3,5), Mark Tanouye (Bass – 4, 6-11), Seann Carroll (Drums 4, 6-11)
Executive Producer is ASFI Records - Oʻahu, HI
Producers are Ken Caillat (Tracks 1-3, 5), MānoaDNA (Tracks 4, 6-11)
Engineers & Additional Production by Eric Berdon, Milan Bertosa, A. Kawakami, Greg Sartiano
Album Recorded at The Village Recorder (Los Angeles), Avocado Tree Studios (HI), Island Sound Studios (HI)
Mixed by Ken Caillat (Tracks 1-3, 5), Milan Bertosa (Tracks 4, 6-11)
Mastered by Milan Bertosa, Hawaii Sound Project, LLC at Studio 143
Cover Concept & Design by Nick Kawakami
Original Cover Photography by Ric Noyle Photo Productions