Inspired by Sam Ka'ai, a prolific Hawaiian artist, Kamehameha Maui Middle school student Amedee Conley-Kapoi wrote an original mele (song) about Nu'u.
Why did you write your song?
I was sitting in an oral history interview with my mom, while she was interviewing Sam Ka'ai. He mentioned that the next generation children of this land should write more mele, oli, and hula about the significant places of our island, such as Nu'u. Therefore, I wrote my mele in response to his request.
What was your inspiration/reason for writing about what you did?
During the time, I had an assignment for Mr. Camarillo. We had to write an original song and perform it at the end of the school year. I thought to myself, it would be perfect to write about Nu'u for Uncle Sam. I also was inspired from the place, Nu'u itself, and how I would be able to share the important history of this place.
What did Sam Kaʻai say about your song?
Uncle Sam was very excited and happy to hear my mele. Him hearing one of the keiki of this land honor Nu'u was very emotional to him. I myself am so honored to perform my song for him.
What are your hopes for your music in the future (this song, and others if you plan on writing more)?
My hopes for future music is to write more mele that has the purpose of honoring and strengthening the Hawaiian culture. I also hope that I will be able to perform more often and learn about more music along the way.
What did you learn in during the process?
What I learned during the process was to really listen to our kupuna/elders, because they will not be here for very long. They hold so much mana'o and I think it is important to listen to what they have to say, so we keep their wisdom with us for our life... no matter if they are gone or not. I think responding to Uncle Sam was a way to not only honor Nu'u, but to honor him as well.
Mahalo to Amedee for creating and sharing her wonderful mele with us!