The “UNTOLD” music collaboration produced at the commercial level by students from Kamehameha Schools Kapālama is in the running for a golden record trophy on Saturday at the 2019 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, which is regarded as the local music industry’s equivalent of the Grammys.
“UNTOLD” was nominated in the “Compilation Album of the Year” category, and the 17-track album was created solely by a group of talented and dedicated high school students who took a collection of original songs from the drawing board to the worldwide stage as part of an innovative collaboration. Haumāna handled everything from the compositions to the performances to production work, and the resulting songs feature both traditional and contemporary music and lyrics.
“This project was just a dream we had, but through the time and effort we put into it, it became reality,” said “UNTOLD” collaborator Sabrina Wong. “This makes me believe that more of our dreams can become reality if we will put in the work and persevere. This album has showed us how much we can do, and how much more we can grow.
“It’s only the beginning for us. We won’t give up on this dream. We’ll keep writing, creating, learning, and sharing our music with the world. We will represent our Hawaiian people well, and show that our people deserve to be heard. That is what I want to share with future generations of Native Hawaiians.”
The collaborative effort of the Music Tech 2018 team was guided by Bailey Matsuda, music and technology kumu at KS Kapālama within the high school’s Performing Arts Department, whose current students are working on another compilation to be released later this month.
“Itʻs about the process,” Matsuda says. “It started with the belief that the students could accomplish their vision, and we focused on the process; positive outcomes can only be gained by engaging in the process the right way.
“The Nā Hōkū Hanohano nomination was not our initial goal, but we are grateful for the opportunity as we learn and grow as creative voices for the Native Hawaiian people. These students are so committed and passionate about what needs to be done to produce music at this level. It’s a generation of leaders that gives us all hope.”
“For me, if you’re one of the top five nominated (in a Nā Hōkū category), you’re in the game, you’re in the show!” Matsuda says. “One way you ‘test’ the impact of your work is by putting it out in the world. It’s on the music platforms out there, so you could access it from halfway around the world in Afghanistan if you have internet access. We’re looking to define who we are as artists on the world stage as we take our history into the future.”