Maoli is on the fast track to a successful career in Island music. This band was able to release two hit albums within the past two years with popular songs such as “No One”, “Write Me A Letter”, and “So Incredible.” Maoli, meaning “native” in Hawaiian, wanted “a name that had a strong meaning, a name that represents who they are and where they come from.”
The name definitely defines them as a local Island group from the Hawaiian islands. The band consists of Glenn Awong (lead vocals/guitar), Cory Lum (lead vocals/guitar), Huber Kaina (lead vocals/keyboard), Kakana Akiu-Corpuz (bass) and Matthew Casil (drums). I had the privilege of interviewing Awong and Akiu-Corpuz to get the scoops on this emerging Island band.
Growing up in Maui, the band members started playing music around the ages of 7 and 8 and continued well through high school. Musically, they were influenced by a variety of artists from Island-favorite Ekolu to Reggae-great Bob Marley and even Stevie Wonder. To describe their music, Maoli fuses Island rhythmic beats with soulful R&B-like vocals. You can’t help but groove, cruise, and chill to their songs.
When asked to describe the process of making and releasing their first album, Groovin, Awong responded with another question. “Do you want to know the truth?” he asked. Wait, did I want to know? Of course I did! The WHATITDO was getting some exclusive news that a lot of fans might not know yet.
“To tell you the truth,” said Awong, “Maoli wasn’t even formed while we were recording the [first] album. It was pretty much me, Kana, and our former drummer Mike [Casil] recording all the songs in the studio.” Akiu-Corpuz chimed in, saying, “We had the album done; now we just needed a band.” So Awong called up his cousin Huber Kaina to be a part of the band. Kaina then proceeded to call his friend Cory Lum to see if he would be interested in joining the band as well. Kaina and Lum were on board with open arms; however, there was still no drummer for the band as Mike Casil had prior engagements as the drummer for Ekolu. Casil mentioned to Awong and Akiu-Corpuz that his brother, Matt, also played drums. With a lot of practice and hard work, the three new members were able to fulfill and compliment the sounds already created and thus, Maoli was formed.
Groovin came out in November 2008. Their hit single, “No One,” became the number one most requested song on every major radio station in Hawaii. “Write Me a Letter” and “So Incredible” followed with the same response by listeners and fans – they wanted more! The group came out with their sophomore album, Rock Easy, in August 2010. “Whisper,” the first single off this album, shot to number one on Hawaiian radio stations again. The music video for this song was just filmed and will be released in a few weeks so be on the lookout.
So far, Maoli has performed numerous shows in Hawaii and in cities along the west coast. When asked what to expect from the band this year, Awong said, “Expect a lot of tours and live performances.” Yes! They already have a tour set up for Australia in a few weeks. They will also be heading out to perform in Washington, Oregon, and California this May in the hopes of building their fan base in the mainland. Show your support and see them live – they will not disappoint! Also, get the latest updates on Maoli’s music and tours on Facebook and their official website.
Check out the Music video for Maoli’s hit song “Whisper”:
Article Written By: Pesi Kava
* Videos courtesy of maoliexclusive, IslandBoyNoKaOi, and SolCollector
* Photos courtesy of Maoli
* Photo of Pesi Kava courtesy of Mapuana Photography