Afatia Joins Royal Records Family

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - May 12, 2010
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Afatia and wife Nicole

Afatia‘s exceptional vocal talent and spot-on stage presence has stirred up some national attention.

Good genetics perhaps? After all, his parents Jack and Cha Thompson are the owners of Hawaii’s largest and longest-running professional entertainment company in Hawaii, Tihati Productions.

But the private engagement at the Sheraton’s Twist at Hanohano was no luau. It was as enjoyable as it was elegant.

The evening celebrated the launch of the new independent record label Royal Records and one of its newly signed artists, Afatia.


 

Based out of Atlanta and founded by Grammy Award-winning executive producer Herman Little, Royal Records welcomed Afatia and his family to join its family.

Little took the stage, introduced by emcee Doug Banks, whose said to be one of the most popular radio personalties in the U.S. Banks’ introduction mentioned Little’s work with music greats such as Isaac Hayes, Wynton Marsalis, Beyonce, R. Kelly, Eve, Barry Manilow and Jennifer Hudson.

JP Band: Jayrald, Anthony, Gavin, Austin and Jasmin

“This was a dream of mine for a couple years, and just to see it come to fruition is amazing,” said Little, president and CEO of Royal Records. “What we’re doing with Royal Records is releasing a sound of integrity, releasing the sound of family.”

After some great food and a hearty introduction about the 2007 Na Hoku Hanohano R&B Artist of the Year, Afatia made his way to the stage.

And he owned it! Afatia was amazing, and I’m sure he made Little and the Royal Records family extremely happy they signed our talented Hawaii boy.

“When you hear these things you think of cities like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta,” said Banks. “Well, tonight we add the great city of Honolulu to that list.”


“We came tonight to introduce Afatia and introduce him to the rest of the world,” added Little.

About halfway through his performance, Afatia added in some Polynesian flavor, calling from the audience the men of Tihati in attendance. We were treated to a fa’ataupati (Samoan slap dance), shirtless, of course. (Ladies, I apologize that I do not have a photo.)

Afatia was then joined on stage by his lovely wife, Nicole, to dance a hula.

Afatia is currently recording a solo album that he expects will be released by Royal Records sometime later this year or early next.

“The whole thing behind this that’s really a cool situation is they are allowing me to be a part of the creative aspect of it, so it’s a real open collaboration,” says Afatia. “We’re recording right now and I would say we’re about 50 percent done.”

Afatia adds that he’s been extremely fortunate to be working with a company that was founded on family and integrity.

“Although they are top-notch producers, they are genuine, honest guys,” he says. “To have these guys to be on my same wave length is real encouraging ...

After an exciting win to claim the Oahu spot in the state finals of Band Champ, the JP Band - Jasmin Idica, 13 (Kapolei Middle); Jayrald Ibea, 15 (Farrington High); Anthony Agcopra, 16 (Waianae High); Austin Agcopra, 13 (Waianae Intermediate) and Gavin Domingo, 15 (Waianae High) - claimed the grand prize following a rousing victory over the Big Island, Maui and Kauai champs.

“We all were separated when we were watching the news for them to announce the winners,” says Idica, the group’s lead singer. “And when they said our name, I was literally jumping and screaming.”

Viewers across the state sent in more than 120,000 votes via phone and text votes following KHON’s televised Band Champ Season 2 Finale.

The JP Band, the youngest of the four Island bands competing, received the most votes to clinch the Band Champ title with its original song Only One 4 Me and cover track Sweet Darling.

“The talent among Hawaii’s youth is amazing,” says MidWeek columnist Tom Moffatt, president of Tom Moffatt Productions and producer of Band Champ.

The JP Band (the “J” in their name from Jasmin and Jayrald with the “P” for the remaining members who represent the musical group,

Po’okela) earned the grand prize of $5,000, a recording contract and the opportunity to open for one of Moffatt’s concerts in Hawaii.

As for their recording contract prize, Idica says, “We plan to do songs as the JP Band, as Po’okela and I’ll be doing songs solo.”

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