Cody Pueo Pata

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - February 16, 2007

For kumu hula Cody Pueo Pata, Hawaiian culture is as much a part of him as he is a part of it. It’s an honored tradition of respect that he lives, having learned from kumu hula Nona Kaluhiokalani, George Na’ope, and Ke’ala Kukona, Keli’i Tau’a, Diane Amadeo and Jay Jay Akiona, amongst others.

Pata’s love for the Hawaiian culture began through hula, and he eventually learned the language in a “sink or swim immersion process.” And in 2000, his Hawaiian musical talent was spotlighted as he won the Frank B. Shaner Falsetto Contest.

“For me in my music the most special thing to me and our culture is I’ve been asked to compose songs for other people,“says the 31-year-old.“The function of our music hasn’t left and is still alive and recognized.”

His new album, He Aloha, which releases this month, also honors the Hawaiian tradition as all the songs are forms of aloha chant.

“That tradition is very,very old,and the songs before honored places to maka’ainana (commoners) to ali’i (chiefs),“explains the Baldwin High School grad. “Because the songs were forms of mana, they could be inherited.”

More than five years since the release of his first album, E Ho’i Na Wai, Pata has been featured on a couple of compilation albums and has been busy composing.

In comparison to his first album, He Aloha features more falsetto, has a wider range of instrument variations, has no chanting and has more original compositions.

“Everything on the album is covered with kauna (hidden meaning),“he adds,“from the graphics on the jacket, to the inside, to the lyrics. Every image was hand-picked to have kauna.”

Pata, who is a part-time resident of Maui and Oahu, has a CD release party planned here on Oahu for 4 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Waikiki Beachwalk center stage.

Q’n A

He Aloha
He Aloha


Cody Pueo Pata He Aloha

Releases: February 27

What’s your favorite breakfast cereal?

Cap’n Crunch

What country would you most want to visit?

French Polynesia, Tahiti

What TV show are you addicted to?

Survivorman, it’s a reality show on Discovery. A close second is Will & Grace.

What’s the best part about living in Hawaii?

The freedom to be yourself.

If you had to enter an eating contest, what food would you choose?

Pepperoni pizza.

What’s the best dish that you can cook?

I like to cook garlic-smothered steak.

Cody Pueo Pata
Cody Pueo Pata

What’s the most memorable birthday that you’ve had?

In 2002 I got sick and I almost passed away and so my parents didn’t know if I was going to have another birthday, so they threw me a surprise birthday party. All the kupunas that meant something to me were there, and all the speeches that everyone gave were so memorable.

Is there any food that you don’t like?

Bell peppers.

Who or what can always put a smile on your face?

My new niece who was just born on Saturday (Feb. 10). Her name is Paweo.

What is the most unforgettable moment in your life?

There’re so many. I guess my uniki to become kumu hula, my final uniki.

Do you have any slogans or sayings that you live by?

The physical is just a metaphor for the spiritual.

What would you say is a typical night out for you?

I am surrounded by Hawaiian things all day every day, so one of the things that I love to do is have people over at my house and we’ll have wine, cheese and crackers. It’s a break from what we usually do and eat. I really enjoy doing that. I don’t care for clubbing and all that.

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