Friday - March 09, 2007
Kaneohe’s home-grown Hoku Zuttermeister has come a long way since Polynesian music class at Castle High School, as this week marks the release of his first album, ‘Aina Kupuna.
It’s his biggest musical accomplishment thus far, which is huge considering he has worked with local artists such as the Makaha Sons, Sean Na’auao, Jerry Santos, Ku’uipo Kumukahi, Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, Raiatea Helm, Bryan Tolentino and Mahela, among others.
“It was a lot of work,” says Hoku. “We started in March 2006, but there were a number of setbacks, so basically we sort of just took our time and finished this year.I used to teach,but I stopped teaching once we started recording because I wanted to devote as much attention as I could to the project. So pretty much right now most of my time I’m doing music - you know, besides at home cleaning yard and everything else.”
Besides working on the CD, Hoku also plays with Jerry Santos and Barry Kimokea every Monday at Chai’s Island Bistro, and also every other Thursday at Chiko’s Tavern on McCully. And then there are the benefits, halau fundraisers, parties and concerts that keep Hoku pretty busy.
Hoku credits his traditional Hawaiian musical influences to legendary greats such as Aunty Genoa Keawe and Mahi Beamer, but mostly he says it’s his parents who were most influential.
“I would say that in my house anything that played was mainly Hawaiian music,“says the 31-year-old. “I was surrounded by hula, but the Hawaiian music was just constant.”
But there’s more to Hoku than just Hawaiian music - he also enjoys listening to jazz and buying cars. OK, maybe not the actual act of buying the car, but he does love his cars, being that he’s on his third car in three years.
“I go through cars and I switch around pretty often,“adds Hoku.“Thank you King Windward Nissan.”
Thankfully for fans, Hoku doesn’t change his mind about the music he plays as he does the car he drives.
What’s your favorite dessert?
Chocolate cake with chocolate mousse frosting. Thank you, Omi. Now you got me thinking about the cake.
What’s your fondest childhood memory?
There’s many actually. Probably taking many trips to Kauai with my grandmother and my uncle. That would probably be up there. I played soccer for 10 years, so we would spend a lot of time all over the island.
Who is the most beautiful person you know (inside and out)?
Wow. Actually, a lot of the people in my life are beautiful inside and out. I try as hard as I can to surround to myself with that kind of influence and that kind of feeling.
What is your favorite song on the radio right now?
Hmmmm. OK, I’m going to throw a little wrench in this one, but that Beyonce song. To the left, to the left. Irreplaceable. I just like the way it sounds. I know the words are kind of cruel, but I just like the way it sounds.
Which is your favorite Hawaiian island?
Kauai. My family is from there and I just get a different feeling when I go there.
Are you a camping or hotel type of person?
Actually both. I enjoy doing both. If I have things to do then a hotel is good, but if it’s just a weekend I have free I would enjoy camping.
What’s your favorite TV show?
I hardly watch TV.
What’s your favorite fragrant flower?
Puakenikeni, pikake, pakalana and yellow and white plumeria.
What CD is in your player right now?
Actually nothing because I just got my iPod.
If you could attend a concert featuring any three artists, which three would that be?
Diana Krall, Michael Buble and James Taylor.
What supermarket do you shop most at?
What is something that’s always in your cart at the supermarket?
Wow, what do I always buy? I hate to say this, but probably goodies. More like cookies or even poke. Not like food food.
What’s your favorite restaurant?
See that’s hard because there’s like Times Coffee Shop, Boots & Kimo’s, Morton’s. So all depending on my mood and how much money I have in my pocket.
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