Melissa Moniz
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Friday - October 24, 2008

The 411

The countdown is over -Maoli’s debut album, Groovin’, hit stores on Tuesday and it’s what the guys hope will be the start of a successful music career together.

The group, which is still in its infancy, has been together for a short eight months - and six of those months were spent recording the album. They consider this album a nice coming out announcement to their hometown island of Maui and the rest of the 50th state. But their music experience goes back beyond their brief time together as a band.

As lead vocalist, song writer and guitarist, Glenn Awong explains, he’s been writing music since he was just 14 years old and has a Battle of the Bands win under his belt as well. And the other members - guitarist Cory Lum, bassist Kakana Corpuz, keyboardist Hubert Kaina - have spent some years playing music as well.

The album features 10 original tracks, all written by Awong. The song list includes: No One, Write Me A Letter (featuring Braddah Vince), Dangerous Woman, Don’t Need You, Groovin’ (featuring Piilani Arias), So Incredible, Love Me, Why Do I Keep Falling, Let’s Have A Good Time and Somebody Cares.

“The songs are just about stuff that happened in my life or about my friends,” says Awong, a 2005 King Kekaulike graduate. “My friend’s used to tell me their problems, and I would write songs about it. So the songs are not all about my relationships.”


A few songs on the album date back to Awong’s early days as a writer, including tracks Dangerous Woman, Write Me A Letter and Why Do I Keep Falling.

As for its sound, Awong says each song has a different feel to it. “It has your R&B, your rock and reggae too,” he says.

Their lead single, No One, is already receiving air-play and is the most listened to song on the group’s website,

Brown Bags To Stardom

After a five-year hiatus, Johnny Kai and the hardworking crew of Brown Bags to Stardom are bringing the statewide talent competition back to schools, beginning this school year.

In past years, Brown Bags To Stardom moved from the campus auditoriums to OC-16, where high school students submitted music videos that were voted on. Because of its success, Kai has decided to continue the music video portion of Brown Bags, but also expand its reach by adding the traditional talent portion held at each participating school.

Students at Lokelani Middle School wait for the Brown Bags competition to start

And there’s more: After talking with high schools about bringing back the Brown Bags talent competition, a flood of inquiries from middle schools came rushing in. So Kai, an advocate for music in schools, couldn’t turn down the opportunity to encourage middle-school students, thus the expansion of Brown Bags in the middle-school level.

“We just did the competition at Lokelani Middle School on Maui - that was the first one,” says Kai, executive director of Brown Bags To Stardom. “They had the math teachers judging so they could add up the scores. The middle school, the enthusiasm is so amazing because they are so into it. It’s the cutest thing. It’s great to just see kids enjoy.”

Currently on board in the talent contest are about 15 middle schools and 12 high schools. Kai says hopes are to get at least 20 of each.

The hosts of last year’s Brown Bags To Stardom final competition at Waikiki Shell

“It’s tricky because the actual in-school talent contest has been dead for five years, so it’s hard for the schools to kick it up again because some of the schools actually canceled their talent shows,” says Kai.“We understand many schools don’t have a talent show anymore, so if the schools have a student they want to recommend to represent their school (in the final competition), please submit the entry.”

So what that means for middle-school students is the chance to compete at the all-state challenge. And for high school students it now means there are two ways to participate: the music video competition and the talent contest.

The in-school competition welcomes any talent such as musicians, hula dancers, magicians, fireknife performances, etc. The video competition is limited to singers and music groups. For complete details, visit Schools interested in participating can call 951-6699 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Brown Bags To Stardom began in 1980 and has since been known as Hawaii’s premier high school talent competition. The final all-state challenge is scheduled for Feb. 28 at the Waikiki Shell. The music videos will begin airing in November on OC-16.


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