The Opihi Pickers

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - January 26, 2007

Meet Imua Garza, Kahale Morales, Kevin Okimoto and Hoku Garza of the Opihi Pickers. At a glance they look like a bunch of regular local braddahs who love to play music. And guess what? That’s exactly what they are.

The foursome started playing music 11 years ago, which means the youngest of the group, Imua, was just 11 years old, and his brother Hoku was just 12.

They have come a long way since they started playing together during their hanabata days. This week marks the release of their sixth album, OP VI, which features some of their catchy Island tunes infused into a mainstream feel.

“I think, personally, this is my favorite album,” says Kahale. “This is our sixth album, and it feels really good to have something good and fresh on the radio.”

In addition to a bunch of radio hits, a few music videos on OC-16 and countless gigs, the guys have also been pretty busy with their personal lives. Kevin, a 1995 Moanalua graduate, was married a year ago and Imua, a 2002 Kamehameha graduate, is also a newlywed who married just 10 months ago. As for Kahale and Hoku, they’re enjoying the single life.

The common thread that keeps these four fairly different guys together is their love for music, their Christian faith and their undeniable respect for each other. It’s no secret in the music biz that groups often drift apart, but these guys have beaten the odds and proven that as with any relationship, open communication and compromise are key.

“I think we have good foundations,” says Kahale. “We are all Christians, and I think that’s a big part of what keeps us bonded together.”

Adds Imua, “I envision us getting old and maybe in wheelchairs still popping out albums.”

Q’n A

What’s the most flattering comment that a girl has ever said to you? Hoku: I want to swim in your dimples.

About how many CDs do you own?

Imua: I’ve got an iPod, so I’ve kind of ditched the CDs.

If you could pick any sport to go pro in, what sport would that be? Kevin: surfing.

Imua: skateboarding. Kahale: soccer.

Hoku: UFC.

Where is your most ticklish spot?

Kahale: That’s for you to find out. (laughs)

What song do you think you’ve listened to the most in your life?

Imua: Happy Birthday Hoku: I would have to say, at all our family parties, The Electric Slide.

Do you think one day that the world will end? Kahale: Yes, we are all Christians so we believe that one day our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ will come and save us.

Kevin Okimoto, Imua Garza, Kahale Morales and Hoku Garza
Kevin Okimoto, Imua Garza, Kahale Morales and Hoku Garza

What’s your most valuable or prized possession?


My wife.

Kahale: My soon-to-be wife, so holla at your boy. (laughs). Nah, I would have to say my car.

Where’s the best place to get a late night snack? All: Miki’s in Pearl City. It’s a hole-in-the-wall plate lunch place open from like 11 at night to 11 in the morning. It’s really good; we gotta take you there.

Is there anything that you’re obsessed with? Imua: Playing music. Kahale: I have this thing that every time I take a shower I have to clean my ears.

I don’t like having my ears wet. I have to clean it every day.

Kevin: I need to surf every day.

Besides words like a and the, what word do you think you say most often?

Imua: Yeah, I say yeah a lot.

Hoku: I say Roger a lot. Roger, roger.

Name something you have never done that you would want to do before you die?

Kahale: Bungee jump. Hoku: Snowboard.

What’s your biggest fear? Kahale: Not being able to have kids.

Imua: Sharks.

Kevin: Jail. I’m claustrophobic.

Hoku: I’m scared of dirt on my car.

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