Vaihi - Nave Nave

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - September 28, 2007

The 411

Vaihi - Nave Nave
Vaihi - Nave Nave

Bruddah Sam Langi Jr., Aaron Kaonohi, Bruce Naluai and Peter “Piko"Lakatani, collectively known as Vaihi, are taking it back to their beginnings with the release of their seventh album, Nave Nave, this month.

“Over the years people have been asking us to go back to traditional Hawaiian because our first album was traditional and from there we’ve done other stuff,” says Kaonohi. “We thought it was time to go back, so this album is a mixture of Hawaiian with Tahitian.”

The album, which features 13 tracks mastered by Bernie Grundman Mastering, has the guys in agreement that it is definitely their most polished album thus far. Of the 13 songs, probably the most recognizable is Hawaii 78, written by Mickey Ioane and made popular by the Makaha Sons.

Aaron Kaonohi
Aaron Kaonohi

“We have done Hawaii 78 for years, and it’s one of those songs that we call a wall because when we sing it, it’s a wall of harmonies, but we never recorded it,” says Kaonohi. “For this album we wanted to record it, and we recorded the correct version.”

Besides the touring, recording and week-to-week performances that keep the guys busy, for the past five years Vaihi also has been working on another music-related project - a children’s television series. This month they finished up the pilot, and they plan to not only air the 12 episodes, but also make a CD with all the songs included on the shows.

“Recess With A Purpose is the theme, and it’s like a Wiggles, Sesame Street-type of show,“says Kaonohi. “Each show focuses on one Hawaiian value, like laulima and aloha.”

Bruce Naluai
Bruce Naluai

Sam, Piko, Aaron and Bruce are all characters on the show, accompanied by a cartoon character named Maka. The premise of the show is Maka is stuck on a little island called Kipuka, and he communicates with the group to help them solve problems.

The songs on the show are all originals written to fit the script. The key, says Kaonohi is “we kept them catchy, short and direct with our twist on it.”

To find out more about Vaihi, visit

Peter “Piko” Lakatani



Who has been the biggest support in your musical career?

Aaron: My wife,Sylvianne.She’s been the bomb. Even when I write songs I put it under her name, and so everyone thinks that she is the composer and writer, and to me she is because she is the one who inspires me. She is the means, so I give her credit for everything. I no care if I get recognized because I don’t do it for that.

Sam: My wife and my family, actually all our families. Bruce’s parents, they help us with our clothes. Piko’s dad helps us with taxes. My wife, sometimes she’ll emcee for gigs. They sacrifice everything for us so that we can do our passion.

Bruce: My parents, Robert and Bonnie Naluai, my wife,Angela, all five of my sisters, Evonne, Evette, Cheryl, Lori and Roberta, and most recently my daughters Serene and Smylyn.

What do you think is the most admirable quality in a person?

Sam: Friendship. Strong friendship.

Piko: A good heart and common sense.

Bruddah Sam Langi Jr.
Bruddah Sam Langi Jr.

Aaron: Integrity because in the music business you’ve got sharks. And what I don’t comprehend is the dishonesty, because to me you are only as successful as you are honest. Because if you are dishonest on a small island, nobody is going to want to do business with you and associate with you.

Bruce: A true heart. A person who will be there for you in time of need and not. Someone who will do more without wanting anything in return except to pay it forward, and maybe an honest thank you.

If you could perform with any musician, local or national, who would you like to take the stage with?

Sam: Sting.

Bruce: This may sound like a cliche, but Bob Marley. I love his music and his musical messages of religion and politics.

Piko: James Taylor and Eric Clapton.

What do you think is the best song of all time?

Aaron: Fields of Gold by Sting. Piko: Frank Sinatra’s version of Fly Me To The Moon.

Bruce: I have a few. One Drop by Bob Marley because life should be simple and not too complicated like the drum beat; Let It Be by The Beatles, which is a song written about advice from a mother received in the form of a dream; and Crying by Roy Orbison, because you always got to have a great breakup song to appreciate the things you have and the things that you don’t have.

What do you want to accomplish musically that you haven’t done yet?

Aaron: Orchestra. Like a full live orchestra with our music. If I could afford it, I’d do it.

Bruce: Honestly, I want to learn how to play the piano and saxophone.

Piko: Play at the Grand Ole Opry.

Vaihi: Aaron Kaonohi, Bruce Naluai, Peter “Piko” Lakatani and Bruddah Sam Langi Jr.

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