Each year the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards honors top musical achievements, but more importantly it is a celebration of the musical ohana we have in Hawaii. During the opening day of last weekend’s Hoku Awards, musicians took time to offer a few words about Island music favorite Kapena. On stage, Amy Hanaiali’i reminisced about seeing Kapena’s lead singer Kelly Boy De Lima’s children barely being able to see over the keyboard and drums as they performed with their dad years ago. She praised Kapena for its positive growth and continuous contributions.
And grown they have. Kapena - featured on MidWeek’s cover Feb. 25, 2009, is a family affair consisting of Kelly Boy, a musical veteran of more than 20 years, his son Kapena and daughters Kalena and Lilo. Along with performing, Kapena, a graduate of Expressions College for Digital Arts in California, is now running a music studio he helped design in Kaneohe.
“I’ve been running the studio for about a year and I really enjoy it. That is what I went to school for, music and audio engineering,” says Kapena.
Kalena, who is currently studying English at UH-Manoa, values the years of practice and performing.
“I think it allowed us to multitask better and has given us a really good work ethic. I am supposed to be a sophomore in college and I am a senior,” she says. “It allowed us to grow and accomplish more.”
For Kelly Boy, the passion and energy to perform is still there.
“I want the next generation to take over, but I am loving what I am doing,” he says. “It is a job, but much more of a joy for me. I always told myself when I stop enjoying it I’ll do everyone a favor and bow out.”
When asked if there are plans for Kapena to record and perform after Dad does call it quits, youngest member Lilo was quick to answer. “Oh, yes, but shhhh, don’t tell him. We’re being nice and waiting for him to retire,” she says with a giggle.
Until then, Kapena will continue to turn out new music with Kelly Boy as lead singer. Currently they are working on a new island reggae album as well as a traditional all-Hawaiian album.
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