Swaying palms, rolling waves and flower laden cocktails come to mind with the mention of Hawaiian music, unless you’re an islander or a recent visitor.
By the turn of the twenty first century, newbie’s on the Hawaiian Music scene, Pure Heart, the group which launched the career of ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro, took Hawaiian music by storm with their brand of Island Contemporary and Reggae music. The falsetto style of trio of Na Palapalai and Raiatea Helm climbed the Hawaiian music charts while artists such as the groups Three Plus, Ekolu, Norm and Justin Young led the way for Reggae music’s dominance over local radio airwaves. Artists like Justin Young, Norm, Ka ala Boys , Troy Fernandez and Kawika Regidor, mixing Island Reggae and Island Contemporary with R&B and Soul, could be heard island wide as the popularity for music with a strong island vibe grew by leaps and bounds. This was the decade of the compilation as Hawaiian music fans were increasingly drawn to various artist collections such as the “Hawaiian Style,” “Island Love Shack,” and “Reggae in Paradise” series which featured the best in Island Contemporary and Reggae music. With the world wide popularity of Jake Shimabukuro, the tiny ukulele became the mighty uke. Hawaiian music fans also began to crave the incredible talent of local ululele virtuoso’s such as Troy Fernandez, Herb Ohta, Jr., Benny Chong, Brittni Paiva, Taimane Gardner, Brian Tolentino and Kalei Gamiao which opened the door for many under the radar artists and inspired a whole new generation of ukulele players.