Recently I had the privilege of interviewing Makana on my podcast.
Makana is a Hawaiian musician, singer, and songwriter known for his innovative style and virtuosic guitar playing. He was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, and began playing guitar at the age of seven. As a teenager, he was mentored by slack-key guitar masters such as Sonny Chillingworth and Bobby Moderow Jr.
Makana's music blends Hawaiian slack-key guitar with elements of folk, rock, blues, and jazz, creating a unique sound that has earned him critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base. He has released several albums, including "Ki Ho'alu Christmastime," "Koi Au," and "Venus and the Sky Turns to Clay: The Instrumental World of Makana."
In addition to his solo work, Makana has collaborated with a diverse range of artists, including Sting, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, and Willie K. He has also performed at prestigious events such as a White House Dinner and TEDx Maui, where his performance went viral and helped to raise awareness about the Hawaiian sovereignty movement.
Beyond his music, Makana is an advocate for social and environmental justice. He has worked with organizations such as the Surfrider Foundation and the Sierra Club to raise awareness about climate change and ocean conservation. He is also an advocate for Hawaiian culture and has used his music to promote the preservation of the Hawaiian language, arts, and traditions.
Currently, he is working with Facebook and Instagram to create music for people to sync to their own videos uploaded to those platforms. He has produced over 150 songs as part of their Creator Studio Sound Collection.
His main focus is completing an original musical he began composing nearly 15 years ago!