Meaning “half” in Hawaiian, the name HAPA is inspired by the bands two original members – Keliʻi Kanealiʻi of South Pacific ancestry and Barry Flanagan from New Jersey. Today, Hapa continues its beautiful sound with Barry Flanagan and Kenneth Makuakāne. The groupʻs self-entitled album released in 1993, remains the #1 selling recording by a group or duo in the history of recorded Hawaiian music. The recording swept all six categories it was nominated for at the 1994 Hawaiʻi Music Awards. In 2007, the album was acknowledged by Honolulu Magazine as #31 of the 50 All-Time Greatest Hawaiian Recordings, with the original song Lei Pikake acknowledged as #32 in the follow-up 50 All Time Greatest Songs issue.”
About the Artists
Barry Flanagan is a singer-songwriter, musician, and founder of the acclaimed World Music group HAPA. Flanagan is known for his guitar and songwriting skills, vocal performances and ocean awareness projects. In 1980, Flanagan moved to Hawaiʻi to research and study the art fo Kiho ʻAlu, or Slack Key Guitar and Haku Mele composition. It was after hearing the music of American musician and film score composer ry Cooder with legendary Slack Key master Gabby Pahinui that inspired Flanagans sojourn in Hawaiʻi to explore and learn these two art forms. Flanagan immersed himself in Hawaiian culture and art, seating out native speakers, teachers and composers of Hawaiian songs, passionately studying indigenous art forms with Maui as the backdrop. In 1983 Flanagan founded a musical duo on Maui, naming it “HAPA“, the Hawaiian word meaning “half” and also used to describe people of mixed Pacific Island ancestry. During the next 10 years to 1993, Flanagan raised $125,000 to write and produce what was described as “a first-class recording that would change the way people out of the state of Hawaiʻi perceive Hawaiian Music.” (Lahaina News)
Kenneth Makuakāne is recognized as the producer of producers of Hawaiian music. A prolific songwriter of over one thousand five hundred songs, Kenneth’s compositions have been recorded by local artists like the Brothers Cazimero, Nā Leo Pilimehana, Kapena, the Pandanus Club, Amy Hānaiali‘i Gilliom, Loyal Garner and Gary Haleamau, as well as international artists from Japan like Yuri Chika and Yuki Miyamae. Kenneth Makuakāne has received more than one hundred and eighty nominations and garnered a total of 21 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, the Hawaii equivalent of the Grammy Awards, including Producer of the Year, Song of the Year, Group of the Year, Religious Album of the Year, and Hawaiian Album of the Year. Makuakāne is the recent recipient of the prestigious Hawaiʻi Academy of Recording Arts 2015 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Awards. He also won six Big Island Music Awards. He has been recognized in the National Registry of Who’s Who.