When one hears the name KAPENA these days, immediately a picture of three young men with musical instruments in arms comes to mind. But it wasn’t long ago that Kapena first competed in the "Brown Bags To Stardom" contest representing Kaimuki High School…the state-wide high school amateur talent competition. Since then, they have come a long way in the music business.
While their "word of mouth" reputation grew, they moved on to become the house band at the local watering hole, Sparky’s Lounge. In 1986, Kapena’s first album entitled, "Satisfaction Guaranteed" was recorded live at Sparky’s and earned a nomination by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts for the 1987 "Na Hoku" award for "Most Promising New Artist."
Their second recording project simply entitled, "KAPENA" hit the stores. Again the public response was incredible. This album showed a true display of the versatility of this group… leaving virtually no musical style unexplored. It held "Hawaiian Radio…KCCN’s’ #1 spot as the most requested Hawaiian Album for over 10 months. In 1988, Kapena took home two Hoku Awards; one for The Best Hawaiian Contemporary Album of the Year and Group of the Year!
Kapena has been busy with live concert work. They give of their time generously to several charitable causes, and have helped foster a new pride in the Hawaiian and Tonga communities. For Kapena, it’s not just a matter of winning, there is a message here. Music is the global language, one that brings us all closer together. It is a vehicle for understanding ourselves and others. That’s what they hope to get across, while providing a generation with enjoyable entertainment.
"New Horizons", the third album, became an instant success on the Hawaiian scene.
In late 1990, the group released their fourth and finest album, "Stylin’." This project skyrocketed to #1 on the Hawaiian charts and also #1 on the Hawaiian Reggae charts. This is the first time in Hawaii that one album has been #1 on both charts. The hits on this album included "Reggae Train," "Only Jah Knows," "Masese," "Listen," "Don’t Say Goodbye" – an original song written by Teimoni Tatofi – the guitarist and a classic remake of "Blue Darling."
In 1991, Kapena released their fifth album "Pure Energy" which was a project that lived up to its name and hit Hawaii by storm. This project consisted of the ultimate blend of Hawaiian, Country, Jawaiian, and Contemporary Island Music at its very best.
Their sixth album, "The Kapena Collection Volume One" is a mix of their greatest hits from "Satisfaction Guaranteed," "Kapena," "Stylin'," and "Pure Energy."
"Wild Heart," the seventh album has a variety of music for young and old alike. They think it may be the album with the most diversity yet, with songs from the Islands of Samoa, Tonga, Hawaii, and Tahiti. This album includes many originals written by Kelly De Lima. He calls it "Island Music" – an expression that explains itself.
In addition to their busy schedule in Hawaii, they have also toured the South Pacific, performing in such countries as: Guam, Saipan, and Palau with sellout crowds at every performance. Kapena’s unique blend of South Pacific music is being played in over twenty countries worldwide. They have also toured the mainland U.S.A. in cities like Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, and Colorado.
Kapena’s eighth album "Future Frontiers" has a wonderful blend of many different styles of music. One of the songs on the album features the kindergarten and first grade classes of the Windward Nazarene Academy. There are four original songs on the album, "Say I Love You" written by Saki and "Hilo Rain" written by "BB" Brown which features two rappers – one is "Fiji" and the other "Davey D," the program director of one of Hawaii’s Hottest Radio Stations, KCCN FM100. The other two originals entitled, "The Hawaiian Way" and "Kalena Koo’ was written by Kellyboy De Lima. The latter is a song written for his daughter, Kalena – nicknamed "Koo."
Kapena’s ninth album, "All Access," invites you to take a special tour with a complimentary backstage pass and experience Kapena live and unplugged.
In July 11, 1996 released their tenth album entitled, "I’ll Build You A Rainbow." KCCN Program Director "Davey D" said that this album is "The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!" Just as the sight of a rainbow evokes varied feelings, this album will bring out an array of emotional colors from the blueness of "I’ll Build You A Rainbow" to the red hot fun of "Sea of Heartbreak." Kapena chose the song "I’ll Build You A Rainbow" as the title track, because as Kelly Boy said, "The first time I heard this song I knew it was something special. It touched my heart so deeply that I cried and if you’ve ever lost a loved one you’d know what I mean." This song written in 1977 by S. Strong is built around a belief that the appearance of a rainbow is a sign of a "Blessing" from a departed loved one. Also in this album is Kelly Boy’s original song, "Sons and Daughters," which was written for the children of Hawaii and was also released on an album entitled "For The Sake Of The Children" for a benefit event called "No Na Keiki ‘O Kane’ohe."
Appearing on their tenth album for the second time is the award winning Tahitian Group, Te Vai Ura Nui, who also appeared with Kapena at the Waikiki Shell for KCCN’s Sixth Birthday Jam. This show was a sell out and the crowd went wild when Kapena invited the famous Sumo wrestler "Konishiki" on stage to dance to the Samoan song, "Talofa Teine," from their "Wild Heart" release.
To date, Kapena’s albums include SATISFACTION GUARANTEED, KAPENA, NEW HORIZONS, STYLIN’, PURE ENERGY, KAPENA COLLECTION VOLUME I, WILD HEART, FUTURE FRONTIERS, ALL ACCESS, AND I’LL BUILD YOU A RAINBOW, KAPENA COLLECTION VOLUME II, KAPENA IS DA CREW, THE SOLID ROCK, MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM KAPENA, and KAPENA 2000. True to form all their works are still called "Island Music" because of all their songs from all the Pacific Islands like Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand, Tonga, Tahiti, and of course, Hawaii!
In addition to playing on all the islands here, they also toured the South Pacific this past year and performed on Guam, Saipan, Palau, Truk, Pohnpei, Majuro and for the first time on Yap. The group really enjoyed their Yap tour and thought the "island was beautiful and full of friendly people" with lots of "ono (delicious) crabs and lobsters." Kapena will be heading back to the South Pacific for a Christmas and New Year’s Eve concert tour. They will also be going to the Mainland U.S.A. for a full concert tour in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. If you are in Waikiki, you can catch them playing at Duke’s Restaurant and Canoe Club or at the Hawaiian Regent Hotel.
Kapena celebrated the start of 1999 with a bang, releasing their twelveth album, "Kapena Is Da Crew." And the crew is definitely "in the house" with this one! Wayne Harada’s review in the Honolulu Advertiser said, "Kapena delivers the same spirit… (representing) the kind of hot licks the group delivers for its loyalists." Gear up for some serious foot stomping sounds that are a Kapena signature in songs like "Listen to the Music" and "Gin Gan Goolie" as well as Kelly’s emotional vocals in "Forgive Me."
This past year was a busy one with the release of Kelly’s solo album, "Jus Kelly Boy," which includes the chart topping "I Cross My Heart." Golden oldies got a face-lift at Kelly’s skillful touch in "Tears of a Clown" and "Handyman" and endless summers waiting for the ultimate wave are recalled in his original compositions, "Pipeline" and "King Drop-In." For a live taste of "Jus’ Kelly Boy" you can often find him with his guitar pleasing audiences at the Kahala Madarin Hotel.
The months ahead promise to be just as exciting! Hot on the heels of the "Da Crew will be the release of Kapena’s Christian album, "The Solid Rock", a long awaited collection of spirit filled music. Between projects the band remains a popular Saturday fixture at Duke’s on the Beach at Waikiki, as well as being in demand for numerous special events throughout the state and on the mainland.
In addition to touring the islands, Kapena will be electrifying crowds across the Pacific this summer in Tahiti and spreading their special brand of musical aloha in Japan. The bright lights of the city beckon as the group looks forward to perform in Las Vegas, San Francisco, Utah, and other west coast cities.
Merry Christmas from Kapena makes a wonderful Christmas gift during the Holidays. They give a gift of songs wrapped in years of precious memories and laced with sweet harmonies from Kapena’s heart to yours.
Kapena 2000 is an album that celebrates the new millenium. Kapena has captured the hearts of fans both young and old, near and far. They have broken all age barriers, all language barriers, and now all time barriers. They have been described as timeless. With every year that passes, like fine wine, they cure to sweet perfection. The year 2000 and beyond will surely bring more traveling, more music, more memories, and definitely more Kapena. .