SuperCity: Hawaii DJs hit international stage
BY CHRISTA WITTMIER / Special to the Star-Advertiser
As the rest of us gear up for a big Memorial Day weekend, some local DJs are gearing up for the biggest experience of their life.
Before his tour with Aloe Blacc and Hawaii’s Bruno Mars, Pharrell Williams will have the pleasure of performing in Paris with Addiction resident Tina “DJ Anit” Viernes as his DJ.
“A-Track told me they were canvassing the country, looking for a female DJ that could scratch,” fellow Addiction Nightclub resident Jonathan “DJ Compose” Ablan said. So he put Viernes in contact with Supreme Video Productions creator Philip Lemoine to highlight what she can do on camera; skip ahead to now and we had to find a replacement DJ for the Bacardi Pool Party on Monday. But she did drop out with the best excuse ever.
Knowing Viernes’ hilarious approach to life in general, I know it’s going to be a treat for everyone she meets in Europe. Also performing at the Trianon de Paris theater will be Kyo, Rita Ora, Black M and many others as a part of the NRJ Radio Music Tour.
WHILE VIERNES jets to Paris, local DJ/producer trio Oof Music is flying to New York to play the main stage at Electric Daisy Carnival as winners of the Insomniac Discovery Project. With close to a hundred thousand attendees from around the world and over 70 headliners playing across four stages, you could say this is a big deal.
Similar to local concert promoters who offer up-and-coming DJs an opportunity to open for headliners, EDM powerhouse tour promoters Insomniac Events introduced the Discovery Project in 2012 to motivate undiscovered talent. For each of their events they offer opportunities to work in visual arts, stage design, costume design and DJ/producer performance.
DJ/producer entrants must submit an original track and a 30-minute mix. Judges look for boldness and precision, as well as the talent’s ability to take advantage of free promotion tools online like Mixcloud and Facebook.
I’ve been lucky enough to get to know and work with the three people who make up Oof Music and can say this win is very well-deserved.
For hard-working producer Kanakaokekai “King Kekai” Namauu, a 2014 Na Hoku Hanohano Award nominee for his genre-bending album, “Wait On Me,” the Discovery Project is only validating what many of us already know — he understands music production. Already planning out the EDC set, he has included many non-EDM tracks in an effort to catch the attention of the crowd in a similar way that he did the Discovery Project judges, beginning OOF Music’s entry with Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole’s gripping “Hawaiian Like Me” before a hard-hitting EDX Miami Sunset remix of AVICII’s “Wake Me Up.”
The supergroup was assembled by Grammy Award-winning recording engineer Christian Mochizuki, who constantly has his brain waves in motion to take over the world. Known currently as Graves, Mochizuki presented a business/action plan for a group to Namauu and Isaac “DJ Frizel” Ikeda and all it took from that point was a commitment from all three to put things in motion.
After the big performance this weekend in New York, the trio plan to take advantage of everyone they touch from the experience.
“We are planning a few commercial releases within the next couple of months” said Namauu. “We’ve built a lot of connections over the last couple months and with this stamp of approval from Insomniac, things are going to be taking off.”
Congratulations to all four of you. This is huge!
Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young’s Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for POW! WOW! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular “Bacardi Pool Party” on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.