This past weekend Hawaii celebrated its 38th annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. For those of you who may not know what that is, The Na Hoku’s are a premiere Hawaiian award show, similar to the Grammy Awards. This truly is a special night for Hawaii’s best and most sought after musical artists.
Na Hoku Hanohano means “Stars of Distinction” in Hawaiian. The Na Hoku Awards were founded in 1978 in Hawaii and continue to present some of the most amazing musical artists the world has ever heard.The award winners are selected by the non-profit Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts.
One of the artists nominated for three Na Hoku awards this past weekend is Big Island artist Sean Olanui Robbins. Robbins is a twenty-one-year-old Ki Hoalu (slack-key) and Haku Mele (Hawaiian songwriter). Often described as an old soul in a young body, Sean has harmoniously combined progressive slack-key art with “older style” Hawaiian music.
His debut album, OLANUI won the Na Hoku for the Graphics award and was nominated for Most Promising Artist of the Year and Instrumental Composition award. Olanui translates to “full life” and it seems fitting for him considering the amount of accomplishments he has had for such a young age.
In 2005, Robbins was eleven years old and was learning to play various instruments including the ukulele and upright bass by simply just watching, listening and trying. Later at age 16, Sean had the honor of performing on National Public Radio’s program “From the Tip”, and was bestowed the coveted “Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award” out of hundreds of students.
Sean was a junior at UH Hilo majoring in Hawaiian studies when he decided to take a short break to focus on recording his first album. That is where he learned to speak fluent Hawaiian. By combining his musical talents with his skills in Hawaiian linguistics, he has been able to create some of the most beautiful Hawaiian music of this generation.
These past months, Sean has been a great ambassador for our brand, wearing our clothes for prestigious events including KITV news segments, the Na Hoku’s Hanohano Award’s and many others.
We sat down with Sean and asked him a few questions about our brand and what he plans for his future with music. He explained “I had always known about the brand growing up and I remember my dad wearing the shirts. I always admired them then, but the new Modern Collection has a young look that my friends and I really love. Besides the great looking designs, the clothes are comfortable and last forever. “Because of Reyn Spooner’s comfortable, light-weight cloth, performing on stage is a breeze.
We asked Sean if he liked listening to the radio and he said ” Not at all, for the most part, I like silence, because I listen to music in a completely different way than the average person. I would rather it be silent on my long drives from Hilo to Kona for shows”. Sean performs all over the Big Island and makes frequent trips out to Oahu to perform also.
Now that Sean has won the Na Hoku Graphics award he plans to tour Hawaii and the West Coast, as well as write new material for his next album. Everyone here at Reyn Spooner is looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Sean. To see more of Sean’s music, go to seanrobbinsmusic.com