Aloha and Welcome
Aloha, this is music I create from the heart.
Photo Credit: Robert Wester
#throwback to this rarely seen ukulele and beatbox TED collaboration of Jake Shimabukuro and I uploaded by TEDxTalks here: http://youtu.be/WIObTEvoPw4. It's beautifully produced by the #TEDxHonolulu video editing team that made a highlight reel out of Jake's rendition of George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" by the Beatles and they even musically mixed a bit of my TEDx Talk "Vocal Groove" performance and Jake's TEDx Talk 'Peace Love Ukulele' performance together as one song. A beautiful blend of ukulele and beatbox music by a TEDx Conference! Thank you TED, ideas worth spreading.
What I Currently Do, Awards And Honors (2004 to current)
Over more than one decade that I've been performing live as a beatboxer, I am a member of the performance rights organization (PRO) known as the American Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers (ASCAP), I am a Hawaii Grammy Award (Na Hoku Hanohano Award) nominated artist (featured on an album in the hip hop and rhythm and blues/r&b category), Hawaii's "Best Solo Performer" Scene Choice Award recipient and the people's choice as the Best Local musician Deserving of a Wider Audience in the Best of Honolulu Weekly. I am also the Hawaii beatboxer featured in the 2013 award-winning "American Beatboxer" film which documented the 2010 International Human Beatbox Convention (that is also known as Boxcon) and the 2010 American Beatbox Championships. Those two events in New York were produced by the first world beatbox community Humanbeatbox.com and the World Beatbox Association (WBA). Two of my videos are featured on the Beatbox Battle TV website, the world's largest vocal percussion multimedia archive and beatbox culture and event promotion company that organizes the 2005, 2009, 2012, and 2015 Beatbox Battle World Championships and various events in Europe. Aside from being a live performer, I also compose original music, dance, and I also do motivational speaking, lectures, and workshops for companies, conferences, meetings, preschools, public and private elementary, middle, and high schools, colleges and universities ranging from topics in music, beatboxing, hip hop, public speech, performance, stage presence, music business, and entrepreneurship, etc. I was also a TEDx Talk Conference Presenter Award recipient as a speaker and entertainer. I'm also a poet in music, sound and motion, vocal music teacher, etc.
Comic Book Illustrations and High School Athletics (early 1980's to 2001)
I value the importance of not forgetting where I came from and what my roots are. It's important to know where we came from to know where we will be going. It's also important I do not forget all those I've met and those that have helped me along my path. In my upbringing I was mainly an introvert, really shy and quiet, formerly a comic book artist raised by my parents that worked in the Chinese restaurant industry. Today, I am more of a people person, but also appreciate down time to recharge my batteries. In high school I lettered in varsity boys soccer and judo at McKinley High School. Go Tigers! Prior to that, I wanted to be like Michael Jordan and excel in basketball, but I knew after some summer league play that that was not my calling. I was a recipient of the "Mr. Hustle" Award in boys soccer and I was my team's lead goal scorer as a left forward (striker) for my senior year's regular season and the secondary position I played was a left outside halfback midfielder. I was nicknamed "Spider-Man" on my high school judo team by my fifth-degree black belt judo coach Clinton Sunada after my first judo tournament at Moanaloa High School with a 2-1 record as a silver medalist and I had also trained with Emile Suehiro and Hawaii Judo Academy founder and US Olympian Taylor Takata. Musically, up to that point I beatboxed behind the scenes nearly all the time to Michael Jackson music, played around with a toy mini-piano as a child, tried an ukulele at Kauluwela Elementary, and practiced on a tuba during orchestra class at Kawananakoa Intermediate, but I consistently went back to my favorite instrument known simply as beatboxing (human beatbox) or vocal percussion or mouth drumming. I never could imagine then that being a live performance artist and entertainer would be my calling in life. Today, I know without any doubt that it is what I'm called to do and there's an important purpose.
Post-High School Athletes and Gradual "Shift" to Music (2002 to 2004)
Post-high school judo I was an undefeated consecutive gold medalist judo athlete in 2002 with the United States Judo Federation (USJF) that followed with a belt promotion jump from white belt to yonkyu green belt by my seventh-degree black belt sensei Emilio Augustine with the Central Coast Judo Association. Then I moved back to Hawaii and trained at Shobukan Judo Club with the 50th State Judo Association and I placed third in my last judo competition on February 1, 2004 in the 161 weight division while my weight ranged in the 132-145 weight divisions a couple of months before I got hit by a van during a storm after an evening of Shobukan judo practice. That was when I realized I was not any longer passionate about judo training and I turned my path toward music and beatboxing. In college, I worked on campus as a SI Leader in mathematics, math tutor (from arithmetic to algebra to geometry to calculus II), and note taker for mathematics.
My Education History (1980's to 2014)
I am an alumni of Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU), University of Hawaii at Kapiolani Community College (KCC), and McKinley High School. In college, I was a Freeman Foundation Study Abroad Scholarship recipient, on the KCC Dean's List and I graduated with a degree as a Phi Theta Kappa honor student, and I also had room and board at Tokai University (Hawaii Tokai International College). I was also a first-generation Music Business major from the Music & Entertainment Learning Experience (MELE) Program with the University of Hawaii at Honolulu Community College (HCC) and Belmont University's Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business (CEMB). The MELE Program was proposed by the Aloha State's two-term Republican Governor Linda Lingle and Lieutenant Governor Duke Aiona in 2007. For those who knew me since my childhood.. I also graduated from Kauluwela Elementary and Kawananakoa Intermediate. My classmates ranging from elementary through college and university consisted of fashion designer Kini Zamora (Project Runway Season 13 Finalist), Japan pop vocalist Yuna Ito, photographer Tom Quach, singer Jordan Segundo (from American Idol's season that featured Jasmine Trias, Camile Velasco and Jonah Moananu also known as Big Mox), keyboardist John Tussey, ukulele player Kalei Gamiao, and others. Post-secondary education I devoted my time at Word of Life Christian Center from 2012 through 2014 when I enrolled and completed Pre-Encounter classes, registered and attended three Encounters from 2012 through 2013, enrolled and completed Post-Encounter classes, School of Leaders I, School of Leaders II, and School of Leaders III.
Photo Credit: Tracy Chan of Frolic Hawaii
Touring Regionally, Nationally, and Internationally (2008 to current)
I've performed and spoken on the Say Yes to Purpose tour with the Diverse Art Center and the Academy of Hype (AOH), Music With A Message's Not-On-Tobacco tour with the American Lung Association in Hawaii, done events with the METH Hawaii Project "Not Even Once," and I also did solo China Beatbox Tour.
I am grateful to have been fortunate and blessed to have worked with L&L Hawaiian Barbecue and organizations such as the Hawaii Senior Life Enrichment Association (HISLEA), Alzheimer's Association (Aloha Chapter), Hawaii Programs Family for 2,500 foster children and families, Hawaii Children And Youth Day, Mighty 4 Arts Hawaii Foundation, Freelance Brand, Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii, Boys and Girls Club of the Big Island (Hilo), Word of Life Christian Center's Kidz Life (children's ministry), Emerge (youth ministry) and Life 360 (outreach ministry), Inspire Church Waikele's Revolution (youth ministry), Calvary Assembly of God, New Wine to the Nations, Moments Unforgettable, New Hope Christian Fellowship's Kailua church plant, etc.