Maui Arts & Entertainment

Hawaiian Falsetto album celebrates 20 years of the Richard Hoʻopiʻi Leo Kiʻekiʻe Contest

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In celebration of 20 years of the Richard Hoʻopi‘i Leo Ki’eki’e Falsetto Contest, Festivals of Aloha along with Haku Records present a legacy music project entitled, ʻHawaiian Falsetto Vol 1ʻ. The compilation features contest champions, judges and even a song from the namesake himself, Richard Ho‘opi‘i.

The album officially launched today, Friday, Oct. 7, 2022 and will be on all digital platforms with limited physical copies at

“The Richard Ho‘opi‘i Leo Ki‘eki‘e Falsetto Contest provides a dynamic platform for the preservation and perpetuation of Hawaiʻi’s unique falsetto traditions,” according to organizers.


The contest provides a championship opportunity for amateur falsetto singers and was designed to honor and uphold the cultural and entertainment ideals and integrity as modeled by the late Uncle Richard Ho‘opi‘i — Hawaiian falsetto legend and member of the renowned musical duo The Ho‘opi‘i Brothers. Hoʻopiʻi was not only a Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winner and a Nā Hōkū Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Award recipient but also he was a Grammy Award winner, a National Endowment of the Arts Folk Heritage Fellowship recipient, and founder of the contest.

“I felt a strong responsibility to the champions to help them achieve their goals, whatever it may be – if they wanted to produce a solo project of their own, needed graphic design or marketing help, I didn’t want them to just win a contest,” said Daryl Fujiwara, Festival Director of Festivals of Aloha. “I wanted to create a “calling card” of sorts. This album project is just that. It’s sharing the talents of our champions with the world.” 

Fujiwara enlisted the help of Haku Records to release this celebratory album and provide the contest winners with even more musical opportunities. “Haku’s motto ‘By Artists, for Artists’ really resonated with Festivals Of Aloha’s mission to honor Native Hawaiian culture and traditions from generation to generation,” said Fujiwara. “Our goal is to help amplify the beautiful falsetto sounds here in the islands by sharing Hawaiian Falsetto Vol 1 with both malihini (visitors) and kamaʻāina or people from our local community.”


Hawaiian Falsetto Vol 1 is a 13-track album featuring familiar Hawaiian mele (songs) sung by past champions, including many notable Hawaiʻi artists as well as up-and-coming artists such as Grant Kaimana Kono (2014), Po‘okela Wood (2010), Kama‘ehu Kawa‘a (2021), Joshua Noʻeau Kalima (2012), Pōmaikaʻi Krueger (2009), Kamalei Kawaʻa (2015), Ezra Kauʻi Krueger (2011), Cody Pueo Pata (Judge), Kalani Peʻa (Judge) singing ʻAkaka Falls, and Richard Hoʻopiʻi, the contest’s namesake singing ʻOhuʻohu Kahakuloa.

Producers on this album, Daryl Fujiwara and Wailau Ryder worked with engineer, Michael Casil and musicians Wailau Ryder, Ekolu Chang, Jon Ako, Iwalani Ho‘omanawanui Apo and Ikaika Blackburn. Mastering was done by Amy Dragon and the graphic design was done by @SFDHAWAII under record label Haku Records. 

All proceeds generated from this album will go back into producing future contests and music projects. Please download and stream Hawaiian Falsetto Vol 1 on all digital platforms. For music licensing please contact Haku Collective.


To purchase a physical CD, order online at  For more information and to support please visit

  • The album features:
    • 1 – Green Rose Hula featuring Grant Kaimana Kono
    • 2 – Ka Loke featuring Po‘okela Wood
    • 3 – E Ku‘u Morning Dew featuring Kama‘ehu Kawa‘a
    • 4 – Manu ʻŌʻō featuring Joshua No‘eau Kalima
    • 5 – Hōnaunau Pāka featuring Micah Hoapili DeAguiar
    • 6 – Moanikeʻalaonāpuamakahikina featuring Pōmaika‘i Krueger
    • 7 – Pauoa Liko Ka Lehua featuring Kason Gomes
    • 8 – Pua ʻĀhihi featuring Kamalei Kawa‘a
    • 9 – Nani Wale Keʻanae featuring Ezra Kau‘i Krueger
    • 10 – Mānowaiopuna featuring Cody Pueo Pata
    • 11 – Nāwiliwili featuring Gregory Kahikina Juan
    • 12 – ʻAkaka Falls featuring Kalani Pe‘a
    • 13 – ʻOhuʻohu Kahakuloa featuring Richard Ho‘opi‘i

Festivals of Aloha-must see calendar:

Festivals of Aloha 2022 continue on Moloka‘i, in Hāna and Wailea. To learn more about the festival and upcoming events visit 

  • Oct. 8 – Festivals of Aloha Moloka‘i
  • Oct. 15-22 – Festivals of Aloha Hāna
  • Oct. 28-30 – Festivals of Aloha Wailea

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