Hawai‘i means many things to many people: beauty, culture, family, harmony — it can also mean pain, frustration, struggle. Mike Kahikina has never hesitated to confront all these things in his songs.
Proud to be from Nanakuli, a small town on Oahu’s west coast, Kahikina wrote and performed protest songs with fellow Nanakuli musicians throughout the 70s and 80s. Songs in support of sovereignty for the Kingdom of Hawai‘i, in outrage over land rights for Native Hawaiians, in defiance of the continued colonization of Hawaii. “I was hoping to be a modern Hawaiian Bob Dylan, one man band kine, playing my guitar and singing about the issues.” He achieved that, even if at a scale much smaller than the American music legend — Kahikina's lyrics resonate today as powerfully as ever.