HAWAIIAN STYLE BAND
In the early nineties, the Hawaiian Style Band rode into the isle music scene on swingy-reggae rhythms and wholesome vocals. The band put forth a new definition of island music right in the midst of an exploding local music industry after the somewhat dormant eighties. The band's three founding members, Wade Cambern, Robi Kahakalau, and Bryan Kessler, were not born here but nonetheless accurately conveyed the spirit of present day Hawai'i with all of its modern and traditional characteristics. They provided a new musical vista on contemporary local culture with original compositions about talking story, sovereignty, feeling the ocean, island romance, 'ohana, and living "Hawaiian style." Kessler's and Cambern's original songs proved to be the perfect vehicle for Kakahalau's heartwarmingly sweet vocals, and the trio's interpretation of Hawaiian language songs re-acquainted music fans with these important compositions. Audiences heard themselves in these songs and responded overwhelmingly.
The band's appeal was also due to its ability to effectively involve and showcase local talent. Conceptualized as a revolving band, HSB opened its doors to over fifty musicians and producers over the course of its three albums, "Vanishing Treasures," "Rhythm of the Ocean" and "'Ohana". The participants included Hawaiian music notables like Israel Kamakawiwa'ole, Bla, Cyril, and Martin Pahinui, Fiji, Teresa Bright, Ka'au Crater Boys, and Del Bezley. This extensive collaboration produced a musical synergy so comprehensive that it has not been matched by other island recordings since.
HSB signaled the arrival of a new generation of artists, both native and non-native, creating original local music. The staying power of their work is evidenced in the continued airplay of their songs on radio stations.