Teenaged Guitarist from Waimea Nominated for Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards

May 14, 2017, 12:02 PM HST (Updated May 14, 2017, 8:11 AM)

Kukahi Lee. Photo from

Hawai‘i Islandʻs Kukahi Lee of Waimea is among the nominees for this yearʻs Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards for his 2016 self-titled debut album.

The 17-year-old hip-hop and rock guitarist was nominated for Best Alternative Album of the Year and Best Performance of Alternative Music.

“Being a finalist for this award is unlike anything I could’ve ever dreamed of,” said Lee. “I feel so very proud and honored to be the first in my family nominated into the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards. I started composing this album when I was 15 years old, so I’m thankful that it’s been creating such a stir. After all of the long hours my team and I put into working on this album it makes me happy to see that all of our hard work paid off after all.”

“I am very proud of Kukahi for all of the hard work he’s put into making his dream a reality,” said father Shane Lee of Makali‘i Productions. “This album was a true labor of love and the dedication he’s had to see it all the way through to the end has inspired our other children to want to do their best too. It’s a blessing that God has given us such a gifted son, and we as a family are happy that we are able to help him to move forward and achieve his goals.”

Kukahi Lee just released his second album, Human, on May 5.

The winners of the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards will be announced on Saturday, May 20, during a televised awards show at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. The awards were created and modeled after the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and are sometimes referred to as the “Hawaiian Grammy awards.”



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