If anyone could be described as having “Hawaiian heart and soul,” it
would indeed be Ryan Kamakakehau Fernandez.
Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, this six week old African American infant was adopted by Robyn Nae‘ole and brought to the shores of Maui,Hawai‘i. It is here that his new family and home shaped “Kamaka” into one of Hawai‘i’s
newest and most refreshing talents.
Kamaka’s education played a huge part in his love and appreciation for
the Hawaiian culture and music. He is a graduate of the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program (Kula Kaiapuni, King Kekaulike High School) and is proud to be a fluent speaker of the Hawaiian language.
As he studied – and lived – Hawaiian culture and language, a new-found
love emerged from within as he became enamored with the ‘ukulele and the art of leo ki‘eki‘e (falsetto) singing.
He was the 2003 winner of falsetto legend Richard Ho‘opi‘i‘s
Falsetto contest(part of the annual Aloha Festivals celebrations) and from that point on, Kamaka continued
to astonish audiences with the range of his voice, the strum of his ‘ukulele, and his heart…which is truly Hawaiian.
As Kamaka states…“I love my mom, my ‘ohana, my friends and this wonderful culture that I was blessed to be immersed in.
“Hawaii is my heart and soul.”