Tiny hasMany people come up with great ideas. Tiny Tadani makes them happen.
big plans for his
A jack-of-all-mediums,Tiny CD: With a Tiny Help from My Friends
his empire spans TV,
music and videos
By John Berger
Anybody could have taken a small camcorder out into the community, shot footage of whatever they found interesting, and created a local television show. That's exactly what Tadani did when he created "Tiny TV." He also created a companion show, "Local Kine Grindz," that follows the adventures of Bruddah Sam and Lina Girl as they eat their way across Oahu one "local kine" restaurant at a time. Both shows hit big.
Tadani is launching two new projects this week. Friends at local radio stations have been playing songs from his first album for about a week. The title? "Tiny CD: With A Tiny Help From My Friends." It is scheduled to be in record stores today.
"Tiny CD" features eight of his favorite singers -- including Sam, Lina Girl and himself -- singing remakes of his favorite songs and the theme songs of "Tiny TV" and "Local Kine Grindz." The album will get an additional boost when his self-produced documentary, "The Making of Tiny CD," begins a weeklong run on Oceanic Cable Channel 16 tomorrow night at 9.
"It's like a VH-1 documentary. I don't think that's really been done here but I think people are going to see more programs like it because it brings people close to the songs," Tadani said.
"People call me daily (about doing shows) and I tell them that production and editing is expensive. Next, you have to have a place to air it. That's expensive too. The last one -- which is most important -- is advertisers. I'm not a salesman but I believe in what I market."
"If someone says they've never seen Tiny TV I'm surprised, not because I think I'm great but it's because it's on every day."
Tadani says that his symbiotic relationship with Oceanic Cable is the foundation of his celebrity. He became recognized while covering sports and weather for KITV and was working at Oceanic when he came up with the concept of Tiny TV. Oceanic let him do it.
Tadani's unique blend of brashness and local-boy charm made him a hit with viewers of all ages. He certainly lives up to his full moniker, Tiny Nitro Tadani, a name given to him by his dad, who wanted to call him TNT.
"People would call me Tiny Bubbles, Tiny Whiny, I think that gave me a sense of humor. It doesn't help to fight about it. Anyway, my mom wanted to call me Tracy Lee so I'm glad it was Nitro.
"I'm not a huggable guy -- I'm kind of a 'Hey, howzit?' guy -- but I'm very approachable for everyone from kids to grandparents. I'm like the little kid brother so I can kind of get along with everybody.
"I have offended people and with that I learn and try not to do it again. You can't make everybody happy but still I don't like to upset people. I was brought up that way. They can call you a kiss-ass, and in a way I'm a kiss-ass to everybody I meet, but I want to be able to tease them and kiss their ass at the same time."
Tadani decided to become a record producer to help a friend, Rocky Brown.
"She never got the air play I thought she deserved so my thing to her was that I'd make her a star. Then as I got into it, I thought of other songs that other people would sound good doing, so I said on my show I was going to do an album that would be all about me -- my favorite songs by my favorite artists. So I started with Rocky and 'Follow Your Road.'
"I'm not a song writer so it's not like I have this ego to where I need to have eight originals and two covers. It's 11 covers, and the theme of the CD is to take every song and change it a little so it's not copy-cat but our own version. I gave David Tucciarone my songs, I gave him my ideas and my artists, and he went with it."
It seemed natural once things got rolling for Tadani to whip out his Tiny Cam and tape some of the action during the recording sessions. It started as a personal diary and became an official documentary.
"I don't really narrate. I just walk around with my camera and you can hear me talking. It's all the stuff in the studio that no one sees. David Tucciarone is the star."
Tadani says he's already planning another album. He also hopes to expand "Tiny TV" and build his block of programs into a Tiny Network that will reach viewers throughout Hawaii, the West Coast and Las Vegas, and maybe even Japan.
"I've got so much to show. I want to take it even further with more shows and more time. We're minus a karaoke show now in the state and there's a lot of comedians and DJs who can do things like me without copying me that I'd love to have on. I'd love to have my own Tiny Network."
And there's more. Tadani is also working on a play that he hopes to see staged here by the end of the year. It isn't going to be a local-style comedy.
"'Tiny TV' is fun but life isn't all laughing and I want to do a serious make-you-cry play built around a lot of thoughts and things I've experienced lately. It's going to be done professionally with a nice set, director and crews. There's a soundtrack to it, beautiful music, and I think my female star is going to be Rocky Brown."
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