Star-Bulletin Features

Thursday, February 4, 1999

Outrigger Entertainment
The guys of DisGuyz, back row, from left: Ian Ayson,
Junior Mika, Calsen Alwohi. Front row, from left: J
ason Lent, Justin Alverio.

The good guyz win

DisGuyz will sing at the
Pro Bowl, the Palace and
on a new album

By John Berger
Special to the Star-Bulletin


Opportunity can be found anywhere. There were these guys who dreamed of becoming recording artists and took "day jobs" cleaning up backstage at the Polynesian Palace.

Those guys are now DisGuyz, and they're not only performing on stage at the Palace in the "YES! International Revue," but they'll also be seen by a wider audience at Sunday's Pro Bowl when they sing "Hawai'i Pono'i." And yes, they're now recording artists.

DisGuyz -- Calsen Aiwohi, Justin Alverio, Ian Ayson, Jason Lent and Junior Mika -- recorded a limited edition Christmas single, "Picture Perfect Christmas," as a visitor industry promotional item last year. They're now wrapping up a two-song CD-single, "Whisper I Love You"/"Bass and Treble," for release later this month. A full-length debut album will follow.

"It really feels good to know something you've written is going to be on a CD," Lent says. He and his musical collaborator, Elan Markos, are DisGuyz' songwriting team. They wrote the Christmas song, but Lent says the other Guyz contribute to the development of the songs.

" 'Whisper I Love You' was written for anyone -- man or woman -- who lost that chance to be with somebody and later on regrets it and wonders, 'What if I had told them,' " he adds softly.

Mika makes his debut as a songwriter with "Bass and Treble."

"It talks about being with a girl, but relates everything to musical terms. It's sort of suggestive," Mika explains.

Aiwohi, Alverio, Lent and Mika formed the group two years ago while still in high school. When a fifth member left Hawaii, Ayson was recruited to fill in.

DisGuyz is the latest local act to benefit as proteges of Society of Seven leader Tony Ruivivar and Frances Kirk of Outrigger Entertainment. Watching the quintet on stage, it's clear they've learned the difference between being a vocal group with a little choreography and accomplished entertainers. They've been given a rare opportunity for a young local group, and they're making the most of it.

Performing at the Palace in front of tourists was an adjustment. "We were strictly for the young high school crowd, and we just sang a capella (standing) in a half circle. That's a lot different from dancing and going out on the edge, but now we're learning we can do both, do the showroom, do a high school show," Alverio says.

The group has obviously been influenced by Boyz II Men and the myriad Boyz knockoffs, but their show segments are more than local-style R&B bits. They work a sense of individual personality into their numbers, and successfully negotiate the physical demands of a beach-song medley. A medley of Beatles songs is nicely done, and the 'Guyz also work well with the "YES!" dancers.

The group also is appearing at local high schools as part of the I-94 "Brownbags to Stardom" preliminaries.

DisGuyz first got out of backstage duty when a local tour company suggested visitors might like musical entertainment during dinner. DisGuyz debuted singing a capella over the clatter, but proved promising.

And so why the name? "It represents our versatility in the music we do, whether it be a capella or oldies or coming up whole different style -- not having a set style in stone," Alverio says.

Lent adds: "Just when you think you know what kind of music we do we'll hit you with something else."

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