Fine-tuned teens
join the Bash

Of all of the teenage artists who are performing at the KCCN / FM100 Birthday Bash XII this weekend, no one will be out there more than Kapena DeLima, the 15-year-old son of the multifaceted Kelly DeLima. Kapena will be performing both nights -- rocking with The Next Generation ("New G" for short) tonight and tomorrow, playing keyboards with the band he was named for.

The KCCN / FM100
Birthday Bash XII

Where: Waikiki Shell

When: 5:30 p.m. today and tomorrow

Tickets: $18.50, $19.50 and $26 for either night, two-night passes at $30 and $32

Call: 296-1003

Note: Sean Na'auao, Three Plus, Na Palapalai, Pati, O-shen, 'Ekolu, Sudden Rush, The Next Generation and the Island Music MVPs perform tonight. Kapena, Fiji, Keahiwai, Natural Vibrations, Ten Feet, B.E.T., Darrell Labrado and the Island Music MVPs perform tomorrow.

On top of that, Kapena and his dad will also be members of the all-star 2003 Island Music MVPs that will close the show both nights.

"I've been gigging a lot with Dad and New G," Kapena said. He's come far in the three short years since made his debut he performed with his dad's band at the Hoku Awards.

Kapena also plays bass when he and his father work as a duo. Seeing the two of them play together at the Sheraton Waikiki two weeks ago, one could see how much they enjoy each other's company. At the same time, however, Kelly is allowing Kapena the opportunity to work with musicians closer his own age. For instance, Kapena was off-island, playing with New Generation when his father and the rest of the band did the "Voices of Samoa" concert last weekend.

Kapena says his father helps him keep both his schedule and his priorities in line, so that he can juggle his various musical commitments.

"I like doing the duo because that's how I learned to play bass ... and it's fun to be the youngest member (of the band) because people don't expect you to do more than you already can do. But I'm glad I'm with Next Generation, 'cause they're kids my age."

Caleb Keolanui, the group's 14-year old lead singer, has also been invited to join Nathan Aweau, Robi Kahakalau and Sean Na'auao as part of the MVP group. (Fiji returns as the musical director of the all-star group.)

THE BASH lineup got an additional shot of teen star power last week when it was announced that Darrell Labrado had agreed to perform on Saturday. Labrado, still somewhat underexposed on local radio, is one of the very few local artists whose recordings have registered on any of the Billboard charts other than the World Music chart. Labrado's 2001 remake of Bob Marley's "Master Blaster (Jammin')" hit #71 on the Hot 100 Singles sales chart and his current single, "I Want My Island Girl," an original written by his production team, is enjoying similar success.

"It's exciting to be recognized, but I don't really think that many people (here) keep up with Billboard," Labrado said matter-of-factly. His producers and record label, AEG Records, have been working on their long-term national objectives while waging a campaign to get "Island Girl" played on all of Hawaii's pop and island music radio stations.


Darrell Labrado is part
of Saturday's lineup.

A new album, "Caught in the Dream," is on the way, and Labrado and company are also preparing to shoot a video version of "Island Girl" that they hope will help open more doors for him on a national level.

Labrado says it won't be his first video project, but he expects it to be more complicated and demanding than anything he's done previously.

"It will be the first one of this caliber," he said. "It's kind of exciting, but I don't really know what to expect, so it's kind of nerve-wracking at the same time."

Labrado says that the mainland sound he's hearing these days "is more hip-hop and R&B," but that there seems to be some crossover play happening for Jamaican artists as well. His challenge is to find a way to get his music into the mix as well.

"It's tough, but we're hoping for the best," he said.

Labrado will be making more trips to the mainland in the months to come, but for the moment he is enjoying a relatively normal life. He describes himself as "the lazy type" but mentions surfing, working out and boxing as three of his favorite activities.

Kapena DeLima, meanwhile, has been studying steel guitar with Jerry Byrd and continues to develop his skills on drums, bass and keyboards. In the fall, he'll be performing with Kapena (the band) in Palau and Las Vegas.

Someday, if things ever slow down, he may even take up the ukulele.

"Everybody's really surprised that I don't play that much ukulele, because my dad is a ukulele player, but we just don't have time for him to teach me," he said.

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