Sunday, March 6, 2016

Bono Would Approve: Hapa and "Pride (In the Name of Love)"

The Global Music randomizer seems to have a thing for Hawaiian bands lately. Today's random tune is by Hapa, whose name Hapa means "half," and refers to the fact that one of the members, Barry Flanagan, is a white guy from New Jersey who is currently paired up with native Hawaiian Ron Kuala'au. Flanagan has been a consistent 30 year member of the duo. He started out partnering with Keli'i Ho'omalu Kaneali'i. Following Kaneali'i, Flanagan teamed with Nathan Aweau, who eventually left for a solo career. Flanagan then partnered with Hawaiian chanter Charles Ka'upu, who described Hapa's goal as helping revive the Polynesian language and to totally change the way the world perceives Hawaiian music. Unfortunately, Ka'upu died suddenly and unexpectedly in his early 50s in 2011. In its new incarnation Hapa continues to draw from jazz, folk, blues, bluegrass, Latin, flamenco, rock, Irish music and slam poetry as well as traditional Hawaiian music. Hapa's debut CD in 1995 became the biggest selling album ever by a Hawaiian group, and they have since released eight albums. Today's song, a cover of U2's Pride (In the Name of Love), can be found on their 2002 album In the Name of Love. I found the song online as part of a Martin Luther King tribute video.