Husband and wife duo, Kellen and Līhau Paik have been performing as the duet, Kūpaoa, for about a decade. After meeting while they were attending the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, they became friends, then bandmates, then partners and finally married in 2010. Through the years, they have been honored to receive multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards for their 4 CD releases including: Most Promising Artist (2009), Best Liner Notes (2010), Island Music Album of the Year (2014), and Best Hawaiian Language Performance (2014). The title track of their most recent full-length album, Bumbye, written by Dr. Puakea Nogelmeier, was awarded the coveted Haku Mele award at the Hōkūs this year and Kellen was also awarded the same prestigious award in 2009 for a song that he composed with friend, Iokepa Badis. As life-long students of Hawaiian language, they enjoy composing and performing their own original songs, in addition to the time-honored favorites that are loved by all.
In addition to the 4 store releases that the duo has under their belt, they also collaborated with a Japanese group, Kaulana, to produce a first-of-its-kind project in 2014 called Nā Pua Mōhala. The 12 song collection has 10 original Hawaiian songs written about either Hawaiʻi or Japan, as well as Hawaiian translations of 2 Japanese favorites: Sukiyaki and Hana Wā Saku (Nā Pua Mōhala).
The pair has also worked for the past several years on producing a collection of limited edition, unreleased albums that they call Hāliu, which they sell exclusively on their website and at live gigs. Unlike their store releases, these projects are comprised of only traditional numbers; songs of their past that they rearrange with Kūpaoa flair. They currently have 3 volumes of these Hāliu CDs, all available for purchase or download on their website.
The duo’s enduring passion and love for Hawaiian music and language informs all that they do, and it is evident in the music that they produce. The word Kūpaoa describes a lasting, permeating fragrance and it is the couple’s hope that their music will linger with you, infusing your heart and mind long after their performance is through.
If you would like to download a copy of Kūpaoa’s At-A-Glance Bio, please click HERE.