Categorized | Entertainment

Rios releases first single; up for Big Island Music Award

Special to Hawaii 24/7

Hawane Rios, an upcoming Hawaiian recording artist has just released her first CD single entitled Poliahu i ke kapu.”

She wrote and arranged this mele (song) as a tribute to Poliahu, the divine snow goddess of Mauna Kea. Its words speak of the natural beauty of the mountain and compares the snowfall, bright stars, soft clouds, cool mist, and mountain itself to sacred Poliahu.

Hawane Rios

“My connection to the Earth Mother is deep and true as my family has raised me to know that the Earth is as much a part of us as we are a part of it. The beautiful power of the elements has served as inspiration for my musical compositions strengthening my connection and respect for this land as I continue to sing my praises for this world,” Rios said.

“The gentle breeze that touches my skin to the comforting feeling of the sea’s embrace captures my heart and inspires me to honor them with song. I have learned that music sends out a healing vibration that can’t be touched by anything else. It is never ending and travels onward touching souls one chord at a time,” she said. “My hope is to write and lift my voice in honor of those who came before, those who live now, and those who are yet to come. E ola mau na iwi, e ola.”

Rios comes from the small country town of Waimea, nestled in the protection of the majestic and sacred Mauna Kea, also referred to as Mauna a Wakea. Her roots stretch from the rolling hills of Kohala to the sandy beaches of Anaehoomalu.

She is a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools – Kapalama Campus and Ka Haka Ula O Keelikolani, College of Hawaiian Language – University of Hawaii at Hilo.

In 2009, she was privileged to receive the Na Hoku Hanohano – Bill Murata Memorial Scholarship which inspired her to share her passion for Hawaiian music through compositions that reflect the love she has for her island home and especially for all sacred places. The aloha she feels for Mauna Kea led to this original composition.

Rios sends her deepest gratitude to everyone for their unwavering support and beautiful responses to her composition. A special mahalo is extended to Sonny Lim for engineering and mastering this song, with assistance from his daughter, Anuhea Lim. Sonny also provided the musical accompaniment on this CD single.

“Poliahu i ke kapu” is available on iTunes and other online music stores with proceeds from sales being donated to the KAHEA Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance Mauna Kea Legal Defense Fund for the protection of Hawaiian cultural practices as well as the sacred sites and landscape on Mauna Kea.

“Poliahu i ke kapu” is currently nominated for a Big Island Music Award in the category of Single, Hawaiian Language to bring attention to the sacredness of Mauna Kea.

Voting ends Feb. 29. To vote, visit:

Rios is currently on Kure Atoll, the Northwestern most Hawaiian Island, volunteering for seven months to assist with the island’s native habitat restoration and protection of endangered species.

While there, she is engaging students from various schools as well as community members in her experiences with email exchanges.

A middle school student from Kanu o Ka Aina posed the question, “What animal on Kure are you most connected to and why?”

It prompted this response.

“I have a special connection with all of the different kinds of seabirds here. I marvel at the grace of the moli (laysan albatross) and the majestic stance of the kaupu (blackfoot albatross). There are so many chicks all over the island now.

“I am surrounded by adorable new life every day and it gives me so much motivation to continue doing this kind of work.

“Every time I see the iwa fly over in small and large numbers I feel this incredible connection surge through me and go right up to the sky. I am always in awe of their strength.

“The a (boobies) are incredibly beautiful and funny. These birds have become my companions on this journey. I have learned patience and courage from watching them for the past six months. They make me smile and make me feel so much joy just by living.

“I am so honored to have been given the opportunity to help these birds.”

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