Kanoa of Gomega
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Kanoa of Gomega

Band Folk Acoustic


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"Makin Thru the Breakthru"

Makin Thru the Breakthru is the first solo album of Kanoa Kukaua, better known as Kanoa of the band Gomega. I thought it safe to presume that popping the CD into my player would bring a flood of the all too familiar reggae beat which seems to dominate the repertoire of most local musicians. But I was wrong.

Don’t get me wrong—I think reggae’s great. But I find the bulk of the local music I’ve heard to be amateurish and formulaic, focusing on the entirely unoriginal topics of partying, lush island women and shallow promises of a true and all-conquering love.

But Kanoa’s Makin Thru the Breakthru, I was pleasantly surprised to find, is a refreshing album containing a montage of sounds from a variety of musical genres laced with intelligent, relatable lyrics. The artist himself describes it as a “soul album with hints of pop and a touch of reggae.”

When I met with Kanoa and Ipo Kahele, his manager, it didn’t take long for me to recognize that they are kind and gracious people. Kanoa’s humility was evident by his eagerness to thank those who have helped and inspired him throughout this musical process.

Kanoa said that “Gomega,” the name of his band, which formed in 1999, means “to go big.” He said it reflects his desire for the band to take on “a bigger entity” in their musical endeavors.

He also expressed frustration at being “pigeonholed” by the expectations of listeners and critics. He said, with some care, that he’s “a student of music” and that he “respects music too much not to go there”—exploring musical possibilities.

“To me, the album is a memoir of my life,” Kanoa said.

The song “Breakthru” expresses Kanoa’s determination to make it. He said he got the idea for the title after having his palm read while apprenticing as a tattoo artist. The palm reader told him that success was on its way, but that he had to be patient and “make it through the breakthrough.”

Everything from the artwork on the cover to the music and lyrics are a reflection of his life. Indeed, Kanoa poses in six different get-ups on the album cover, representing the many facets of his identity. What’s more, he does this against the backdrop of Pu‘unene Meat Market and the sugar mill, which he said represents “the working man.” The places also hold special significance to Kanoa, as his family lived and worked in Pu‘unene.

Tracks like “True,” “Loving You,” “Let Go” and “Pick up the Pieces” are genuine and heartfelt; others, like “Don’t Stop” and “After the Tone” are more playful and fun. Each song stands out with a distinctive sound and message, but doesn’t compromise the album’s overall cohesion.

Success is an extremely relative term, but this new album makes it hard to think Kanoa didn’t make it through the breakthrough a long time ago. MTW - Maui Time Weekly

"Makin Thru the Breakthru Review"

"Makin' Thru the Breakthru" by Kanoa of Gomega; Kanoa of Gomega

# Genre: Island contemporary.

# Distinguishing notes: Kanoa Kukaua of Maui is the centerpiece of this contemporary Island disc that fuses funk with rock with equal doses of pop and hip-hop. Besides Kukaua (vocals), the six-member group includes Cornbread Kekue (drums), Johnny Kakio (bass), Fatso Matsuda (keyboards), Christian Lanepore (lead guitar) and Louie Lua'u (rhythm guitar).

The title track is introductory in the sense that it establishes the combo's vibes and perimeters, with a soul undercurrent. "Infatuated" is one of those sweet love rockaballads; "True" has a slight country flavor with a lingering melodic imprint — the kind of ditty that a group like Kalapana might have concocted; "After the Tone" is an intriguing offering about telephone ring-tone anticipation and it could be a Gomega giant, with right support and exposure. - Honolulu Advertiser

"Makin Thru the Breakthru"

Kanoa of Gomega

Mackey Feary is forever irreplaceable as a singer and songwriter, but this imaginative debut by Kanoa Kukaua shows that his legacy is alive and well. It's easy to image Feary singing "True," the first romantic cut on the album, and the lyrics and arrangements of several other songs also suggest that Kukaua, a guy with an expressive voice and a knack for memorable lyrics, is a serious Kalapana fan.

Composers' credits aren't included, but the "one sheet" from the distributor reveals that all the song are originals and that Kukaua sang all the vocals and played all the instruments, with the exception of some credited guests.

Kukaua stretches out on "Ode to Nick," a swinging acoustic jazz number with vivid lyrics that describe his response to the plight of a woman whose ex won't leave her alone. Jenn "JROQ" Wright adds the "hip" to a hip-hop number, and Mailani Makainai guests on a soulful pop duet. With "After the Tone" he proves that he can do a whimsical up-tempo techo, too.

Kukaua shows a subtle sense of humor with album art that has him portraying five fictional musicians -- Johnny Kakio, Fatso Masuda, and so on.

"Ultra Boogie," an unlisted track that pops up seven minutes after the final notes of "What Would Do (remix)," adds a taste of his work in concert (Find it as Track 99 on your CD player). - Star Bullentin Island Mele


Kanoa of Gomega
Makin Thru the Breakthru
1. Breakthru ft. Jenn "JROQ" Wright
2. True
3. Loving You
4. Ode to Nick
5. Let Go
6. Don't Stop ft. Mailani Makanai
7. Tea Song
8. What Would You Do
9. Apology
10. Infatuated
11. Pick p The Pieces
12. After the Tone ft. Cody Matsuda
13. What Would You Do (Remix)
99. Ultra Boogie




In short I'm just like most musicians out there but I live and play music on Maui and I love my island home. Maui No Ka Oi! What sets me apart from others musicians? Not much I do music cuz I love it and it's apart of me and who I am.
My originals reflect my life and the people in it. Everyone has there up's and downs and if people can identify them selfs with my lyric then I know I've toched them in some way and thats a turn on for me. To touch others with my music.
I love to play cover songs also, this world is full of great musicians and I like to turn others on to musician that they would never listen to and that only is a awesome feeling.
My family also have influences my since a young age. My Dad plays Bass and my mom sings and plays the Ukulele. My cuzins, Aunties, and Uncles had a huge impact on my life and my manager is loyal to me and my career. But I whole a great deal to my home MAUI! Mahalo!