What Popular Bands and Artists Are from Hawaii?

Haiwaii is known for its relaxed, laidback island paradise. The music on the Island reflects the easy lifestyle of the people. 

Ukuleles and slack-key guitars accompany the music of Hawaii. Despite its simplicity, the bands and musicians have remained innovative in folk, rock, reggae, electronica, fusion, funky, trance, and other variations, including a guide to disco music.

Man playing ukulele

Hawaii produced sounds that mirror its rich history while keeping an eye on the modern music landscape.

Some famous artists and bands in Hawaii

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

Israel Kamakawio’ole’s immense popularity can be measured in the enormous commercial success of his album, Facing the Future, in 1993.

After selling more than one million copies, the album became the first Hawaiian music album to be certified platinum.

The medley Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World got over 1 billion views on YouTube alone. Many commercials, TV shows, and films featured the said medley, particularly the blockbuster movie 50 First Dates.

Israel’s gentle, soothing voice made him a regular artist on the Billboard World Charts, making him one of the influential musicians in Hawaii of all time. 

In terms of his music, Israel became the Voice of Hawaii. He died at the age of 38 in 1997.

Description: Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole – Somewhere over the Rainbow



Anuhea Jenkins is an up-and-coming star from Hawaii. With her first self-titled album in 2009, Anuhea captured the reggae and soul music of Hawaii.

He was a recipient of the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards for Most Promising Artist and Album of the Year. Her influences include Bob Marley, Jason Mraz, and Jack Johnson.

Her music also made it to Number 2 on Billboard Charts Top World Albums. She performed at the ProBowl Halftime in 2011.

 In 2016, she released her EP, Shoulders. 

Description: Anuhea – Higher Than The Clouds

Kolohe Kai

Kolohe Kai is known for its infectious, refreshing beat. This young reggae band from the Windward side of Oahu caught the attention of Go Aloha Entertainment for the studio recording of the debut CD This Is The Life.

Kolohe Kai leader Roman De Peralta mainly composed their songs.

The music reflects youthful innocence, love of life, passion for surfing, and love for fun.

Kolohe Kai is a band for all music lovers in all walks of life.

Description: Kolohe Kai + HIRIE – Feel the Sunshine

The Steppas

The Steppas are responsible for recreating the reggae sounds in Hawaii. 

They produced the albums The Steppas EP (2012), The Love Shack EP (2013), and To You From We (2014).

The band is composed of Rick Star, Na’ea Kaopua, Kekolu Pavao, Busy Legaspi and Makana Rosetti. Their theme is mostly peace, love, and fun.

Description: The Steppas – King For A Day

The Throwdowns

The Throwdowns is a rock band from Maui. 

The band members are Erin Smith, Kimo Clark, Ola Shaw, and Ian Hollingsworth. Their 2011 album, Legs of Our Own, brought pride to their place.

Description: The Throwdowns – Shake Your Bones

The 4th Wall

The 4th Wall is an indie rock band from Honolulu. The band members are Stephen Augustin, Paul Brittain, Max Lilien, and Kasey Shun. 

The Smithereens and Taking Back Sunday heavily influence their music. The band, known for its melodic, thematic sounds, is steadily getting attention in the airwaves and online streaming. 

Description: The Fourth Wall – Circular Ruins


Bluetech is Evan Bartholomew from Pahoa. As a solo artist, Bartholomew is a significant name in electronic and dance music. His latest record, Basement Dubs, is a stunning example of ambient sound.

Description: Bluetech – Basement Dub

The Green

The Green is a reggae band from Oahu. The band members are Caleb Keolanui (vocals), Ikaika Antone (keys/vocals), JP Kennedy (guitar/vocals), Zion Thompson (guitar/vocals), Brad Watanabe (bass), and Jordan Espinoza (drums). They are known for their indigenous Hawaiian music and contemporary lyrics.

The Green has already released five full-length studio albums. 

Description: The Green – All I Need

The Brothers Cazimero

The Brothers Cazimero were a Hawaiian musical duo formed in 1975 by brothers Robert Cazimero and Roland Cazimero.

They were inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame in 2006. 

 In 2008, they bagged the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Award under the Hawaiʻi Academy of Recording Arts.

The two became resident musicians for over ten years at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel’s Monarch Room.

They performed a sold-out show at the Carnegie Hall in 2000. 

Roland passed away in 2017. 

Description: The Brothers Cazimero – 2013 Spring Concert

Don Ho

Description: Don Ho

Don Ho was a revered artist, a master showman in Hawaii. 

He was known for his infectious, pleasant personality. A regular musician in the nightlife of Waikiki, Ho made it into global stardom with his single Tiny Bubbles in 1966.

His death in 2007 did not stop him from being one of the music icons in Hawaii.