All photography provided by Josh Tatofi
"...i knew making a name of my own was going to be hard...
who i am
Josh Tatofi was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. His father, established local musician Tivani Tatofi, is an original member of the acclaimed reggae band Kapena. As a child, music for Josh was inescapable. By the age of thirteen, Josh had begun performing throughout the Hawaiian Islands, establishing himself as a respected vocalist while gaining the recognition of his audiences and his peers. By the age of nineteen, Josh recorded an album with the wildly popular Maui band ʻEkolu. Spawn to the Kapena sound, Joshʻs early career resembled that of a reggae-lover, consisting of upbeat melodies, catchy hooks and local collaborations.
But with idols like Luther Vandross and Pebo Bryson, and ballad-ready chops to boot, Josh yearned to fuse his R&B soul with a love for his Polynesian heritage. “I ka wā ma hope, I ka wā mamua.” A Hawaiian proverb meaning, the future is in the past. As Josh developed artistically, the heritage of his past became the gateway to discovering his future. In 2014, Josh had a career altering epiphany and discovered a home for his voice in traditional Hawaiian music.
With the release of his first Hawaiian language single, titled Pua Kiele, Josh expressed his adoration for the language, culture and traditions of Hawaii. In 2016, Josh released a full-length Hawaiian album, also titled Pua Kiele, and with it embedded his imprint in the Hawaiian music scene. Since then, Josh has earned the nickname as, “the Luther Vandross of Hawaii.” And with a significant title to bear, Josh Tatofi continues to express his soul through Hawaiian mele.
- 2017 Na hoku hanohano award winner for Best island album of the year
- 2017 Na hoku hanohano award winner for best male vocalist of the year.
- The "pua kiele" album has been number 1 on the world music charts many times, and has been #1 on mele.com for moths now.
- multi-Merrie Monarch musician performer.
- 2011 Na Hoku hanohano award nominee for most promising.