Ke Akua Mele’s Lead Ukulele player, Mr. Benjamin Daniel Kama, ”Kaniala”, was introduced to the ukulele by his parents Raphael and Colleen when he was around 5 years old. They taught him the basics of playing. His love for playing continued, with the help of his elementary school teacher, Mrs. Gail Yoshioka. Ben always loved singing as he sang for church all his life and eventually joined the church choir when he was in 8th grade. Although always having a passion for singing, it wasn’t until his Junior year at Kailua High School that things seemed to get serious. He joined a group with Zion Thompson(who now plays with The Green), Jared “Kuks” Souza(who now plays with KAIAO), and Kalani Auala- Ellis. They would go on to win the brown bags to stardom contest at Kailua and have a chance to play at the Blaisdell Arena to compete against the winners of other schools. The group chose to part ways after the event but they do remain friends till this day.
“My freshman year in high school there were a couple of my friends playing ukulele and I thought I can play let me try. I then realized I didn’t really know any local songs only Christian music. I went home that night and grabbed my mom and dads cds of opihi pickers, kaau crater boys, and braddah Iz. That was the night I learned to pick. I listened to the music and I made my own versions of what I thought the pick sounded like. I fell in love with picking“. Ben went on to say that all of the picking he knows and does had been self taught and that God had blessed him with a musical ear. He has definitely put it to great use in his music.
Although music is such a big part of his life now, Ben has maintained that there are more important things in life. “I am very thankful to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for all of his blessings toward me and my family and for the abilities he has blessed me with to do what I do. I am completely humbled and blessed to have an amazing wife that supports me in all I do and she continues to be my inspiration”. Ben and his wife Lehua have 9 children together(with one more on the way) that they try their best to raise in the love and admonition of the Lord. This Waimanalo boy would love to see “Ben Kama Music” succeed in this industry, be a household name that people love to listen to, that honors and glorifies God in music and actions. He lives his life with a modo of God first, Wife second, Children third, then work. “People measure success in many ways. For me I feel I’ve already succeeded in my life because at the end of the day I put my trust in what Jesus has done for me, I have an amazing beautiful wife, and 9 beautiful children”.