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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, November 13, 2001

'Synergy Day' begins with song in Hawai'i

By Derek Paiva
Advertiser Staff Writer

Tomorrow morning, more than 65 radio stations and 15 television stations statewide will simultaneously play a song and video performed and created by local musicians to promote unity and the preservation of Hawai'i's aloha spirit.

'Give Aloha'
 •  6:45 a.m. tomorrow
 •  Broadcast outlets that will be airing the track and video simultaneously include Honolulu radio stations KSSK AM & FM, KCCN AM & FM, KINE, KRTR, KIKI, KUMU AM & FM, KQMQ AM & FM, KPOI, Star 101.9 and Neighbor Island stations. Television stations include KHON, KITV, KHNL, KFVE, KGMB and Olelo.
The song, "Give Aloha," features the talents of more than 45 Hawai'i musicians, including Amy Hanaiali'i Gilliom, Kelly Boy DeLima, Jerry Santos, Malani Bilyeu and Aunty Genoa Keawe. It addresses the importance of people simply being good to one another.

The single and video will debut on local airwaves statewide at 6:45 a.m. tomorrow to commemorate Synergy Hawai'i Day.

Gov. Cayetano proclaimed Nov. 14 as statewide Synergy Hawai'i Day last month, to bring attention to the need for aloha spirit among Hawai'i residents with the simultaneous broadcast of a single song. The Synergy Hawai'i Day and "Give Aloha" campaign was founded and organized by musician-firefighter Jesse Rivera, who came up with the idea while driving to work and hearing a song by country singer Clay Walker called "Chain of Love" on the radio.

"It's a beautiful song about helping each other, and how what goes around comes around," Rivera said. "I thought, 'Man, how can I find a way to have everybody hear this and feel what I'm feeling now?' I thought if people could hear what I was hearing, people would be more nice to one another. Maybe let you cut in on the freeway. Holding open an elevator door for you. Any kind of nice gesture that people would remember in their hearts."

Rivera hatched the idea of asking Cayetano to proclaim a statewide "synergy" day, and got radio and television stations to agree to broadcast the song simultaneously on that day. After getting the governor's support of his idea late last year, Rivera spent the first few months of this year gathering commitments from television and radio station managers to air "Chain of Love" or "any song with a message of love, care, kindness and helping one another" at the same time on Nov. 14.

"It was a challenge getting the television and radio stations, but I gave 'em the lomilomi," said Rivera, laughing, making a pun out of the Hawaiian word for massage.

In April, Rivera decided to compose an original song for the event instead, enlisting David "Kawika" Kahiapo, Kelly Boy DeLima and Kawika Crowley in May to co-write. Rivera spent the next five months asking local musicians to donate their voices to the recording of the new composition, titled "Give Aloha." On Oct. 5, the governor issued an official state proclamation establishing Nov. 14 as Synergy Hawai'i Day.

Studio and production time was also donated by Producers Group Inc., Pixelworld Networks and Gaylord Holomalia, with recording and filming of soloists taking place on Oct. 11 in studio, and recording and filming of the entire chorus taking place at Windward Community College Theatre on Oct. 22. Also participating in the recording were Moe Keale, Ilona Irvine, Ernie Cruz Jr. and members of Maunalua, Vaihi and Three Plus, among others.

Rivera said the motivation behind the song is to spur people into doing one or more kind acts that perpetuate the aloha spirit on Nov. 14, and each time it is heard thereafter.

"The main objective of this is to spread love, care, kindness and aloha across the state," he said.

Rivera hopes to have a CD version available for sale before Thanksgiving, with all profits going to Prevent Child Abuse Hawai'i. Copies of the video, however, aren't for sale.