How many views do you need on YouTube before you reach the level of AWESOME? Well, there’s no real number, but 89 million views and almost 400,000 likes should pretty much nail it, right? And this dude was not even Psy. Okay, my fault. Comparing the famed Gangnam Style singer to Israel “Iz” Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole is a no-no because the latter was an artist through and through. But you might be asking, who the hell is Israel with the hard to pronounce last name?
The late Israel (yup, he died in 1997 at the age of 38, gulp!) was born and raised in Hawaii. This big fella with a surprisingly soothing voice will make you wanna grab a pillow and cuddle or slow dance. He was a celebrated singer in the land of Aloha but when his album with the odd name ‘Facing Future’ was released in 1993, he found the gold mine. His songs were made as background music for commercials, he appeared on TV and on film.
Check his YT vid and judge it yourself.
His songs reflect his love and advocacy for Hawaiian culture, and well, yeah… Hawaii’s independence. But just as he was at the peak of his career, Israel became a regular visitor at hospitals due to complications from obesity. And to make the long story short, Israel died because of it. Yet, his soothing voice continued to be celebrated all throughout Hawaii.
And oh… one last bit of interesting information: His impressive ukelele playing and his incorporation of other music genres like reggae and jazz defined his own brand of music that influenced the whole Hawaiian music scene!