Making Music and Memories in Waikiki with Tiara Hernandez
Surfer, music teacher, reality TV star, local tastemaker, and festival founder—Tiara Hernandez is no stranger to making waves.
The Oahu native’s musical roots run deep. Her parents met in Waikiki, where her father was a drummer and her mother a dancer. She and her siblings performed music together as a family. And you might be familiar with her little brother, Bruno Mars. (Tiara tells us he’s “come a long way” from his days as an Elvis impersonator!)
Those childhood memories of performing with family inspire Tiara’s passion for teaching music today. As a music teacher, she believes there’s a deep connection between music and memory. Hearing a song reminds you of someone or something, or transports you back to a certain place or time.
"Every day with my students, I feel like that’s what we’re doing: Creating memories,” said Tiara.
That's why she founded Keikichella, a music and performing arts festival that provides a platform for children to share their creative passions. The annual event showcases everything from piano and singing, to hula dancing and Siva Afi, a traditional Polynesian fire knife dance.
"I Love Hawaii"
Instilling that love of music into the next generation led to a friendship with fellow surfer and music teacher Tammy Moniz. A few years ago, they collaborated on “I LOVE HAWAII.” The original song sought to uplift the community during trying times, by celebrating children, music, and the unshakable aloha spirit.
In 2020, the timing felt right to release the song and accompanying music video.
"Tammy honored so many beautiful qualities of growing up in Hawaii,” Tiara said.
The video features locations that capture both “modern and traditional” Hawaii, from Duke’s Waikiki at Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort to the Fukumitsu family’s taro farm in Hakipuu.
There’s No Place Like Home
Living in Los Angeles for a few years reminded Tiara just how much Hawaii felt like home. She’s since rediscovered her passion for surfing on Oahu’s iconic beaches, even celebrating her birthday this year with a “surf and slumber party” at Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort.
“We surfed all day, ate at Duke’s, surfed again all evening, ate at Duke’s again… Being at the Outrigger reignited my love for Waikiki and my home Hawaii,” she said.
As for birthday gifts? Tiara told friends and family that all she wanted was to catch a party wave together – and it looks like they nailed it!
Ready to make some Hawaii memories of your own? We think you might like this special offer, inspired by Duke himself.
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