"My friends all used to get together and have this contest about who would be signing the most autographs when we grew up.  I never in a million years thought that person would be me!"  Bruddah Sam Langi says modestly.  His stardom has quickly skyrocketed since the show "Local Kine Grindz" started on OC16 in January 2000.  Bruddah Sam has quickly become one of Hawaii's Favorite People.  As we walk down the street with Sam, people at the bus stops are smiling and waving wild shaka signs.  "Ey Bruddah Sam, where you goin' grind today?" one person shouts out.  It's no secret why the public loves him. This guy has got charisma oozing out of his ears!

He's funny, he's local, he's got a great singing voice (Sam is lead singer for the extremely popular local band Vaihi)...  all that plus a natural warmth and honesty wrapped up into one huggable package!  He's the person with the ultimate job (and he's perfect for this role): getting paid to 'pound', or as us old-school folks call it, GRIND!  We caught up with Bruddah Sam at one of his shoots at The Greek Corner on University Avenue.  Unfortunately, his co-host/wife/best friend Lina Girl Langi (he is really in love with her!  It's so cute the way he speaks about her!) was busy earning a living as the DJ for KCCNFM100, but we'll try to catch up with her in the coming weeks... even if it means we have to go through the extremely torturous task of tagging along with Local Kine Grindz.... wait a minute, am I nuts?  We'd take just about any excuse to cruise with our favorite hosts and *ahem* try hard to do our part to help with any difficult grindage missions assigned to us.  Well, enough with the shameless begging... Let's get to the Bruddah Sam interview.

Hawaii411: What was your major in College?
Bruddah Sam: At BYUH, I majored in Elementary Ed.  Did I graduate?  That’s another story.  I gotta go back and finish.

Hawaii411: Tell us about your Parents!

Bruddah Sam: My Mother used to teach Special Ed, now she heads the computer department.  She was born and raised in Punalu`u and Molokai.  My father is from Tonga.  I speak very little Tongan.  My father only spoke Tongan to me when he was mad, so I know all the bad words.  I get shame when some person who isn't Tongan can speak the language better than me.   

<<... Bruddah Sam on Music ...>>
Hawaii411: When I first heard Vaihi, you blew me away.  How did you guys get together, and how do you come up with your music?
Bruddah Sam: We started in college.  I’ve been playing with them since 1992.  They are close friends of mine from when I grew up, and have been the closest guys to me for the past ten years.  All Vaihi music is original music.  We try to hone in on something nobody else has done.  It’s a different approach to music.  Our latest CD has a lot of modern styles.  We took the Drifters, and mixed it with some Al Green, and a little bit of Katchi-katchi and mixed it up.  We took some Sting, some Earth Wind and Fire and added a little bit of Planet Rock feel.  We catered to the contemporary on this Album.

Hawaii411: What artists influence your music?
Bruddah Sam: I listened to Maurice White sing “Stand by Me” and I liked Philip Bailey.  My mother said, “If you like that, you gotta listen to these guys.”  She turned me on to Earth, Wind, and Fire. 

Bruddah Sam's quote on Lina Girl:

 "She’s organized and does all the un-fun work, I guess I keep her sane and make her laugh!"


Hawaii411 Five Oh - Warm up questions

1. Favorite place to be in Hawaii?
Bruddah Sam: Jackass Ginger falls… me and my wife in the water.

2. Favorite Kind of Food?
Bruddah Sam: Japanese food fast becoming my favorite, but Greek cuisine is getting up there. (hmmm, could it be because we are surrounded by 14 awesome greek dishes at interview time?)

3. What do you do in your free time?
Bruddah Sam: Before, I used to surf (boogey-board) but when you get all this weight, it’s hard.  When the wave grabs you and throws you down, it really throws you down.  Now, I really enjoy playing music, spending time with my family, and I swim.  I do laps every day.

4. Who is your favorite local personality?
Bruddah Sam: Pogo, from Checkers and Pogo!

5. Who do you look up to?
Bruddah Sam: My Dad.  My Mom and Dad play music.  My mom plays the piano and my Dad plays guitar.  From when I was small, my Dad would put me up on his knee, pop in the eight-track, and (Sam breaks into spontaneous rendition of 'Yesterday Once More' by the Carpenter's) 'When I was young I listened to the Radio...' (Sam has such an awesome natural voice!) We just put in all those Karen Carpenter jams and just sang and sang and sang.

Hawaii411: You use a lot of “beat box” in your music -did you used to bus' out the record player and “scratch”, or practice your “beat box” technique?
Bruddah Sam: Yeah, nobody else does it (beat box).  I incorporate it in my music, and people love it.

Hawaii411: What are some of the things you are doing to further your musical skills?
Sam: Now I take lessons from Lyle Ritz (a local ukulele legend).  Lyle is one of those underground ukulele players who is not mainstream.  He influenced people like Ohta-San.  I have the fortune to sit down every now and then, when he's free.  It's expensive, but it's worth it.  I get to sit down with a master, and learn his craft.  I love it.  I love it. I just love it.

<<... Bruddah Sam on Lina Girl ...>>
Hawaii411: You first met Lina by calling her radio show, can you tell us more about your courtship?

Bruddah Sam: I had a friend that would call her up and bug her.  I was working with him at Texaco, and he called in, the next thing you know, he passed me the phone.  That’s how we met.  I gave her my phone number, and she gave me her work number, and I’d call her at work.  She was a secretary at KCCN as well at the time.  For about two years, I’d call, we talked story, but I never met her.  I didn’t know what she looked like.  I found out she was one of the girls on Nawai.  I looked on the album cover, and saw Bella (one of the other members of the group) and thought that was Lina.  When I actually met her, and found it was Lina, it was like, ‘Oh wow, this is the beautiful one!’  Uhhh, wait, what I meant to say is that they are all beautiful, but she was the beautiful one that I thought was someone else. (*smiles big*)  She first agreed to meet me at Zippy’s.  She didn’t want me to pick her up at home, because I might be a stalker.  When I meet people, normally I give a kiss and a hug to them, but she was the first person that I was so shocked to see, I could only shook her hand.  I was shame, but then she reached over and kissed me. Lina is the most beautiful person I know.  She has so much love inside her heart.  She always takes care of me.

Hawaii411: Any keiki’s in the future for the Langis?
Bruddah Sam: Hopefully!

Hawaii411: Any chance of you and Lina doing a Duet Album?
Bruddah Sam: We talked about it.  We’ve done a few duets together already. Lina’s got the better voice.  She teaches me.  She learned from her father from when she was small.  Lina comes from a very musical family.  I learn a lot from her.

<<... Bruddah Sam on Local Kine Grindz ...>>
Hawaii411: Who first came up with the concept of Local Kind Grindz?

Bruddah Sam: Ikaika (Kimura)...  it was his idea from the beginning.  I just happened to be the ‘eater’ closest to him.  If Robert Kekaula was the closest ‘eater’ to Ikaika, then it would’ve been him on the show.  We just filmed our 100th show.

Hawaii411:  Have you ever had restaurants turn you down for a spot in Local Kine Grindz?
Bruddah Sam: Yeah, but it’s because they can’t handle the increase in business.  But very rarely is somebody rude about it.  We give them approximately $1500 of free advertising.  For a small business, there is usually no way they could afford that.  I’m so honored to be able to give them a push.  That’s the whole idea, to push local businesses.

Hawaii411: What is the future of Local Kine Grindz?
Bruddah Sam:  I want to hook up our show with HCVB (Hawaii Convention and Visitors Bureau).  They’re trying to push Hawaii through food.  Who better to talk about the food, than someone who knows how the food tastes?

Hawaii411: Is this the best job in the world?
Bruddah Sam:  This is the bestest job!  This is the most relaxing, worry free job that you can ever have.  I get to use my status as Bruddah Sam to do good and help people.  I help restaurants, local musicians, and local businesses.  This job is like Christmas all year round!  Imagine Christmas year-round, with everybody giving you food.   That's what it's like for me - everywhere I go, I'm a food magnet, people are trying to give me food, so I can feature it on the show.

I get so much blessings too (from Local Kine Grindz).  I try.  As much as I try to bless other people, people bless me more in return.  It's like trying to catch up with God.  You can try give as much as you can, but they still give you hundreds and hundreds more.  There's no way you can ever catch up.

Hawaii411: Any Christmas Wishes for Hawaii?

Bruddah Sam:  I wish that we resolve the war on terrorism.  I wish that people would just love each other this season.  I’m going to give everybody love this year.  I hope everyone has a really awesome Chrismas.

Hawaii411: Is Sam going to be on Santa’s naughty or nice list?
Sam: (Laughs) I don’t know…

Hawaii411 Conclusion:
Well Sam, Hawaii411 has checked with Santa, and you are definitely on his nice list!  Hawaii411 nominates Bruddah Sam for the '411 Nicest Person in Hawaii' award.  This guy has so much aloha that you can't help but feel happy when you are
around him.  After we were pau eating, swarms of people came over to take pictures with Bruddah Sam.  He's not only a food magnet, but a people magnet as well.  The great thing is that he is so humble and down to earth, and makes all feel welcome.  After dealing out numerous hugs and posing for lots of pictures with fans, Bruddah Sam bids us a hearty 'aloha'.  Thanks so much Bruddah Sam: for the food, the interview, the aloha spirit, and the food (oops, did I say that already?).  We'll see you on OC16 at 9:00pm, and happy 100th show to you and Lina!  Mahalo!

Buy Vaihi's third self titled album!  We've reviewed it and it's great!  They almost shut down Windward Mall at the release event for this album because too many people showed up.  This band can jam, and Bruddah Sam's voice is definitely pure gold.  Like Sam said, the album is like a Drifters/Al Green/Earth Wind and Fire/Sting style mix.  What I like best about Vaihi is that they write their own music... The album is all original!  How many artists can boast that?  Anyhow, pick it up and give it a try.  We think you'll like it too.  Grab it off the shelves at any Tower or Jelly's today!