On the Scene with Lance Motogawa
Lance Motogawa returned to radio almost two years ago with a Monday evening magazine-style show from 8 to 10 p.m. on KPRP AM 650.
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By the time Lance Motogawa graduated from Pearl City High School in 1987 he knew that music was his future. He was writing rap songs, he could pretty much play by ear on an electric keyboard, and he was a member of Club Rox Rock — Hawaii’s first notable rap group — with Dwayne Oyama, Chris Traya and Lionel “Black Hawaiian” Wright. The quartet kept working until it released its first album, “Hyped, Dope, Def & Direct,” in 1991 but that was as far as it went. Motogawa picked up the pieces of his solo career and kept going. He hosted a radio show, got into advertising sales, learned about marketing, and applied his recording studio skills to producing commercials and writing jingles.
Motogawa, 50, returned to radio almost two years ago with a Monday evening magazine-style show from 8 to 10 p.m. on KPRP AM 650. He added a one-hour Friday morning show that runs from 8 to 9 a.m. on that same station in August.
What brought you back into radio?
Sunny-Aloha Miller from KPRP 650 Pinoy Power Radio had me on her show for an interview. After the show she said, “You got a really good deejay voice, you ever thought about having your own show?” And I said, “You know, I have!”
What’s the biggest difference doing a radio show after 25 years away from radio?
Social media, because now you got the visual aspect of it (on Facebook). I wanted to have a platform for all these artists that I know are trying to get their music out there in Hawaii but never get no love. On my show everything is welcome, but by taking full advantage of social media and the visual aspect of it I can (also) get comedians in there, hypnotists, magicians, visual artists and people from Wyland Galleries.
Going back to the beginning, what was one of the first songs you wrote?
One of them was “The Big Beat.” “Boom bam boom goes the big beat. Boom bam boom goes the big beat. Ra-ta-ta-ta-ta-tat goes the small beat” (laughs). It was that kind of era of rap. I was already into it a little when I connected with the guys.
Club Rox Rock was one of the pioneers of rap and hip-hop in Hawaii. SKI-103 comes to mind as the other. He’s long gone from Hawaii and Club Rox Rock broke up almost 30 years ago. Could you guys have kept going?
I think if we had recorded a little earlier maybe things could have gone a little further, possibly, but I’m proud of the achievement that we did. In the end, if this my last day (on Earth), I can say that it was an achievement to be proud of.
How do the Club Rox Rock recordings sound to you now?
They sound fun, they sound more bright than what’s out there now. They also sound just a little cheesy, but that’s just because we’re older. It’s like, when I was a kid, Kikaida was, “Wow! Oh my God!” Now I look at the costumes and everything and I think, “Really?” It’s the same thing, you see things differently when you’re older.
Is there something you’d like to be doing?
The next step, if I could get the backing for it, would be to do TV. I see a lot of good stuff coming out now. Or YouTube could make more sense, but I like doing what I’m doing now. I’m able to incorporate everything in there — and I get to make the commercial spots for my sponsors, as well as doing voice-overs. I feel real blessed and fortunate to be able to implement all my skills into one show. Real blessed.