Josh Tatofi is a Grammy Award® nominee and multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano artist quickly rose to prominence in the Hawai‘i music industry in 2018 and 2019. Tatofi was in Hilo visiting friends when the confrontations began in July, 2019, and as the confrontations between kia‘i and state officials, he collaborated with Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu on the mele “For The Lāhui.” Josh is of Tongan descent but born and raised in Hawai‘i. The composition of this mele and Josh’s feelings as the confrontation developed are discussed in Chapter Three: Kolo Ke Ēwe i Ke Ēwe.”

Josh Tatofi performing for kia‘i in the tents at the Ala Kūpuna in December 2019. Photo Credit: Emma Coloma-Nakano.