Close The Distance formerly known as EMKE
Close the Distance formerly known as EMKE was formed in 2004 in Honolulu, Hawaii by an unlikely group of friends. Bound together by their mutual love for rock music, EMKE started out as a classic rock cover band but later morphed into a melodic alternative rock group. Kira Santos (singer/lead guitarist), Ezri Santos (singer/bassist), Mari Arakawa (singer/rhythm guitarist) and Payton Sekigawa (drummer) found themselves graduating from intimate local club gigs to playing before huge concert crowds. Though at the 2018 Kawaii Kon event, it was announced that singer/rhythm guitarist Mari Arakawa would be leaving the band to pursue a different path. EMKE has earned opening slots for artist including Billy Ray Cyrus, Kansas, Switchfoot, One Republic, and Halestorm. The band also received invitations to appear at the music industries’ prestigious NAMM Show in Los Angeles, CA to perform with artists such as Andy Mckee and Journey’s Neal Schon. As a result of their LA concerts, the band was awarded a musical endorsement by Yamaha Music Corporation of America. As teenagers, there was a strong desire to express themselves through their own original compositions and musical style. Determined, they entered the studio. EMKE’s debut EP “Promises and Expectations” is a mixture of melodic “pop anthems” and “guitar-driven” alternative rock. It’s a collection of tunes that echoes the band’s current influences such as, All Time Low and Paramore with musical undertones that pay homage to their roots in classic rock. The EP's single, Open Eyes "hit the mark" with listeners on Tokyo's number one FM station InterFM 76.1. As years passed, the need for further self-expression lingered in minds of the band members. EMKE hoped to expose themselves in a different light, so they headed back into the studio. Thus began the creation of their first full-length album, “Edit Undo.”
The Fresh Preps
The Fresh Preps have steadily grown a reputation for their wide variety of original music, sometimes fun and danceable, sometimes dark and angry. They constantly incorporate other styles into their sound so that no genre is off-limits for this band. It's clear to see that this band is serious about not taking themselves too seriously. Started in 2013, The Fresh Preps have been sweeping through the Hawaii music scene with their gritty guitar hooks and thick vocal harmonies. With only a year under their belt, they managed to reach the finals of the 2014 Star 101.9 Battle of the Bands. They've shared the stage with many amazing musicians including Crimson Apple, Amanda Frazier, Ron Artis Family Band, and have played and recorded with Streetlight Cadence.
KyuubiKaze, a YouTuber, dancer, and speaker has entertained thousands of people in his career. And now, he'll be a co-host for AO Fest! KyuubiKaze started his YouTube journey in 2014, and since then, has gained thousands of social media followers and over 90,000 views! Known for cosplaying Kyuubi, the nine-tailed fox from the global anime "Naruto", it's no surprise his comedic and outgoing style gained so much attention.
Remy Zane bills himself as Hawaii's only full-time game show host. He's not wrong; as owner of Trivia Hawaii, Hawaii's only fully-local pub trivia league, Remy writes hundreds of questions every week, hosting unique trivia nights throughout the workweek. Since 2011, he has also hosted dozens of anime and video game-themed events, most notably NEET (2016-17), Kawaii Kon's Anime Family Feud, and the 2015 Legend of Zelda Master Quest concert at the Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall. Previously known as the afternoon DJ on Hawaii's only FM JPOP station 97.5 KORL (RIP!), Remy spends his free time rehearsing with his bilingual rock band [LAB16], playing Mario Kart 8 DX, and solving logic puzzles.
93.9 The Beat - Hawaii's #1 Hit Music Station very own on-air personality. You can follow him on the radio on Saturday's from 7 am to 12 pm.