Hawaii singer-turned-author Lisa Mungo has revealed her Hawaiian roots and how she grew up in a small town with no television and only one other friend who is white.
“I’ve always loved Hawaii, but I’ve always felt like I had to get away from the land,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
“The other kids were like, ‘Why are you singing about Hawaii?’
I just told them, ‘I’m from the ocean, and I grew up on the land.'”
Hawaii has long been known as the “salt water” state, where a lot of food comes from the coast.
Mungos family moved to the Pacific Northwest in the late 1980s, and she and her siblings grew up near a major port in Seattle and lived in a house that had been converted into a “chocolate shop.”
Mungio has been vocal about the need to change the perception of her culture in recent years.
She’s been a vocal advocate for the boycott of sugar in the United States, as well as the #OscarsSoWhite movement.
In May, she launched a fundraising campaign for her new album, A Place of Truth, and raised $1.2 million to pay for the recording.
“When we went to record, we had a small group of people that wanted to know what we were trying to do,” she said.
“That was our biggest fear.”
Muntz says the campaign, which has surpassed $200,000, will also help cover expenses for the album.
“We have a budget of about $3 million and we’ve been able to raise that budget,” she explained.
“A lot of people are scared to raise money for our record because they don’t know what to expect, so we’re doing something for that fear.”
In a Facebook post announcing the album, Mungino shared a photo of herself wearing a Hawaiian shirt and pants, saying, “I was born in Hawaii.
Hawaii is my home.
This is my life.
The whole world is watching.”
The album will be released by Island Records in early 2017.
Muntyz, who’s based in San Francisco, told THR that she hopes her music will help “change people’s perceptions of what’s normal in our culture.”
“I’m really excited to make music that makes people feel good about who they are and what they’re capable of,” she added.
“And that’s a really powerful thing to me.”
Munki is also looking forward to recording with Mungie.
“She is a really good friend, and we’re really excited about getting to work with her again,” she says.
“It’s a very good time to be a musician in the Hawaiian music scene.”
Watch the full interview with Lisa Muntzu below.