As a multi-racial woman, Katana has written and performed many revolutionary, thought provoking poems, Hip Hop lyrics, and songs which reflect her own powerful outlook on culture, racism, and sexism. Lee Cataluna of the Honolulu Advertiser says: “She speaks of broken promises, dead ends and betrayal; but within her words are the seeds of hope and the search for simple dignity.” Huimusic.com says: “Katana’s words cut through the skin of ignorance yet raise the level of awareness to today’s lifestyles.” Having spent most of her youth in Hawaii, Katana was heavily influenced by the Hawaiian sovereignty movement and social protests for indigenous rights. Racism was an issue that would resurface for Katana many times during her youth, and has no doubt molded Katana into the spit fire poetess that she is today. Katana was deeply impacted by childhood experiences of racial slurs due to the African American heritage of her family, as well as feeling a sense of injustice when being called a “halfu”, or, merely half Japanese person. Music, writing and dance, were ways in which a young Katana processed the world around her. Despite being told repeatedly that she was less than, her creativity in Hip Hop’s rhyme and rhythm would ultimately give Katana the feeling of being whole. While still a toddler, Katana began to compose her own poems and songs. Katana got her first taste of show business by the time she was in kindergarten, performing with her older brothers in the Hip Hop group “Ebony Express” as a beat boxer, break dancer and rapper. In her adolescents, Katana made appearances free-styling on local radio stations. Katana became a professional dancer at the age of 14 and began dancing at the world renowned Kodak Hula show at age 17. While working as a “ghost writer”, for other recording artists, and performing as an opening act for a variety of artists such as: Damian Marley, Mario Africa, Yellow Rage and Public Enemy; Katana also attended college at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The current PhD candidate was said to be a rebellious student at the University, where she helped to develop, promote, and perform as a featured artist; for the school’s first major Black History Month festivities. Katana also donated her time, performing at fundraisers for organizations dedicated to the human rights of women and children in third world Asian countries, and indigenous issues. Katana was hand picked to be a dancer in a video for the mainstream artist Coolio, and was further asked to be a back up dancer for other mainstream artist in the rap genre. Becoming a back up dancer in the commercial world of rap, was not a thought that made Katana happy. She faced inner turmoil over her passion for performance -and her dislike for lyrical content which she felt showed minority women and men in a negative light. Consequently, Katana realized that it was her obligation to object to playing the role of the over-sexualized Asian rap-video muse. It was time for Katana to speak her deepest inner truth, providing alternative viewpoints, rarely heard on today’s radio airwaves. The album Keatika – like its author/executive producer – is confrontational, and strong, while never loosing the delicate balance of sensitivity and spirituality.
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