Pou Jackson among 9 FobbNation Music Award nominees from Hawai’i

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PHOTOS: Ernest Oki, DIGITAL FLYER: Mr. Setts

(Honolulu, HAWAI'I)--Change and recognition. Those are the driving forces behind what’s shaping up to be the event of the year for island music artists across the United States—the FobbNation Music Awards ceremony presented by Island Swagg Entertainment this weekend in San Francisco.

“It’s time for change, it’s time for recognition within our community,” said FobbNation CEO Pati Eneliko from California, “To not only witness change, but to support change.”

Nine artists from Hawai’i have been nominated for an FMA which this year presents awards in 18 different categories, Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Palace of Fine Arts, one of the City by the Bay’s hottest tourist attractions. The awards have expanded to include recognition of artistry in graphics design and tattooing.

Nominees from Hawai’i (in various categories) are: Fiji, Nesian Nine, Siaosi, Kaipo Kapua, Hot Rain, Maoli, Urban Nesian Graphics’ Lainee Fagafa, Triple Los and Pou Jackson. Artists are nominated by fans. There are five nominees in each category and the one who garnered the most votes— which were cast online earlier in the year – wins the FMA, a decorative tanoa, or kava bowl.

First time FMA nominee Pou Jackson, Hawai’i’s “Roots Rap Originator” (as he sings) from Kalihi, has picked up a nomination in the Favorite Hip-Hop Rap Solo Artist category.

Months ago, it was a 5 a.m. call from a friend that alerted Pou about the FMA nomination.

“He told me check the Facebook, you’re nominated for this. I found it and sure enough I saw my name was the first in the category,” the father of four told tautalatala.com during a late August interview at Zippy’s Waiau. “It was cool. It’s cool to just to get recognized. I thought that was really cool. I’m really downplaying it – I was happy, I was like oh my God!”

Pou is up against five other artists—all based in the U.S. mainland: Samoan Irok; Drew Deezy; Yung LB; Blu3 Diamond and Young Xyphe. Chula Vista, Calif.-based Tatau Brand Apparel, a nominee in the Graphics Designer of the Year category is sponsoring the Favorite Hip-Hop Rap Solo Artist award.

Born in American Samoa, Pou was a toddler when he moved to Hawai’i with his mom, a native of Fagasa. They lived in Kuhio Park Terrace and Mayor Wrights Housing. He also had family living in Kamehameha IV Housing, where he spent a lot of time at “Konnah Block” (as in Corner Block) – a stairwell on the Kam IV premesis where Pou and company would hang out. It is also the location where his “All Blind” video was shot.

“That’s where my sound was born,” he said, noting the rivalry that existed then between KPT and Kam IV Housings stemmed from colors. “It wasn’t important to me…that’s the hood life, but I don’t care about colors…nah, it’s about the music.”

When Pou was in middle school, the untimely passing of his mother would result in his moving to Ft. Campbell, Ky. to live with his sister, who was in the military. Pou graduated from Ft. Campbell High School in 1996. Soon after graduation, he moved back to O’ahu.

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