Best friends, budding starlets

Teenagers Diana Forgioni of Wailua Homesteads and Brynne Tagawa of Kilauea, both 14 years old, describe themselves as timid girls. But bring up the topic of rock music and these girls could talk nonstop.

“I like Fall Out Boy and the Arctic Monkeys,” said Forgioni.

“I like Death Cab For Cutie and Green Day, their early stuff,” said Tagawa.

Both girls got hooked on music at a young age. Forgioni started early, perfecting her stage performances, while Tagawa learned to play music.

“You know how you’re little and you go around singing with a brush in your hand or a marker or something? I was like that,” Forgioni said.

It wasn’t until she participated in a fifth-grade talent contest where the students had to find creative ways to express themselves, that she learned that performing was what she wanted to do.

By the sixth grade, the young and shy Forgioni had done the unexpected.

“I performed in this show and I sang ‘I Want To Soak Up the Sun’ and I had my own little prop and I did the whole surf outfit and did all that,” she said. “People didn’t expect that of me.”

The whole surfer, soak-up-the-sun look is hard to picture because Forgioni admitted that she is not a beach girl. She’s more of a rocker and spends her time at home with her music.

“People tell me all the time that I look like Avril Lavigne. But I’m not like her just because I wear make-up. I don’t want to look like anybody else,” Forgioni said.

People also tell her she sounds a little like Lavigne.

“I used to be into Avril Lavigne. Amy Lee (from Evanescence) is more my style, but not metal,” Forgioni said. “So I’m a little in between.”

Forgioni has performed in “Keiki Stars” at the Kauai Farm Bureau Fair, the Kukui Grove Chili Cook-Off, the annual Concert in the Sky and the Waimea Town Celebration.

Further north in Kilauea, Tagawa was learning to play the acoustic guitar.

“I used to play the piano, but at the time I was really into Michelle Branch,” Tagawa said. “I thought that was cool.”

Tagawa taught herself to play with a chord book she’d bought but thought she could improve her skills by taking lessons.

“I thought there was something I was missing so I took lessons. It was hard at first, but I was really determined,” Tagawa said.

Tagawa hails from a talented family. Her mother is pastel skyscape artist Sally Phillips, her father is actor Cary Tagawa and her brother is an athlete at Kapa‘a High School.

“I’m actually proud of my family for doing such creative things,” she said. “My brother’s done a lot with sports and his global youth leadership program he does. I feel very special.”

Forgioni and Tagawa are freshmen at Kapa‘a High School. They have been friends since the sixth grade. They got together after Forgioni heard Tagawa play the guitar.

“After she heard me play, she started encouraging me to do something about it,” Tagawa said.

The two self-proclaimed shy girls have joined forces to perform as a duo and are known simply as “Diana Forgioni and Brynne Tagawa.”

“We both enjoyed music but we’re both timid in different ways. We both convinced each other to do it,” Forgioni said. “We don’t really have a name yet. It would have to be something cool, not like ‘soul sisters’ or something.”

Forgioni is the singer while Brynne picks the songs and plays the guitar.

“I pick songs with a lot of rhythm and make sure there is enough vocals for what Diana can sing. Nothing too boring,” Tagawa said.

They cover songs that are popular with teens their own age.

“We don’t do like reggae or anything. That’s not what we’re into,” Tagawa said. “We’re more into Fall Out Boy.”

The two have performed on KKCR’s “Kaua‘i Live” and showcased some of those covers. They’ve also performed center stage at the Kukui Grove Shopping Center.

They go back into the KKCR studios next week for another hour of “Kaua‘i Live.”

“We have newer songs, more songs to do this time,” Forgioni said. “It’s a lot more mellow. We’re doing Dashboard Confessionals, more Fall Out Boy and a song by Train.”

Be on the lookout for these two young musicians. They plan on booking a few more gigs for the summer season and said they plan to pursue careers in music.

“It would be great for us to go into the studio,” Forgioni said.

As far as the kind of music she hopes to make, she said she wants to appeal to more than just teenage girls.

“Guys are always into guy bands and not girl bands. If guys say they like Avril La-

vigne they’d get teased. I want a guy to not be afraid of saying ‘I like that.’ That’s what I want to accomplish, the kind of music guys will listen to,” Forgioni said.

• Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.