Katinas spread positive message to Kaua‘i

Only a few bands can brag they have been around for 22 years. Even fewer can say their original lineup remains intact, or that they have blazed a career without compromising their beliefs.

“We like to think one of the reasons of our longevity is the fact that we have so much in common,” said John Katina. John and his four brothers — Jesse, James, Sam and Joe — make up The Katinas, a contemporary Christian pop group.

Born in American Samoa, the brothers have been singing together since they were children at churches and local fairs, sharing a message of love, faith and family.

The Katinas will be performing at 7 p.m. on Nov. 2 at the War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu‘e. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. They were invited to perform on Kaua‘i by the drug and alcohol addiction ministry U-Turn For Christ.

“Whenever an opportunity is presented to partner, we try to take advantage of that,” he said. “It helps get our message out there, and we are grateful U-Turn for Christ is having us as part of their event.”

The brothers plan to play songs from their latest album, “Collage,” which was released earlier this year.

“We grew up listening to one radio station,” John said. “It was a Top-40 station, and they just played what was popular in the states. It consisted of a lot of different genres of music, which is reflective in our music.”

Even though they are labeled as a pop group, bits of soul, R&B and island music have crept into The Katinas’ songs.

“That’s what you get when you hear our music, and our vocals is our signature stamp,” John said.

The Katinas spread messages of love and hope through their music. Most of their songs are inspired in part by their mother, who died from breast cancer in 1988.

“She is one of our biggest inspirations,” he said. “When you experience a loss of someone as close as your mom, especially if you were close and that relationship was so deep, you can’t help but find inspiration in all of the memories, messages and teachings,” John said.  “A lot of our music is inspired by who she was as a person. That’s the great thing about music: you can still have an outlet. You don’t have to bottle up your memories.”

While the brothers have met success spreading their positive message through their music — they lay claim to eight Dove Award nominations — they have been adamant about not compromising their beliefs for commercial success.

“In 1993, we signed an eight-album deal, but we could never come to terms with the type of content,” John said. “We prayed and sought counsel from my dad, but we thought it was not for us. Not because we are against pop music. The content was contrary to what we believe in. Our inspiration of crafting is music is from God, and we want to provide music that brings hope and love.”

The brothers have worked with big names like R. Kelly, Jasmine Guy, DC Talk and Amy Grant, but John said one of the highlights from his 22-year music career is when he shared the stage with Billy Graham, a Christian evangelist who gained popularity through his broadcast sermons.

“Being on the same stage with him and seeing him inspire other people to come to Jesus, that doesn’t get old.”

Tickets to the Nov. 2 concert are available at Lifeway Pharmacies in Waimea and Lihu‘e, Scotty’s Music in Kalaheo, Kaua‘i Music & Sound in Kapa‘a and Hale Lani Bookstore at All Saints Church in Kapa‘a.

Visit www.thekatinas.com for more information about The Katinas.

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