COVID-inspired disc created by isle youth

  • Contributed by Art Umezu

    From left, the KAVE KREW, aka Kate Nakamura, Edilyn Marquez and Ryland Balbin, keep socially-distanced with singer and musician Daphne Sanchez.

  • Contributed by Art Umezu

    The cover of the new CD “We are One World” is seen. It was produced by Art Umezu and features singer Daphne Sanchez.

LIHU‘E — Three young Kaua‘i creative-media specialists, “The KAVE KREW,” assisted in the production and marketing of the “We Are One World” CD by Kaua‘i singer Daphne Sanchez, which was released recently and produced by Kaua‘i artist Art Umezu.

The CD is dedicated to the front-line, medical-care workers and first responders risking their lives caring for COVID-19 patients.

The KAVE KREW are media creators with different backgrounds, talents and credentials:

Artist Edilyn Marquez, a senior at Kaua‘i High, designed the CD cover and layout, and Kate Mie Nakamura, a sophomore at KHS who was one of 30 students from 17 states selected to be a part of PBS Student Lab 2020 Academy, oversees social-media marketing for the CD.

“I’m excited,” Nakamura said. “I feel like this is a great CD. During these COVID times, we all need something to connect us that’s a great medium. Right now we are currently publicizing “We Are One World,” and it can be found at various retail outlets on the island.”

Photographer and web designer, 26-year-old Ryland Balbin graduated from Kaua‘i Community College with an associate’s degree in creative media and the University of Hawai‘i with a bachelor’s degree in studio art. He manages, which is the home base for the We Are One World brand.

Marquez and Nakamura who are students of Leah Aiwohi’s digital and broadcast media design technology class at KHS, will also produced videos for the songs.

The CD opens with a pule (prayer) recited by kahu Chucky Boy Chock, which leads into “We Are One World,” followed by a hard-driving rock song, “Wear A Mask,” a global message about the importance of wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing during the pandemic.

“I Pray for You” is dedicated to a New York City nurse who pleaded for people’s prayer in an interview on CNN in March during the height of the coronavirus outbreak. “There’s No Place Like New York” is a finger-snapping jazz tune dedicated to actor Ben Stiller, a New York native and part-time Kaua‘i resident who filmed the movie “Tropic Thunder” on Kaua‘i in 2007.

The singer on this project is local girl Daphne Sanchez, an artist in Hawai‘i and in Japan.

“I am always down for being a part of projects that have a great meaning and have a good cause,” Sanchez said.

“I have been singing for a long time, and when I sing I like to sing a song with a good meaning or story. I met Art when I was 15 singing at a contest and he was a judge. I have been working with him on different projects since then. Art is a giver. He is a giving person and always giving back to the community.

“I like to working on projects with other people with the same mindset,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez met Stiller at a crew party in Hanalei, and presented him with a flower lei. Sanchez, who loves Broadway musicals, hopes The Big Apple will return to its glamour and glitz soon. The final song, “One America,” was a last-minute addition and an upbeat Jawaiian jam that emphasizes unity in a divided nation in 2020.

Sanchez is the former Miss Island Mokihana, and acted in many Broadway musicals on Kaua‘i since she was 13. When she was 16, she was scouted by Spa Resort Hawaiians, Japan’s largest Polynesian resort and theme park, as a singer and poster girl.

At 18, she was a weekly host for The Jam Room, a free teen venue for musical talents at Kukui Grove Center. “We Are One World” is her first release since the debut CD, “Angel On My Shoulder,” in 2010.

“I been trying to work on my own music. I haven’t taken lessons yet. I can’t play instruments like I can sing. I do have some friends that have been pushing me,” Sanchez said.

The inspiration for this album came to Umezu during the beginning of the pandemic. Inspired by a nurse asking for a prayer on the news, he began to drum up his vision of this new album. He immediately contacted Sanchez and The KAVE KREW, and started the project in June.

Umezu has composed many songs, and has been recorded by 60 Kaua‘i musicians since 1981. He wrote “Aloha To The World”, a post-Hurricane-‘Iniki anthem in 1992, recorded by 11 singers and 38 high-school students which raised $38,000 for six nonprofit organizations that helped with ‘Iniki’s recovery efforts.

A former county film commissioner, Umezu worked with Kaua‘i singer Glenn Medeiros’ MTV video for his hit song, “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You,” in 1988.

The music was recorded at MIRAI Studio and a make-shift studio at Sheraton Kaua‘i Resort at Coconut Plantation by audio engineers Berto Genovia and Percy Sanchez of Blaze Entertainment.

Music programming was arranged by Ronnie Esteban, formerly of Honolulu and now with the HNLV band in Las Vegas. Kalani Dabin of the Greenstone Project band added bass to “One America.” Four years old, Tiana Ann Bown and Kyra Moani Robley, KHS class of 2020, grace the CD’s back and inside panels, photographed at Kilohana Plantation in Puhi.

The CD can be purchased at Wilcox Medical Center Gift Shop, Island Arts Gallery and JJ ‘Ohana in Hanapepe, Hilo Hattie in Lihu‘e, Java Kai in Kapa‘a, Hee Fat Marketplace in Kapa’a town, Janath Collections in the Market Place at Coconut Plantation and online starting in January.

For more information, contact or 652-3963.


Stephanie Shinno, features, education, business, and community reporter can be reached at 245-0424 or

  1. mary December 27, 2020 7:36 am Reply

    Not me . I am not one of those in this because i am still a unique individual who is not subject to propaganda and misinformation

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