Some would call the Nā Hōkū Hanohano award the "Hawaiian Grammy." It's presented by the Hawaiian Academy of Recording Arts (HARA)and for an island native, it's a huge deal.
“It’s an honor to be nominated,” said his executive producer, Ariki Foster. “It’s pretty rare for a Kaua’i artist to get nominated since we’re from one of the smallest islands, so I’m very excited to see where we go from here.” It's important to note as well that this is not a strictly Christian category and in fact, there is a category specifically for Christian music.
The album was named in memory of one of Iannucci’s best friends, Lucas Makana Riley, who was killed in a car accident in 2016. The name “Makana” means gift in Hawaiian.
“When I decided to name the album Makana, it was a bit of a play on words,” said Iannucci in an official statement. “It was my gift to Lucas and my way to honor his memory, as well as a way to share my gift of rapping with the world. And now, God has blessed me with an incredible gift by getting us this nomination.”
The 2018 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards will be held on Saturday, May 19, in Honolulu. Makana is available to stream here