He Wahi Mahalo

Bill Aliʻiloa Lincoln, "Mahalo Nui"

He wahi mahalo kēia iā ʻoukou pakahi a pau e nā hoa hoʻolohe o mākou.
Literally, “A humble thanks to each and every one of you, our dear listeners.”

Just this week, I was seriously considering putting my show on hiatus and taking some time away from the station to clear my mind. The stress of grad school, work, and KTUH can get the best of me at times, and it’s at these times that spending 3+ hours in the station queuing up vinyl records and pushing buttons while speaking on the mic every 2-3 songs starts to seem like more of a burden than a pleasure. Add to that the fact that we can’t actually see our audience out there listening to us on your radio in your car, or streaming us from your computers, and it can make us feel like we’re playing a gig and no one showed up to listen.

However, it’s at these times that you folks, our loyal KTUH listeners, remind me that there really are people out there listening, enjoying, and appreciating the alternative programming we send out on the radio waves all day, every day. Just yesterday, while giving away movie tickets on-air, there were so many listeners calling in to my show that the phone lines were ringing off the hook. So much so, that the overflow ended up being routed to the production room phone. Never, in my 5 years at KTUH, have I ever heard that phone ring!  *I am going to assume here that although you guys were calling for the tickets, it was also a good estimate of how many of you were actually tuned in*

And it didn’t end there. The phone lines kept ringing throughout the 4 o’clock hour with listeners calling to ask about songs played, and to tell me how much they look forward my little ol’ show every Thursday afternoon. Ua pā ʻiʻo nō kuʻu naʻau. KTUH is truly blessed with the best listeners.

Then it clicked in my head. I don’t actually do this show for myself, I do it for my listeners and for the life of the language. I do it for you folks who appreciate the genre of traditional Hawaiʻian music and who support Hawaiʻian language programming. KTUH is the only station that loves what I do.

If I can get in that air room every week to play music that people will never hear on commercial radio, then it will be 3 hours well spent. If I can dig deep enough into the vinyl vault to find that one rare album that most people don’t even know exist, then I will have done my job. If I can use my Hawaiʻian language background to tell the moʻolelo of these mele, their composers, and the people and places they were written for, then not only will I have followed through with KTUH’s mission statement, but I will also have put my ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi degree to good use! Hahaha #forrealdoe

Without its listeners, KTUH would never have survived all these years. It’s the listeners that push us to provide quality, alternative programming. You all are the reason that we strive to become expert curators of each individual genre of music. It’s you folks remind us that there is a population out there who is daring enough to listen to a station that changes genres every 3 hours on the dot, and trust us to do a good job at what we do. And when you guys love that track we just played and call in to let us know, our passion for music grows. And every once in a while when you don’t like something, you definitely don’t hesitate to let us hear about it either – but that’s a good thing as well because it keeps us on our toes.

I don’t normally claim to speak for all the DJs, but this time I will. KTUH will always have its high points and its lows, and perhaps as DJs and on-air radio personalities, it can be so easy for us to get caught up in the drama and stress that comes with it. We get caught up because we care so deeply, and because we believe so strongly, in the value that KTUH provides. That value is not only to benefit the students and community DJs, but to the community of listeners that has always supported us.

So mahalo to all of you who are and have been our loyal listeners for valuing KTUH as much as we DJs do, if not more.

Naʻu nō me ke aloha haʻahaʻa,
DJ Mermaid

7 responses to “He Wahi Mahalo

  1. Dear DJ Mermaid, I moved to the island just five months ago, and in that time I have become a loyal listener to KTUH, and especially to your show. Not only do I just enjoy listening, but your show has become my primary source of education about Hawaiian music and has sparked an interest in learning the language so that I can better understand the lyrics of the songs. I, for one, would be very disappointed if you were to go off the air, so I’m glad to hear you won’t (but I do hope you find joy in it, too!)

    • Mahalo nui e Cheryl! It’s always surprisingly pleasant to hear people look forward to my show. Thank you for supporting Hawaiian music!

  2. You, DJ Mermaid & lineage of ktuh djs & management, are to be thanked for Your dedication & energy! It’s most admirable & deeply appreciated. Aloha pumehana

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