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Yoza took to music early, learning to play the ukulele at age 5. By the time she turned 10 years old, she performed with world renowned ukulele master, Roy Sakuma, as a “Super Keiki.” Not being bound by one instrument, she then began playing the saxophone at age 12 with her school’s symphonic orchestra. The two years that followed were filled with many musical accolades as a saxophone player. This included a position as first seat, first chair in the Hawai’i State Select Band, as well as Gold Medalist in both Solo and Ensemble. It was clear that she was becoming prolific in every aspect of her musical craft. Her accomplishments also led to her being offered a full musical scholarship to Hawai’i Pacific University.
In 2009… YOZA stormed through the music scene with a new, fresh soulful sound and turned acoustic music on its ear. With the fusion of Hip Hop, R&B and Latin influences, she redefined the sound of “acoustic soul.” From her rich, palpable ballads to her show-stopping upbeat renditions, YOZA had the honor of being featured in various articles and live television performances, including “Heineken’s ‘Hot Hawaiian Nights,'” “HI Sessions,” “Living Local”, “Pakele Live,” “Cool Corona Nights,” “Real Word” Magazine,” “Expression” magazine, “FLUX” magazine, Waikiki Magazine, Honolulu Star Bulletin, and “Local” Entertainment Magazine (where YOZA was featured on the cover).
In the Summer of 2012, YOZA was asked to perform at the Waikiki Shell, with Matt Catingub and the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra. She considered it a huge accomplishment to hear her original music come to life… especially because she didn’t have an album out at the time.
Yoza moved briefly to Los Angeles, California. She was able to perform for: Hard Rock Hollywood, Hotel Cafe, The Charleston, and Room 5.
In 2013, Yoza released her highly anticipated debut album, self-titled, “YOZA.” As expected, her album did not make it to regular rotation on local radio. Despite lack of radio play, Yoza was able to get 3 nominations for her album at the 2014 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards (Hawai’i’s grammy award). She took home the award for “R&B Album of the Year.” She says the biggest moment was for her to have the privilege of performing live at the award show with the legendary “Uncle” Willie K, who hadn’t performed for the show in years.
2014 and 2015; brought for new challenges and new relationships. Yoza produced and recorded a track for the young and talented ukulele virtuoso, Aidan James’, EP. Willie K took Yoza under his wing and placed her on his shows, included his annual Blues Fest.
Venues in Hawaii that Yoza has had residency include, but are not limited to: Amuse Wine Bar in the Honolulu Design Center, Kula Grille at Turtle Bay Resort, LBLE Lounge in the Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel, Hard Rock Cafe Waikiki, RumFire at the Sheraton Waikiki, Mai Tai Bar Ala Moana, The Study at The Modern Honolulu, Apartme3nt and Dave & Busters.