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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.
Fast forward to the present… YOZA has turned acoustic music on its ear. With the fusion of Hip Hop, R&B and Latin influences, she has redefined the sound of “acoustic soul.” From her rich, palpable ballads to her show-stopping upbeat renditions, YOZA has been featured in many articles and television performances and interviews, including “Living Local”, “Pakele Live,” “Cool Corona Nights,” “HI Sessions,” “Real Word” magazine, “FLUX” magazine, Waikiki Magazine, Honolulu Star Bulletin, and “Local” Entertainment Magazine (where YOZA was featured on the cover).
YOZA also performed at the Waikiki Shell in the Summer of 2012, with Matt Catingub and the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra. On July 4th, 2012, Yoza headlined the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s Independence Day Fireworks show and concert extravaganza.
Venues in Hawaii that Yoza has had residency include, but are not limited to Honolulu at Hard Rock Cafe Waikiki, RumFire at the Sheraton Waikiki, Mai Tai Bar Ala Moana, The Study at The Modern Honolulu, Apartme3nt and Dave & Busters. Yoza, currently residing in California has performed in Los Angeles venues including Hard Rock Hollywood, Hotel Cafe, The Charleston, and Room 5. She will also be performing live in California and at West Coast venues/shows as well as flying back to Hawaii for special concert engagements.
Yoza released her debut album, self-titled “Yoza” on August 15, 2013. She describes the new album as “an eclectic compilation written over the course of six years that takes the listener through a series of relationships, inner struggles and influence of various genres into my music.”
Songs like “Change My Heart,” “Please Don’t Go” and “Bringing Me Down” offers the listener a glimpse into Yoza’s diverse soul sound – full of energy while on an emotional journey.
“While recording this album I tried to think about the experience each song is rooted in and to express the emotions that are associated with them” said Yoza.
With Yoza now residing in Los Angeles, CA and her production team in Hawaii, the entire album was recorded over a period of ten sessions. She adds that “the last few years have been trying, difficult, and stressful for me, but thankfully my production team and my mom, who is my biggest supporter, helped make my dream of having an album come true.”
This much anticipated, 10 track, full-length album is available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and Rhapsody, as well as all upcoming concerts.