Posts tagged with "hawaii"

Netflix – Cuties

By Cassandra Yany

One of Netflix’s newest films, Cuties, has garnered much attention and backlash since its Sep. 9 release on the streaming platform. The coming-of-age film depicts a young girl as she tries to navigate her life as a pre-teen growing up in a Muslim family living in Paris.

Many critics have spoken out against the film, which currently holds the no. 7 spot in Netflix’s ‘Top 10,’ for its depiction of 11-year-old girls dancing and behaving in an indecent manner. According to the New York Times, the movie was first deemed controversial in the U.S. in August when Netflix released the promotional artwork. The original marketing for the film displayed an image of four young girls in skimpy dance costumes posing provocatively.

This, along with the trailer, prompted opposers to start petitions online and call for the removal of the film from Netflix’s catalog. Netflix apologized and changed the artwork for the film to a more innocent photo of the same four characters walking down the street with shopping bags, donning bras and underwear over their clothes.

Last week’s release of the film has sparked conversation once again amongst parents, politicians and others, causing #CancelNetflix to trend on Twitter. Lina Nealon, the Director of Corporate and Strategic Initiatives at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has spoken out against the film saying “While we commend Director Maïmouna Doucouré for exposing the very real threats to young girls having unfettered access to social media and the internet, we cannot condone the hypersexualization and exploitation of the young actresses themselves in order to make her point.” She called for Netflix to cut the “sexually-exploitive” scenes from the film, or remove the film from the platform altogether.

On Friday, Hawaii Rep. Tulse Gabbard tweeted, “@Netflix child porn ‘Cuties’ will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles & help fuel the child sex trafficking trade. 1 in 4 victims of trafficking are children… Netflix you are now complicit.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz penned a letter to Attorney General William P. Barr Friday calling for the Department of Justice to start an investigation into the production and distribution of the film to “determine whether Netflix, any of its executives, or anyone involved in the making of ‘Cuties’ violated any federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography.”

Cruz wrote that “the film routinely fetishizes and sexualizes these pre-adolescent girls as they perform dances simulating sexual conduct in revealing clothing, including at least one scene with partial nudity” falsely claiming that there’s a scene exposing a “minor’s bare breast.” The Associated Press reported that one of Cruz’s representatives, Lauren Aronson, said that the senator has not seen the film.

According to the Washington Times, some critics are even calling on the Obama’s— who have a production deal with Netflix— to take action against the film. Deadline stated that “The reality appears to have been lost in the storm, and the truth is very few of the people reacting so strongly will have actually seen the film.”

Netflix told USA TODAY “‘Cuties’ is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. It’s an award winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up— and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.”

Director Maïmouna Doucouré defends the film, saying that it works to shed light on these issues so they can be fixed. Cuties first premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 23, where it won the Directing Jury Award for the dramatic film category. According to the New York Times, the movie did not stir up much conversation in France after its theatrical release (as Mignnonnes in French) in August.

Deadline reports that Doucouré did not see the promotional material prior to when it was circulated on the internet. She said that she received death threats as the outrage grew over these images. She told the news site that the film is not apologetic about the hypersexualization of children, but instead is her “…personal story as well as the story of many children who have to navigate between a liberal western culture and a conservative culture at home.”

Cuties was Doucouré’s feature directorial debut. Similar to the film’s main character, Amy, Doucouré is of Senegalese descent and grew up in a Muslim culture in Paris. In an interview at Sundance, she said she first had the idea for the movie after attending a neighborhood gathering in Paris where she saw a group of 11-year-old girls doing a stage performance of a “sensual” dance. She was shocked to see girls that age dance like that in short clothing. “We can’t continue to close our eyes about that,” she told the interviewer.

Doucouré researched for a year and a half, meeting with hundreds of pre-teens who told her their stories. She learned about their ideas of femininity, and how their self image is affected by the emphasis of social media in today’s society. According to IndieWire, the young actresses’ parents were on board with the project to spread awareness of the issue, and there was a psychologist working with the girls throughout filming who is still helping them throughout the release process.

The film is centered around Amy, an 11-year-old girl who has recently moved to a housing development in a poor suburb of Paris with her Senegalese, observant Muslim family. She looks out for her brothers, takes care of responsibilities around the house, and is in the process of being taught how to ‘be a woman’ by  her aunt.

One day after prayer, Amy walks by the laundry room and sees a girl her age dancing to music playing from her phone. In a subsequent scene, Amy is seen trying to straighten her hair with a clothing iron, burning part of it off as a result. 

Amy learns that her father, who is still in Senegal, has taken a second wife and will be coming to Paris soon to have the wedding. Her mother, Mariam, tries to hide her reaction to the news, but Amy sees her grow upset and take her frustrations out on herself. This is where Amy’s behavior begins to shift; she starts to reject her culture and identity, and instead tries to conform to fit in with the other girls at school. 

At school, Amy is teased for her clothes and lack of fashion sense, so she begins to wear her younger brother’s t-shirt to match the crop tops that her classmates wear. After seeing a group of girls her age dancing after school, Amy steals her cousin’s iPhone to learn how to dance, herself. She comes across their social media accounts and begins taking selfies, imitating what she sees on their profiles. 

Amy finds herself a spot in the girls’ friend group and dance troupe, and as a result, begins to neglect her responsibilities at home. Amy starts to show more self expression, wearing her hair natural rather than pulling it back. She also begins to explore the internet more, finding videos of almost-naked women dancing rather suggestively and moving their bodies in ways that an 11-year-old probably shouldn’t be watching. 

Taking what she found online, Amy practices dancing with her friends and teaches them how to twerk. This is where the movie begins to make viewers slightly uneasy. It was jarring to see these young, innocent girls tainted by this inappropriate content and doing dance moves that they didn’t understand the implications of. It appears that this was the intention of director Doucouré, as she stated in an interview with Netflix that the film is “…a mirror of today’s society; a mirror sometimes difficult to look into and accept but still so true.”

Some of the scenes, frankly, are very disturbing to watch. These include the girls dancing provocatively for two older male workers at a laser tag facility so that they wouldn’t get in trouble for sneaking in, as well as Amy beginning to undress for her cousin once he found she had stolen his iPhone in an attempt to smooth over the situation. Perhaps the most disturbing scene is when Amy takes a picture of her genitals to post on her social media profile so that people at school would think she’s mature. While there was no nudity shown in this scene, the implied action was horrifying to watch. 

At the end of the film, Amy performs with her dance troupe at a local competition. Dressed in revealing outfits, they dance immodestly in front of a crowd of people who quickly seem unsettled. (This is the scene from which the original promotional photos were taken.) Toward the end of the song, Amy freezes as she begins to think about her mom, then runs off the stage crying. She goes home where she asks her mom not to attend her father’s wedding. Her mom continues to get ready for the event, but tells Amy that she doesn’t have to go.

Instead of going to the wedding, Amy steps outside and begins jumping rope. This scene depicts a mixture of her two identities: she is wearing jeans and a crop top with her hair down, but is surrounded by people of her culture dressed in traditional garments. After suppressing her family’s background for a majority of the movie, Amy is finally able to find the balance where her multiple cultures intersect in order to be her honest self. 

After watching Cuties, it is evident that it is not meant to promote this behavior among young girls, but instead provide commentary on what is happening today and warn the adults who see the movie. The harsh reality is that more pre-adolescents are exposed to this type of content than we think. Any child who has access to a smart device and social platforms have the potential to see a video not meant for them. Take TikTok for example: racy dances to Cardi B and Meg Thee Stallion’s “WAP,” as well as a recent trend where women make “thirst traps” to Beyoncé’s “Rocket” are some of the most popular videos on the app right now. Young TikTok users can easily see creators on their For You Page enjoying themselves while engaging in these trends, causing the young viewer to want to do the same.

When speaking to Deadline, Doucouré said, “What happens is young girls see images of women being objectified, and the more the woman becomes an object, the more followers and like she has— they see that as a role model and try to imitate these women, but they’re not old enough to know what they’re doing.” In a separate interview, she posed the question, “Isn’t the objectification of a woman’s body that we often see in our Western culture not another kind of oppression?”

Overall, Cuties shows the dangers of uncensored media for young children and displays how impressionable they can be. It also shows the journey of Amy’s self-discovery and learning how to blend her multiple cultures in order to shape her identity. Unfortunately, the risqué nature of the film overshadows the storyline and the message is lost for a number of audience members.

In various articles, Doucouré is quoted discussing the meaning of the film in the broad context of femininity and what it means for young girls to enter womanhood in this digital age. During her aforementioned interview with Netflix, she stated “The real question of Cuties is can we, as women, truly choose who we want to be, beyond the role models that are imposed upon us by society?”

Jhené Aiko illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Jhené Aiko’s Chilombo Success

Jhené Aiko’s blockbuster album CHILOMBO re-asserts its claim to the title of R&B album of the year this week, as the deluxe edition powers the album to over 46,000 new units. CHILOMBO re-enters the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 at #6, and reclaims the #1 spot on the Billboard R&B albums chart.

CHILOMBO DELUXE adds nine previously unreleased bonus tracks and remixes to the original 20-track album – including the new single “Summer 2020” – with new guest features from Kehlani, Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown, Mila J and Wiz Khalifa. Check out the in-depth cover-story profile of Jhené in the new issue of HITS magazine.

Chilombo (released in March) entered the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart at #1, and the Billboard 200 album chart at #2.  Over 170 million first week streams ranked it as the biggest album debut in four years from a female R&B artist (since Beyoncé’s Lemonade in April 2016), and the biggest album debut of Jhené’s career.

Chilombo arrived on the strength of its five massive advance tracks, with cumulative streams over 700 million to date.  They comprise: “B.S.”  (featuring H.E.R.), “Triggered (Freestyle),” “None Of Your Concern” (featuring Big Sean), “Pu$$y Fairy (OTW),” and “Happiness Over Everything (H.O.E.)” (feat. Future and Miguel).  The visual for another album track premiered in May, “Magic Hour.” The momentum continues to build with the release of “Summer 2020.”

Chilombo proclaims the artist’s full name, Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo, as it celebrates her coming into her own personal power. The initial jam sessions where she freestyled the lyrics to each song, took place on  where Jhené’s great grandmother was born. Jhené was inspired by the beauty and power of the island’s volcanoes, having visited throughout the years. Chilombo means wild beast. The volcano is symbolic of the beautiful, yet powerful beast. Jhené Aiko is Chilombo. In contrast to her 2017 album, Trip, which intricately detailed the process of grieving, Chilombo finds Jhené embracing her strength and power, coming into her confidence as a woman, a creator and a healer. She has always embraced magic in her particular brand of soulful, trippy, ethereal R&B, but now on Chilombo she has taken it all to another level.

THE MAGIC HOUR, Jhené’s highly-anticipated 32-city North American tour with special guest Queen Naija, originally scheduled for May-June, will be rescheduled. Special merch and digital album bundles are available at Jhené’s official D2C store.

Follow Jhené Aiko: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Jhené Aiko illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Jhené Aiko – Chilombo Deluxe

Grammy®-nominated multi-platinum singer/songwriter Jhené Aiko builds on the phenomenal #1 success of Chilombo, currently over 1.5 billion global streams, with the arrival of CHILOMBO DELUXE, available today, via 2 Fish/Art Club/Def Jam Recordings. CHILOMBO DELUXE adds nine previously unreleased bonus tracks and remixes to the original 20-track album – including the new single “Summer 2020” – with new guest features from Kehlani, Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown, Mila J and Wiz Khalifa. Check out the in-depth cover-story profile of Jhené in the new issue of HITS magazine.

Chilombo (released in March) entered the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart at #1, and the Billboard 200 album chart at #2.  Over 170 million first week streams ranked it as the biggest album debut in four years from a female R&B artist (since Beyoncé’s Lemonade in April 2016), and the biggest album debut of Jhené’s career.

Chilombo arrived on the strength of its five massive advance tracks, with cumulative streams over 700 million to date.  They comprise: “B.S.” (featuring H.E.R.), “Triggered (Freestyle),” “None Of Your Concern” (featuring Big Sean), “Pu$$y Fairy (OTW),” and “Happiness Over Everything (H.O.E.)” (feat. Future and Miguel).  The visual for another album track premiered in May, “Magic Hour.” The momentum continues to build with the release of “Summer 2020.”

Chilombo proclaims the artist’s full name, Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo, as it celebrates her coming into her own personal power. The initial jam sessions where she freestyled the lyrics to each song, took place on The Big Island of Hawaii where Jhené’s great grandmother was born. Jhené was inspired by the beauty and power of the island’s volcanoes, having visited throughout the years. Chilombo means wild beast. The volcano is symbolic of the beautiful, yet powerful beast. Jhené Aiko is Chilombo. In contrast to her 2017 album, Trip, which intricately detailed the process of grieving, Chilombo finds Jhené embracing her strength and power, coming into her confidence as a woman, a creator and a healer. She has always embraced magic in her particular brand of soulful, trippy, ethereal R&B, but now on Chilombo she has taken it all to another level.

THE MAGIC HOUR, Jhené’s highly-anticipated 32-city North American tour with special guest Queen Naija, originally scheduled for May-June, will be rescheduled. Special merch and digital album bundles are available at Jhené’s official D2C store.

Follow Jhené Aiko: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Instrument illustration by Ivory Rowen for 360 Magazine

Iration Releases “Coastin”

Iration Releases “Coastin'” Title Track From Upcoming Studio Album Coastin’ Out July 10th

Reggae-influenced alternative rock band Iration has released “Coastin’,” the title track from their forthcoming album out July 10th via their own Three Prong Records. Coastin’, the seventh full-length studio album from the Hawaiian-bred, California-based band, is a record about being thankful for the moments we have. The beachy new song invites listeners to be present in life, opening your mind, eyes and ears to your surroundings. Click here to listen to “Coastin” and click here to download/stream.

Check out the first listen with The Noise, where Iration has shared their “Top 10 Ways To Enjoy Summer During Quarantine.” Coastin’ is available for pre-order now on all digital platforms, vinyl and CD and each pre-order includes instant downloads of all previously released songs: “Coastin’,””More Forward,” “Chill Out” and “Right Here Right Now” featuring Eric Rachmany from Rebelution and Stick Figure.  Pre-order Coastin’ here; various album and bundle packages are also available at the official Iration webstore here.

“‘Coastin’ is a song about slowing down and letting the world and life come to you,” shares lead vocalist/guitarist Micah Pueschel. Coastin’ is a 13-song musical journey showcasing Iration’s distinct hybrid style of music blending rock and reggae with elements of pop and newly incorporated R&B, funk and jazz sounds, set against meaningful and personal lyrics that push positivity, good vibes and good feelings into the world. Produced and co-written by David Manzoor and engineered by Will Brierre, along with an impressive roster of song and mix engineers, Coastin’ features the anthemic lead single “Right Here Right Now” featuring Eric Rachmany from Rebelution and Stick Figure. Watch the song’s official music video celebrating the essential frontline workers, first responders, and everyday people helping throughout the COVID-19 pandemic via a wide selection of fan-submitted photos. The forthcoming collection also features their optimistic new single “Move Forward”  as well as the band’s 2019 release “Chill Out,” which Iration recently issued a special at home version of.

About Iration:

Since their formation over 15 years ago, Iration has racked up more than 1 billion total streams with multiple songs featured on alternative rock radio stations across the country, including The World Famous KROQ in Los Angeles. Their previous albums Hotting Up and Automatic both peaked at #1 on Billboard’s Reggae Albums Chart with Iration, Double Up [2016] and Time Bomb each reaching #2 on the chart. The celebrated five-piece, known for their vivacious live performances and relentless touring, has brought their aloha spirit to festivals nationwide such as Lollapalooza, Hangout, BottleRock, SXSW, Life Is Beautiful and Outside Lands as well as special events for the San Francisco Giants, San Francisco 49ers and Bernie Sanders. In addition to their sold-out headlining shows across the country including last summer’s massive amphitheater outing, Iration has also toured and appeared alongside Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution, Sublime With Rome, UB40, Dirty Heads and many more throughout their impressive and growing career. To learn more about Iration, check out “The Uplifter,” the band’s weekly podcast.

Follow Iration: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | SoundCloud | Spotify | Apple Music

Ro James – Plan B ft. Brandy

GRAMMY-NOMINATED SINGER RO JAMES RELEASES NEW TRACK “PLAN B” FT. BRANDY

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

ANNOUNCES SOPHOMORE ALBUM MANTIC DUE OUT MAY 29TH VIA BYSTORM ENTERTAINMENT/RCA RECORDS

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER HERE

At 15 tracks the album will include features from some of the most notable names in R&B including Miguel, Brandy and Masego. MANTIC will also feature previously released tracks “Last Time” which has over 10 million streams and video views worldwide and “Touchy Feely” which Noisey included on their “18 R&B Songs That Make Up for This Unbearable Year List” and explains: “[Ro James] has a penchant for sensual songs, and his sophomore album is shaping up to be just as sexy as his last.” MANTIC also sees James teaming up with frequent collaborators including producers DJ Camper and Salaam Remi, as well as songwriter Verse Simmons and producer Soundz, the same team behind James’ Grammy-nominated, RIAA certified platinum single “Permission.” The track was the lead single from his critically-acclaimed debut album ELDORADO.

Ro James on what MANTIC means to him and the inspiration for the album: “The music I create evokes a feeling of romance, but I wanted to dissect that word and break it down by taking the ‘ro’ out of it. MANTIC refers to divination and prophecy-seeking knowledge of the future through supernatural means. Speaking things into existence and living forward, having faith in where you’re supposed to be and where you’re going.”

About Ro James

Born in Stuttgart, Germany to a military father turned preacher, Ro James found himself moving around for most of his childhood. From Indiana, California, Hawaii, Oklahoma to the place he now calls home, Jamaica, Queens, music was always in the forefront of James’ life. His musical inspirations come from the sounds of Johnny Cash, Prince, Tupac, Jodeci, and more. His debut single “Permission” was released in late 2015 and catapulted his career to the next level with the track topping the Urban Adult radio chart for 10 weeks consecutively. “Permission” was the lead single from James’ debut album ELDORADO. Released in May 2016, James’ debut album ELDORADO entered the charts at #3 on The Billboard R&B Albums Chart and #8 on the Top Hip-Hop/R&B Albums Chart. The success of the album earned him nominations for Best R&B Performance at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards Best New Artist at the 2017 NAACP Image Awards and Best New R&B Artist at the 2017 iHeart Radio Music Awards. He delivered an electrifying performance the track along with “Already Knew That” from ELDORADO on the Soul Train Awards stage. James embarked on his own headlining North American “XIX” Tour with dates in Europe in Amsterdam, London and Paris in early 2017. He appears on Luke James’ latest single released last month “go girl” with BJ The Chicago Kid, which they performed together on the Soul Train Awards late last year. He’s now readying his sophomore album, MANTIC which is set for release on May 29th via ByStorm Entertainment/RCA Records.

WEBSITE / INSTAGRAM / TWITTER

alchemy, Hawaii, Def Jam Recordings, CHILOMBO, Jhené Aiko , 360 MAGAZINE

Jhené Aiko – CHILOMBO

Grammy®-nominated multi-platinum singer/songwriter Jhené Aiko has confirmed the March 6th release of CHILOMBO, her highly-anticipated third album via Def Jam Recordings

The first three advance single releases from CHILOMBO have tallied over 500 million cumulative global streams – the RIAA platinum certified “Triggered” (with over 300 million streams), “None Of Your Concern” (with over 100 million streams), and “P*$$y Fairy (OTW)“.

CHILOMBO proclaims the artist’s full name, Jhené Aiko Efuru CHILOMBO, as it celebrates her coming into her own personal power. The initial jam sessions where she freestyled the lyrics to each song, took place on The Big Island of Hawaii where Jhené’s great grandmother was born. Jhené was inspired by the beauty and power of the island’s volcanoes, having visited throughout the years. Chilombo means wild beast. The volcano is symbolic of the beautiful, yet powerful beast. Jhené Aiko is Chilombo. In contrast to her 2017 album, Trip, which intricately detailed the process of grieving, CHILOMBO finds Jhené embracing her strength and power, and coming into her confidence as a woman, a creator and a healer. She has always embraced magic in her particular brand of soulful, trippy, ethereal R&B, but now on CHILOMBO she has taken it all to another level.

For years, Jhené has been studying the practice of sound healing. With CHILOMBO, she has incorporated crystal alchemy singing bowls on every track. This form of sound healing has been found to be both physically and mentally healing on the cellular level. Jhené hopes to introduce her fans to sound as a form of healing through what she calls “modern mantra” as illustrated by the “triggered protection mantra.” 

CHILOMBO follows up the RIAA gold Trip, which debuted on the R&B chart at #1, and instantly became one of the most critically acclaimed releases of 2017. Newsweek called Trip “a beautiful ode to dealing with grief and finally letting go of the past in order to move forward… with a mix of up and downtempo tracks and a plethora of guest appearances from artists like Swae Lee, Big Sean, Kurupt, Dr. Chill, Namiko Love, Mali Music and Brandy, Trip is an album that just about anyone who’s ever lost a loved one can relate to.” 

Trip, a masterwork more than a decade in the making, took listeners through the unique odyssey of love and loss, heartbreak and discovery that Jhené endured over the previous decade, witnessed closely by her loyal fans. It was a tribute to the changes that rocked her life and career – the tragic loss of her brother to cancer in 2012, and her journey to try to manage her grief through relationships, substances and art.  The album spun off a trio of top-selling hit singles through 2017-2018: the Top 10 double-platinum “Sativa” featuring Rae Sremmurd (over 166 million YouTube views); the Top 10 platinum “While We’re Young” (over 59 million combined YouTube views); and the RIAA gold “Never Call Me” featuring Kurupt.

Trip was introduced by a 23-minute short film which Jhené wrote and directed, with help from her friend, screenwriter Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip).  The album’s success led to Jhené’s first 16-city headlining tour of North America in November-December 2017.  It was her first major outing since 2016, when she first joined Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa on their High Road Summer Tour.

ironman, Hawaii, 360 magazine, sports

Royal Hawaiian Orchards Refuels IRONMAN Competitors

Participants in IRONMAN Village Provides Great Opportunity to Share the Benefits of Macadamia Nuts, Close to the Source
 
MacFarms and Royal Hawaiian Orchards welcomed the world’s best athletes, equipment makers, volunteers and fans to Kona, Hawaii this past week for the IRONMAN Championship – the ultimate test of athletic endurance, strength and heart. After four days of meeting athletes and fans alike, Royal Hawaiian Orchards would like to congratulate this year’s IRONMAN World Championship winners, Jan Frodino and Anne Haug.
 
Royal Hawaiian Orchards and MacFarms in IRONMAN Village
 
Staying close to home on the Big Island, they joined the IRONMAN Village throughout the event. To ensure that the competitors as well as their supporters enjoyed the full benefits of the macadamia nut, MacFarms and Royal Hawaiian Orchards handed out more than 5,000 samples from their new product lines including customized samples that went directly to the 2560 athletes.
 
As the best of the best athletes descended on Hawaii to prove themselves as part of the elite, Royal Hawaiian Orchards’ easy-to-grab packs of macadamia nuts guaranteed that energy levels were kept at an all-time high before and during the event, while MacFarms was a great option for a post-event treat. With these two brands together, you can enjoy pre-race fuel and post-race reward!
 
“It was incredible to see the level of intensity and strength of all of the athletes this weekend,” said K.C. Blinn, general manager of sales and marketing for MacFarms and Royal Hawaiian Orchards. “Our brands include the whole nutrients that the macadamia nut offers, making them a perfect match for both the IRONMAN athlete, as well as the enthusiasts that were here to cheer them on at every step. It was a great opportunity to see first-hand how our local orchards fuel athletes and fans alike.” 
 
Packed with protein, good fatty-acids and certified heart-healthy by the FDA, MacFarms and Royal Hawaiian Orchards’ macadamia nuts are the perfect way to refuel after a long day. 

About MacFarms:
MacFarms is the parent company of both the Royal Hawaiian Orchards and MacFarms brands. The company’s story spans decades of macadamia growing, beginning in the mid-20th Century with the founding of the Royal Hawaiian Nut Company in Hawaii. Though the company has evolved over the years, its dedication to health, wellness and “living aloha” live on.  The company’s orchards on the Big Island have more than 250,000 trees and is one of the largest macadamia operations in the world.  For additional information, please visit: macfarms.com or royalhawaiianorchards.com.

Kona Coffee Fest

360 Magazine’s Culture Editor, Tom Wilmer shares highlights of the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival on the Big Island of Hawaii November 1st through November 10th.

Celebrating its 49th year, the ten-day affair is Hawaii’s oldest food festival. Of course the legendary Kona coffee is the anchor, but music, art, crafts, dance and farm tours are integral aspects of the event.

The festival is an affair that locals savor and look forward to all year, with months of behind-the-scenes advance planning. A popular event with the locals, chefs, and consumers alike is the KTA Super Store’s Kona Coffee Recipe Contest.

There are festivals around the world that are crafted primarily for the tourist, but this is one of those special events that’s propelled by passionate islanders–and visitors are instantly welcomed in to the fold and quickly feel the Aloha of being a member of the island family.

The festival kicks-off November 1st with a sunset Lantern Parade strolling down Alii Drive in the heart of historic Kailua Village.

A sampler of other cool events include a coffee and arts stroll though Holualoa Town, cultural activities and demonstrations with local artists at the Donkey Mill Art Center, and the Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Competition at the Aloha Theater—and those are just samplers from one day in the festival line up.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FESTIVAL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Did you know there are more than 600 Kona Coffee estate-producers within the Kona District—and if it ain’t grown in Kona District-it ain’t Kona Coffee.

Coffee has been a part of Hawaii’s agricultural fabric for more than 200 years. It was the immigrants, many who were looking for an alternative to working in the sugarcane fields, who propelled the coffee industry on the Big Island and throughout the State of Hawaii.

Symbolic of Hawaii’s multi-cultural roots, the pioneering coffee workers and planters’ roots read like a page from the United Nations—China, Portugal, Korea, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Japan, Hawaiians and Europeans—and today fifth and sixth generation coffee farmers continue the tradition.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST INTERVIEW AT THE LIVING HISTORY COFFEE FARM

The Festival honors the historic cultural roots with living-history farm tours, coffee picking and other hands-on farm experiences, a Kona Coffee 101 Seminar, and the Kona Historical Society’s Annual Farm Fest.

Greenwell Farms is hosting a “seed to cup” tour that includes a close-up look at the harvesting, process, and of course tasting Greenwell’s 100% award-winning Kona Coffee.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN to CHAI at GREENWELL FARMS’ KCBX/NPR ONE Podcast

For the coffee purest, be sure to mark your calendar to experience the Kona Coffee Cupping Competition. A panel of judges from around the world will conduct side-by-side blind tastings of more than 50 entries.

Grand Finale—a Taste of Kona at the Sheraton

An evening of culinary delights featuring local Island Chefs and a fabulous silent auction. Music and dancing under the stars with award-winning Kahulanui- a nine piece Hawaiian Swing Band from the Big Island of Hawaii.

Certified cupping judges who have spent three days scoring Kona’s top farms in the prestigious Kona Coffee Cupping Competition will be on-hand to discuss results. Tickets are $50 general and $80 VIP (includes table seating) and can be purchased online at eventbrite.com and search The Grand Finale… A Taste of Kona! Come meet the winners from the Kona Coffee cupping contest and the Kona Coffee recipe contest at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.

Click here to listen to KCBX/NPR ONE Podcast interview with Festival Board President Valerie Corcoran.

Sheraton, Maui, Hawaii, Resort & Spa, 360 MAGAZINE,

SHERATON MAUI RESORT × RENOVATION

Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa Announces Multi-Million Dollar Lobby Transformation

Second Phase of Resort Renovation Introduces New Lobby Bar, Lounge and Game Room

 

Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, situated on 23 oceanfront acres at iconic Pu‘u Keka‘a (Black Rock) on Ka‘anapali Beach, is undergoing a multi-million dollar transformation of its lobby, slated for completion in November 2019. The second phase of the resort’s renovation, following a complete refresh of all guestrooms last year, will introduce a new lobby bar and café, lounge, and reception area along with the debut of a family game room.

 

“As one of the most historic resorts on the island, Sheraton Maui has been bringing people together for vacations and celebrations for more than 55 years,” said Tetsuji Yamazaki, general manager. “The reimagined lobby will be the heart of the resort. We look forward to making more memories with our valued guests and our local community in the redesigned space that we think will be west Maui’s new favorite gathering place.”

 

Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa’s fresh lobby design is a 4,223-square-foot open concept floor plan that brings the outdoors in with an expansive lanai and viewing deck, offering panoramic views of Ka‘anapali Beach. The new lobby bar and café will be the epicenter of the resort’s gathering space featuring locally-infused food and beverage experiences. Guests will enjoy coffee and breakfast bites in the morning and then gather at sunset for evening pupus (appetizers), creative cocktails, craft beers, and wines. The adjacent lobby lounge features communal seating for guests to socialize while enjoying scenic ocean views and nightly live entertainment.

 

Conceptualized by AHL, formally Architects Hawaii Limited, the transformation highlights Sheraton’s brand focus “where the world comes together” by creating a central gathering place for guests to socialize and relax. The design blends soothing coastal shades of blue, gray and tan with textural accents of wood and rock to create a calm, inviting space that plays off the island’s natural environment.

 

On the lower lobby level, the resort will introduce a new game room, where guests can watch movies, surf the internet, and play their favorite games. Whether challenging an opponent to a round of foosball or lounging with a book in the cozy bean bag chairs, guests of all ages will enjoy spending time in this fun new space.

 

In July 2018, Sheraton Maui Resort completed a $26.5 million renovation of its 508 guestrooms and suites, 83 percent of which feature an ocean view. The new guestroom design blends past with present, honoring the history and sense of place found at Pu‘u Keka‘a while modernizing the living and bathroom spaces with timeless furnishings, textiles, décor, and artwork curated by native Hawaii artist Kristie Fujiyama Kosmides. Colors and textures utilized throughout the resort’s six buildings are inspired by the culture and island landscapes of Maui, Lanai and Molokai.

 

For more information and reservations, visitwww.marriott.com/hnmsi.

Princess Cruises Receives Three First-Place Accolades

Princess Cruises Receives Three First-Place Accolades in Cruise Critic’s Annual Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards

Cruise Line Ranks #1 in Australia & New Zealand, the Baltic & Scandinavia and the U.S. & Canada

Recognized as a destination leader, taking guests to more than 380 worldwide ports of call, Princess Cruises has been awarded three first-place accolades in Cruise Critic’s fourth annual “Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards.” Based entirely on consumer ratings, the awards name the world’s most popular cruise destinations – as well as the best cruise lines to visit each region. In the Large Cruise Ship Category Princess Cruises was named Top Cruise Line in Australia & New Zealand, the Baltic & Scandinavia and the U.S. & Canada.

In addition, the cruise line ranked in the top three as best in the British Isles & Western Europe (#2); the Eastern Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda (#3); Hawaii (#2); Mexican Riviera (#2); the Panama Canal & Central America (#3); South America & Antarctica (#2); the South Pacific (#2) and the Western Caribbean & Riviera Maya (#2) – all in the Large Ship Cruise Line Category.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as the top cruise line to so many bucket-list destinations in this Cruise Critic destination awards,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “Our dedicated team of destination experts, with decades of experience planning itineraries and shore excursions, offer our guests what we believe are the best in the cruise industry.”

One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises was founded in 1965 with a single ship sailing to the Mexican Riviera. Today, the cruise line is a global premium cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships, carrying two million guests each year on more than 150 award-winning itineraries to destinations around the globe.

Cruisers interested in U.S. & Canada cruises can choose from several voyages during the upcoming Canada & New England season onboard Princess MedallionClass™ ships Caribbean Princess and Regal Princess. Royal Princess, also a MedallionClass ship, is currently sailing the west coast with voyages to Alaska, the Mexican Riviera and the California Coast. More details regarding itineraries to all recognized destinations, including current promotions, can be found at www.princess.com.

Cruise lines awarded in this year’s awards stood out among all of the lines that sail in each region, receiving the highest ratings from cruisers who sailed with the line over the past year and shared their experiences on Cruise Critic.

“For most travelers, the decision of where to cruise is made before they think about all the other pieces of the cruise planning process,” explains Colleen McDaniel, editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic. “And for those looking for incredible cruise destinations and experiences, there’s no better way to narrow your options than by seeing which destinations and cruise lines are rated most highly by cruisers who have already been there, done that.”

Cruise Critic boasts the world’s largest online cruise community, with more than 50 million opinions, reviews & photos, covering approximately 700 cruise ships and over 500 worldwide ports.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS or by visiting the company’s website at www.princess.com.

About Princess Cruises

One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is the fastest growing international premium cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships, carrying two million guests each year to 380 destinations around the globe, including the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera, Europe, South America, Australia/New Zealand, the South Pacific, Hawaii, Asia, Canada/New England, Antarctica and World Cruises. A team of professional destination experts have curated 170 itineraries, ranging in length from three to 111 days and Princess Cruises is continuously recognized as “Best Cruise Line for Itineraries.”

In 2017 Princess Cruises, with parent company Carnival Corporation, introduced MedallionClass Vacations enabled by the OceanMedallion, the vacation industry’s most advanced wearable device, provided free to each guest sailing on a MedallionClass ship. The award-winning innovation offers the fastest way to a hassle-free, personalized vacation giving guests more time to do the things they love most. MedallionClass Vacations will be activated on five ships by the end of 2019. An activation plan will continue across the global fleet in 2020 and beyond.

Princess Cruises continues its multi-year, “Come Back New Promise” – a $450 million-dollar product innovation and cruise ship renovation campaign that will continue to enhance the line’s onboard guest experience. These enhancements result in more moments of awe, lifetime memories and meaningful stories for guests to share from their cruise vacation. The product innovations include partnerships with award-winning Chef Curtis Stone; engaging entertainment inspired shows with Broadway-legend Stephen Schwartz; immersive activities for the whole family from Discovery and Animal Planet that include exclusive shore excursions to onboard activities; the ultimate sleep at sea with the award-winning Princess Luxury Bed and more.

Three new Royal-class ships are currently on order with the next new ship under construction, Sky Princess, scheduled for delivery in October 2019, followed by Enchanted Princess in June 2020. Princess previously announced that two new (LNG) ships which will be the largest ships in the Princess fleet, accommodating approximately 4,300 guests are planned for delivery in 2023 and 2025.  Princess now has five ships arriving over the next six years between 2019 and 2025. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE:CUK).

About Cruise Critic

Cruise Critic® is an online cruise guide, offering a comprehensive resource for cruise travelers, from first-time cruisers to avid cruise enthusiasts. The site features more than 350,000 cruise reviews and hosts the world’s largest online cruise community where travelers share experiences and opinions with fellow cruisers. Cruise Critic was the first consumer cruise site on the Internet, launched in October 1995 by The Independent Traveler, Inc., a subsidiary of TripAdvisor, Inc.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP), the world’s largest travel platform, helps 490 million travelers each month** make every trip their best trip. Travelers across the globe use the TripAdvisor site and app to browse more than 760 million reviews and opinions of 8.3 million accommodations, restaurants, experiences, airlines and cruises. Whether planning or on a trip, travelers turn to TripAdvisor to compare low prices on hotels, flights and cruises, book popular tours and attractions, as well as reserve tables at great restaurants. TripAdvisor, the ultimate travel companion, is available in 49 markets and 28 languages.

The subsidiaries and affiliates of TripAdvisor, Inc. own and operate a portfolio of websites and businesses, including the following travel media brands: www.airfarewatchdog.comwww.bokun.iowww.bookingbuddy.comwww.cruisecritic.comwww.familyvacationcritic.comwww.flipkey.comwww.thefork.com (including www.lafourchette.comwww.eltenedor.com, and www.restorando.com), www.holidaylettings.co.ukwww.holidaywatchdog.comwww.housetrip.comwww.jetsetter.comwww.niumba.comwww.onetime.comwww.oyster.comwww.seatguru.comwww.smartertravel.comwww.tingo.comwww.vacationhomerentals.com and www.viator.com.