Inside HILife: In the Mix
Aloha, DJ Loriel
George F. Lee / 2002
Loriel “DJ Loriel” Macalma, far right, co-hosted “Rub-a-Dub” atop the Waikiki Hobron Ohana Hotel in 2002. The popular KTUH host moves to Thailand next week.
By Jason Genegabus
ONE OF Hawaii’s biggest supporters of reggae music is saying goodbye to our islands after more than a decade on the air at college radio station KTUH-FM.
Loriel “DJ Loriel” Macalma graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa back in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in geography, but dreams of becoming a lawyer (and later a teacher) kept him enrolled in school — and thus eligible to continue his gig at KTUH. He credits former station general manager Cedric Duarte with pushing him to switch his show, “The Friday Afternoon Bashment,” from Thursday afternoons to Fridays in 1999.
That all changes next week, however, when Macalma boards a flight to Thailand with his wife, Sawang. Ever since the two were married in 2004, the idea of relocating to Asia has always been in the back of his mind.
“I’ve actually planned this out from a while back,” he said. “I knew I was going to do this eventually, but I just didn’t know when.”
Macalma said that after the final installment of “Bashment” from 3 to 6 p.m. today, he’ll pack up his music and possibly take his talents online. While he plans to apply for a job teaching English in Thailand, he also hopes to step up his involvement with the reggae Web site English Pound Radio (englishpoundradio.com). His mentor, Brixton Hitman, is one of the site’s founders.
“They’ve been wanting me to join up since they started … seven years ago,” Macalma said. “We’ll see how club DJing goes, since there’s actually a growing reggae — or more specifically ska — scene in Thailand.”
Looking back on the local scene, Macalma recalls with pride the parties he threw at now-defunct venues like Auntie Pasto’s in Kapahulu, Nick’s Fishmarket in Waikiki and Grumpy’s in Kakaako. But even with the growing popularity of roots reggae in place of stereotypical Jawaiian music, he said the emphasis must always be on the quality of the tunes being played.
“My thing is that I’m all about the music,” he said. “I try to give everything a fair share as long as it’s quality.”
Say aloha to Macalma this weekend at two different parties — he’ll be a featured guest DJ at Tropics Cafe Bar & Lounge tonight between live sets by Ionz and Rootikal Riddim, then head to the Royal Hawaiian Center tomorrow for a final sendoff at Doraku Waikiki with DJs MetaLX, Sifu Jive Walker and Trav15. Local reggae artists Lion Fiyah and Ryan Mystik will also perform.
Cover is free for both events; add Macalma as a friend on Facebook.com (hsblinks.com/26t) to keep in touch. He’ll definitely be missed here in Honolulu …
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