Hawaii Teen Musicians Win a 55th Annual Grammy Experience for Original Song

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) and the Creative Industries Division of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) congratulate Hawaii teens, Colby Benson, a senior at Mililani High School, and Haley Michelle Kagimoto, a student at Punahou, who were selected as second place winners of the third annual GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares Teens! Make Music Contest. The teens were selected for their original song that highlights how those who have struggled with addiction can find hope in recovery. The contest winners were honored during National Drug Facts Week, and are attending the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards Backstage Experience, a special backstage tour that takes place while artists rehearse for the live GRAMMY Awards, as well as tours of Capitol Records and the Grammy Museum to acquaint teens interested in a career in the music industry.

Haley and Colby

The contest asked young musicians, ages 14 – 18, to compose or create an original song and/or music video that explored, encouraged and celebrated a healthy lifestyle or accurately depicted a story about drug abuse. Benson and Kagimoto won for their song titled, “Change Who We’ll Become,” inspired by friends and family faced by substance abuse. Their powerful lyrics, “we can rise up once we’ve fallen, change who we’ll become,” highlight how those who have struggled with addiction can find hope in recovery.

First place winners were Vinny Cavalcanti, a senior at West High School, and Nick Miller, a junior at Rowland Hall Academy from Utah, and third place winner was Hannah Rand, a senior at Oak Park River Forest High School in Illinois. The winning entries can be heard at www.drugfree.org/teensmakemusiccontest. Benson and Kagimoto’s music video can be viewed here:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/T7LQWTX3TP4]

The DOH recognizes that the more informed young people of Hawaii are regarding addiction and recovery the better able the community will be in reaching out to address substance abuse and its impact on people’s lives. Haley and Colby are a great example of informed teens with a powerful message to share through the language of music.

The DOH Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division collaborates and partners with public and private agencies across the state to promote healthy lifestyles and provide prevention, intervention and treatment services for adolescents and adults. All substance abuse prevention, intervention and treatment services are contracted to non-profit, community-based agencies. For the 2,326 adolescent admissions (five-year average for fiscal years 2008 through 2012), the primary substances cited at admission are marijuana (58 percent) and alcohol (34 percent). For the 3,341 adult admissions (five-year average for fiscal years 2008 through 2012), the primary substances cited at admission are methamphetamine (42 percent), alcohol (33percent) and marijuana (14 percent).

The Creative Industries Division (CID) in the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), provides professional development programs to accelerate the growth of Hawaii’s creative sectors through strategic partnerships with industry leaders such as the Grammy Foundation, MusiCares, The Recording Academy and the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts (HARA) to advance opportunities for Hawaii’s emerging artists in the music sector.

About MusiCares.

Established in 1989 by The Recording Academy®, MusiCares® provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares’ services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. MusiCares also focuses the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health and welfare of the music community. For more information, please visit www.musicares.org. For breaking news and exclusive content, please like “MusiCares” on Facebook at www.facebook.com/musicares and follow MusiCares on Twitter @MusiCares at www.twitter.com/musicares.

 

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