Bussaband gets Oahu off the wall
A cute interaction last month with someone on Twitter led me to discover Bussaband Entertainment, and I was left feeling completely inspired.
ALL WHITE NEW YEAR'S BASH
Presented by Bussaband Entertainment
» Where: Boda Cafe, 1215 Hopaka St.
» When: 9 p.m. Wednesday
» Cost: $40 ($30 advance tickets and bottle service options also available); 18+
» Info: (808) 499-9440
It’s okay to not know everything. There’s always a lot left to learn. Still, I was a bit surprised to see this relatively new promotions crew — that’s been killing it at Boda Cafe and most recently The Fix — flying under my radar for so long.
At least I found out about them when I did, on the cusp of a New Year’s Eve party with a comparatively moderately priced cover charge and a cash prize for the best dressed at the party. I love it.
I talked to the three-person crew about their intentions and the more I learned, the more I liked.
Bussaband is Nkosei "Trini" Gravesande, originally from Trinidad but who has lived in Hawaii since high school; model Makeda Morris, who is originally from Memphis but grew up in Chinatown on Oahu; and Jacoby Hindrick, who moved to Hawaii from California about eight months ago.
Gravesande has been throwing parties for years in community centers, on military bases and even in his mom’s garage. He learned how to DJ as a kid and now works with Morris, who many would recognize from working the door at Nextdoor or modeling in Chinatown fashion shows.
She intrigued me the second I met her, carrying herself in a quiet, confident way that draws you in, wanting more. Finding out she is part of a promotions team that’s already killing it made my year.
“Hawaii is fun, Hawaii is also taken for granted,” said Gravesande. “We live on this beautiful island and every sunset and sunrise is astonishing but no one ever wants to look. I think nightlife here is taken the same way.
“There are a number of great things that go down every night, for all sorts of people and tastes but people start looking at their friends that are in other places like L.A. or N.Y.C. and get antsy. They're so focused on watching the next man that they don't realize they have a world of opportunity staring at them.
“That's exactly what our company is grounded in; you focus on doing it for yourself then everyone around you will start shifting into the same wavelength. We saw that there was a need for a nightlife scene that you can come to without knowing anyone and still have fun in. You don't have to try to out-dress anyone, out-dance anyone, out-drink anyone; just turn up and do it for you.
“When we're all enjoying the party for ourself, we all end up enjoying each other, it's like harmony.”
New Year’s Eve brings what they are billing as “Honolulu’s wildest New Year’s Eve party.” Looking at photos on Instagram from their previous events, I don't doubt this for a second.
“The parties in Trinidad are always fun,” Gravesande said. “No one's concerned with trying to out-do the next man, trying to start drama or instigate. You go and you enjoy the music; you don't stand on the wall, you dance. You enjoy yourself and you enjoy the atmosphere.
“That's something we always want to be a part of, no matter where we are; Trinidad, East or West coast, Hawaii, there's always a capacity for a good time. We won't be dissatisfied because there isn't a place honoring that already made for us. We're gonna make it.”
Watch out 2015, Bussabent Entertainment has arrived.
Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young's Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for Pow! Wow! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular Bacardi Pool Party on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.