Oct. 17—Growing up, Freddy Von Paraz enjoyed watching his father play music professionally in Waikiki. By the time Freddy graduated from Moanalua High School, he was doing the same.
He played Top 40 music with a band named Power Point at the Point After nightclub, then was recruited to join The Fabulous Krush during the group's heyday as Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning Waikiki showroom headliners. When he left the group to form the trio Triad, it was to follow his heart and play alternative rock. The members of Triad moved to Japan, where the band did well but never broke out on the U.S. market.
When Von Paraz returned to Hawaii, it was to be a founding member of the biggest local "boy band " of the late 1980s. Originally named Bad Boys Club, the group went through several name changes—BBC, The New Generation and finally TNG. The quintet not only won a Na Hoku Hanohano Award in 1990 but went on to become one of the very few local pop groups ever signed by a national record label, Warner /Reprise, with a full-length album released nationally. Von Paraz co-wrote many of the group's local hits. TNG disbanded in 1995 when its contract was not extended.
He returned to public view in 2001 as a member of the Society of Seven-Las Vegas in Waikiki but focused his creative energies behind the scenes as a record producer and songwriter.
In recent years, Von Paraz, who is in his early 60s, has shared his time and talent supporting three local charities—Prayers on Wings, Legacy of Life Hawai 'i and the Oral Cancer Foundation's Walk /Run for Awareness.
In September, after nearly 50 years in the music business, Von Paraz—now known as Freddy VP—released his first-ever full-length album as a solo recording artist. "The Reason " is a 25-song sampler of his work as a songwriter and recording artist. His daughter, Daphne, joins him on several songs. His grandson, Astro Bernades, is on the cover.
You can purchase the album through Apple Music or contact Von Paraz at fvpmusic @aol.com to buy a CD. The album is also available to stream on Spotify and YouTube. Find him on Facebook at.
Congratulations on "The Reason." Tell me about the timing of it.
I never had confidence in my singing in the past, but it seemed like, timing-wise, everything came down to now. Especially because my knowledge of mixing and compressing and doing it all came together. Sometimes I'm listening to something and I think, "I should have sung it this way instead of that way, " but it is what it is and this is my debut.
Twenty-five songs is about twice as many on most albums. Why put out 25 at one time ?
I put 25 songs on it 'cause I had all these ideas and songs. Being born in the islands, that's what I was around—reggae, pop, rock—so putting out an album like this shows what I do and who I am.
Hawaii knows you as Freddy Von Paraz. What's the strategy behind your name change to Freddy VP ?
If I keep going as Freddy Von Paraz, it's so hard to remember that name, or say it, so I decided to go as Freddy VP.
Your 1998 album with Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, "Native Grooves, " introduced an entirely new sound in Hawaiian-language music. What inspired the two of you to combine hip-hop and electronic music with Hawaiian chant ?
When I came back from Warner / Reprise, I had learned how to use beats and samples, and in my mind I was thinking that no one was mixing chant with beats and I'm going to try to that. To do it, I had to find someone who would do it but who was also well-respected—not just an ordinary chanter. So I approached (Hewett ). In those days, he was kinda of thought of as a rebel, and he said, "Let's do it." I didn't realize until afterwards that it was kind of iffy and scary to do it 'cause of how the public would accept it, but (Hewett ) believed in me.
What do you plan on doing next beyond promoting the album ?
Making music, working on my line of FVP logowear, and helping to coordinate and perform in these (charity ) awareness events when I'm asked. Some think a contemporary /pop songwriter /singer has to go to the mainland to make it, but I've been there. I wanna succeed (nationally ) from here.------Reach John Berger at jberger @ staradvertiser.com.