The Waitiki 7


The Waitiki 7

From the album
New Sounds of Exotica, Pass Out Records
[Hawaii], 2010.

The Waitiki 7 "new Sounds of Exotica"


The West has long been obsessed with Hawaii and Polynesia. When Allied soldiers returned from being stationed in the South Pacific post-World War II, their acclimation to Polynesian culture jump-started the polycultural experience that is known today as Tiki Culture. Tiki culture was a montrous fad in the 1950's and 1960's, and although it had to endure a few decades of being the derided as "tacky" and "kitschy", it made a comeback in the 1990's and has been with us ever since. Exotica music is the official soundtrack music of tiki culture, and its current revival is easily the best of all the current Vintage revival genres. Hawaii-based group The Waitiki 7 and their previous incarnation Waitiki were one of a few groups responsible for improving the quality of the exotica revival genre over the course of the 2000's, thereby paving the way for its current renaissance.

THE WAITIKI 7 began in 2003 as a quartet called Waitiki,  and are fronted by a talented and visionary bass player named Randy Wong. The group features members that are either descendants of or have worked with members of original exotica pioneers Martin Denny’s and Arthur Lyman’s groups.  The band has worked alongside some of the world’s top tiki drink mixologists, who have created special Polynesian-style cocktails especially for the group and their songs.  In 2005, the Hawaii Music Awards began a “Best Exotica Album” category in honor of Waitiki’s revival of the exotica genre—Waitiki and The Waitiki 7 won this award every time from 2005 to 2010. 

The track representing The Waitiki 7 is a cover of “Similau,” which is originally from Martin Denny’s genre-defining album Exotica (1957).  This version of “Similau” opens The Waitiki 7’s beautifully packaged second album New Sounds of Exotica (2010), which won the Hawaii Music Awards’ “Best Adult Contemporary Album” for 2011.

The Waitiki 7 Discography

Adventures in Paradise
(Pass Out Records, 2009)
New Sounds of Exotica (Pass Out Records, 2010)
Live In Concert (Pass Out Records, 2010) (MP3 only)
The Waitiki 7 In Hi-Fi (Pass Out Records, 2011) (12" vinyl LP + MP3 download card)