In the Mix

McKenna Maduli making moves on MTV

May 12th, 2011

Bruno Mars isn't the only person from Hawaii making regular appearances on MTV these days. For McKenna Maduli, her day-to-day adventures see her crossing paths with some pretty big names as the west coast correspondent for the cable network's daily countdown show, "The Seven."

McKenna Maduli. (Courtesy photo)

"It's fun," said the daughter of veteran local entertainment power couple Kata and Janet Maduli from Los Angeles earlier this week. "I do this webshow called 'NextMovie Daily,'(and) I got an email today that we're going to be shooting double shows at the MTV Movie Awards all week.

"I've been really lucky. I'm not one of these Hollywood girls. ... All I want to do, and it sounds so cheesy, but all I want to do is represent (Hawaii)."

Maduli returned to Honolulu on Wednesday for a few days of rest and relaxation before heading to Aloha Tower Marketplace on Saturday to host the "Throwback Jam," a concert featuring some of the very artists she grew up around at her parents' Kalihi home.

"I just grew up with all of that around me, so it was really cool," she said. "My dad is a Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winner and a pretty bad-ass bass player. I grew up at Makaha Bashes making backstage passes with my mom.

"I grew up with Uncle IZ. And Davey D was hanging at my house when he was just an intern at FM-100!"

Maduli covered Spring Break for MTV this year and got to chat with Snoop Dogg, right, who told her he could tell she was from Hawaii. (Photo courtesy MTV)

While her father has enjoyed success locally, the younger Maduli saw her future on the mainland — before landing at MTV, she worked at various other online publications as a writer and in front of the camera as a host with She still rubs elbows with plenty of stars now that she's hit the big time, but Maduli gets more excited when she can tell stories about working with other locals in Hollywood.

"Bruno, for instance, I've known him since he was small," she said. "He would come out with (former DisGuyz member) Jason Lent to Justin (Young)'s shows at Burbank Bar & Grill. Just a little while ago, I was watching a friend sleeping on another friend's couch. And now he's a superstar.

Maduli and Alicia Keys, right. (Photo courtesy Billboard)

And just last night, I was out with (Hawaii-based musicians) Anuhea (Jenkins) and Kimie (Miner) in Santa Monica. They just killed it. This next generation of artists are coming out, and I think it's just our time. I think we need a voice (and) I want to be a part of that movement.

Still, Saturday's "Throwback Jam" will be a walk down memory lane for Maduli, with the likes of Ho`aikane, Fiji, Mana`o Company, Leahi, Bruddah Waltah, Jamin the Chief Ragga, Ilona Irvine, Typical Hawaiians, and Na Wai set to perform. It will also provide her with an opportunity to help raise funds for the Mana Ma'oli recording project set to ramp up production later this year.

"I'm so stoked to be coming home," said Maduli. "I think it's really cool that I can do this live thing on MTV and then, a couple of days later, be 10 minutes away from my home at Aloha Tower hosting the 'Throwback Jam' with my friends."


Jason Genegabus is Entertainment Editor/Online at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at

'Throwback Jam 2011'

Featuring Ho`aikane, Fiji, Mana`o Company, Leahi, Bruddah Waltah, Jamin the Chief Ragga,

Ilona Irvine, Typical Hawaiians, and Na Wai

Hosted by McKenna Maduli

» Where: The Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace

» When: 6 p.m. May 14, 2011

» Cost: $25 general admission, $45 VIP

» Info: 545-5900 or

4 Responses to “McKenna Maduli making moves on MTV”

  1. Wsu89:

    Never heard of her or her "power couple" parents.

  2. Alan Hochfelsen:

    McKenna is their(Kata & Janet's) beautiful, smart, witty daughter that is doing a great job representing our home to the masses on every type of 21st cenutry media. Duh!

  3. Anonymous:

    Awesome! Always good to see Hawaii folks out there representing!!! Get it McKenna!

  4. Kathy Muller:

    She was a star from day one!   We love her.....
    "Aunty" Kathy Muller and The Kathy Muller Talent an Modeling Agency Gang

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