Liko Martin is a musician, songwriter, fisherman, taro farmer, father, grandfather, storyteller, activist and cultural practitioner from Hawaiʻi, planet Earth. He has been writing songs since childhood, and has composed many well loved songs, as well as many yet to be shared.
Liko has been a part of the Hawaiian movement for most of its history, since the earliest beginnings of the "Hawaiian Rennaisance". He is still a front-line warrior and aloha ʻāina practitioner, as well as a master of music arts. His songs have always been much of the "soundtrack" of the Hawaiian movement, and continue to inspire people everywhere. Music as a force for healing of the human spirit is much of his focus, and a kuleana that he takes seriously.
Liko debuts his new song,"All Hawaiʻi Stand Together" at a rally (the first "Sovereign Sunday") at ʻIolani Palace in January, 1977 with Kawaipuna Prejean and Mel Kalahiki. Singing with them (outside picture) were George Helm, Kimo Mitchell, Walter Ritte, and many others. Photo by Ian Lind.
Liko (with flag) was the last person standing on the roof of farmer George Santos' house during the famous standoff in Kalama Valley in 1970. And he is still standing! Star-Bulletin archival photo.
With Kekuni Blaisdell, May 2014
Hawai'i's "Bard of Aloha 'Aina"
Bards are an integral part of many traditional cultures. Through their work, culture is perpetuated, people are informed, and communities are connected to each other. But they are few in number, in this modernized time. Liko carries on this bardic tradition in real life. He tells the story of the people, to the people. He plays for the "royalty" and the people on the street and fields with the same love and mana and healing spirit. He asks for very little, and puts all that he has into the work that he does. He is also a visionary, who shines light upon the struggles and despair of humanity, brings wit and poetic brightness to the crazy times we live in, and shows a path forward that we can all walk, together.
Liko and Kekuni Blaisdell in 2014