KAILUA-KONA — Kawika Singson is a one-man director, photographer and host.
Traveling around Hawaii with his cameras, he has filmed himself in lava flows, on mountains and under the ocean, and has shared his adventures with the world through social media.
And now his trips are getting the television treatment.
Premiering 7:30 p.m. Sunday on Spectrum OC16, “Everything Hawaii, Adventures with Kawika Singson” is a 52-week show broadcasting Singson’s many self-made videos on the natural beauty of Hawaii.
“I’m just like anyone else, I’m just some dude with a camera out there,” Singson said. “I don’t even consider myself a real photographer or videographer.
“I still have so much to learn. I have a more creative eye, I envision things, and visions come to me when I’m lying in bed at night.”
Those visions help create Singson’s many videos of Hawaii Island, which Singson films himself with the help of multiple cameras and drones. Singson hopes the new television audience enjoys his unique perspective of the island.
“I think a lot of the things people will see is probably a different perspective from what you would normally see,” Singson said. “Anyone can take a photo of fish or lava. So I see what’s out there, and I always try to look for a unique or different perspective.”
Singson said he likes to take “calculated risks” in order to get a different shot. An example he gave was of a video of lava falling in front of his camera. That video was first posted to YouTube with little success.
“I didn’t have as many views as I thought I’d have so I took the same video and posted it to my Facebook, and overnight I had over one million views,” Singson said. ‘The next morning, when I looked at Facebook, I was blown away.”
Producer Devin Hume met Singson while they were both free diving in Kailua Bay. Hume said he saw Singson’s filming technique that day as Singson filmed a manta ray underwater.
“And I thought, ‘OK, this guy is brilliant,’” Hume said.
Hume said he and Singson would frequently run into each other underwater, so when Hume was approached about producing the show, he was excited.
“I have a strong passion for nature and wildlife,” Singson said. “In the short amount of time I’ve lived on the island, I’ve been so unbelievably impressed by the wildlife, and the culture.”
Filming volcanoes and other natural landscapes require certain safety cautions, which is why Singson prefers to work alone.
“That’s why I prefer to go by myself. I like to run, I’m very agile,” Singson said. “And with the lava flow, I like to be by myself in case I need to run, or if I get myself into a situation I don’t have to worry about anyone.
“I’m very careful. I don’t go into these situations blindly, I think out everything. I’ve been out to these places enough times to know how to read the condition, the weather, the ocean and which way the vog is going.”
Hume said the up close and personal nature of Singson’s videos will translate to a different viewing experience for television audiences.
“I think it’s a very raw and visceral experience for the viewer,” Hume said. “There’s no fake stage or fake setups. It’s just, boom, there’s Kawika in the moment.
“I hope it inspires people to get out and live.”
Singson said it doesn’t matter if he’s climbing mountains, or swimming with the whales; some of the experiences people can have on Hawaii Island “take you to another plane of existence.”
With the show, Singson can now share those experiences with others. Singson has lived in Hawaii for most of his life, and he said his projects have always been a way to spread the word on the beautiful setting of the Big Island.
“Everything that I post, I make sure people know that Kona is a beautiful place,” Singson said. “I always tag Kona in all my videos and all my photos. Basically, I brag about how beautiful Kona is.
“I do this for the pure joy of sharing Kona and the island of Hawaii with the world.”
As for his next project after the show begins airing, Singson said it’s all up in the air.
“I normally don’t make plans,” Singson said. “I just go with the flow, and wherever it takes me, I’m stoked about it, I’m happy with it.”