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Alex Aiono Talks New Netflix Film, Catfish Adobo, His Love For Filipinos Globally & His Polynesian Roots

Posted By: MYX
Post Date: January 26, 2021

Alex Aiono returned to MYX to talk about his latest Netflix film, Finding Ohana that co-stars pinays Kea Peahu & Lindsay Watson. He breaks down the similarities of various island cultures like the Philippines, Hawaii, Pacific Islands and his own Samoan and Maori descent.

Watch & share the exclusive interview where you'll learn more about the singer/actor where he talks personally about his family, his relationship with his father and much more:

Check out the Top 8 Highlights from the Alex Aiono exclusive MYX interview:

1.     Alex’s real Ohana helped prepare in playing the character of Ioane

He pulled from personal experiences whether it was his jokester side to help create Ioane’s personality or the push and pull relationship with his three sisters. In the film, Ioane finds the importance of being with family, especially his sister. Just like anyone with siblings, they tease each other and know which buttons to push.

2.     He pulled from moments in his childhood to relate to the Hawaiian culture in the film

Alex is of Maori and Samoan descent from his dad’s side who’s from New Zealand. He was brought up with a strong sense of family. Just like the Filipino culture, family is one of the most important traits to show. Alex says, “[my dad] showed me how important it is to take care of family, loved ones, elders, and having that respect.”

3.     Just like the character of Ioane, Alex also struggled with explaining his name

In Finding Ohana Ioane goes by a nickname. Alex shared that growing up, he had to explain how to say his last name, Aiono. Since Aiono sounds like “I don’t know,” he had to break it down for people. We bet he doesn’t have that problem any more. He goes on to say that the film touches on “learning the importance of being yourself and how amazing it is to have an identity”especially through a name.

4.     Alex hopes that people feel represented through the film

He explains that this is an era that’s stepping on expanding representation. Alex is “excited to see films that celebrate culture from all across the board.” It’s about time to celebrate each culture individually and not grouping it all into a single category. “It’s awesome and amazing to celebrate who you are and dig deep into your culture. It shows how you’re unique and different, proud to be who you are.

5.     Working in Hawai’i has recharged his song writing battery

With the release of his album last year, Gospel at 23, it took a lot of energy out of him. Alex shared he felt like he ran out of ideas. Working on Finding Ohana was able to distract him from feeling the need to write more music. He was able to take a break in music and come back with a new excitement to do music again.

6.     Alex vouches for the Hawaiian food

One of his favorite parts of working in Hawai’i was experiencing the culture through food. It’s both his favorite and least favorite because though he loves his spam masubi, rice plate lunches, he still has to stay in shape. He jokes that if he has to stay in shape, it’s probably a poke diet for him. Hold the rice please!

7.     He loved doing the stunts in the film

Alex challenges us to find the one stunt he didn’t do in the film. Since he’s adventurous and a dare devil, he enjoyed parts like cliff jumping, running in the water, and more physical activities.

8.     Alex loves the similar Ohana energy he receives when visiting the Philippines

He has nothing but love for the Philippines as he’s experienced love and happiness everywhere he went. “The community in general is one of the richest and beautiful groups of people I’ve came across.” Alex is excited to visit the Philippines as soon as it’s safe. It’s been too long since his last visit. He’s manifesting a concert on the beach whether that be in Cebu or Palawan. Don’t forget our invite!

Watch the trailer to Finding Ohana, out exclusively on Netflix 1/29:

Watch Alex Aiono's cover of Olivia Rodrigo's chart topping single, "Drivers License" below and make sure to listen to his latest album, The Gospel at 23.

In case you were living under a rock and missed when Alex performed his historic One Dance / Hasta Al Manacer cover with Inigo Pascual at the MYX studio in Hollywood, watch it below:
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