Alan Akaka is from a family whose roots are deep in Hawaiian music. His father Senator Daniel K. Akaka, former director of the famous Kawaiaha‘o Church Choir, played an important role in Alan's music beginnings and encouraged him through his development. His family gatherings, which included lots of music making, and music education at Kamehameha Schools and the University of Hawai‘i further expanded his base in music. Alan established and directed the Kamehameha Middle Schools' Na ‘Opio Singers and Hawaiian Ensemble. He was director of the Performing Arts Academy at Kamehameha for 16 years. In 2009 he established Ke Kula Mele Hawai‘i School of Hawaiian Music.
As for the steel guitar, Alan has created his own sound and style, incorporating styles from the masters of steel—David Rogers, Benny Rogers, Jules Ah See, Billy Hew Len, David Keli‘i, Jake Keli‘ikoa, and his teacher Jerry Byrd. He recorded with a number of artists including Genoa Keawe, Owana, Nohelani Cypriano, Nina Keali‘iwahamana, and Karen Keawehawai‘i as well as with Sweden's Simons and a number of Japan artists and groups. "How D'ya Do" featuring the Islanders was a finalist at the 1987 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards and his solo album "Simply Steel" was a finalist at the 2010 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.
For over twenty years Alan was leader of "The Islanders" featured at the Halekulani's House Without A Key and presently performs at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort. He travels throughout the world as an artist and conducts Hawaiian music and steel guitar workshops. In 2012, Alan was inducted in the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame. In 2014, he was invited as a guest soloist at the International Steel Guitar Convention in St. Louis. He was presented with an award at the 2015 India International Guitar Festival in Kolkata, India.