Fernandez was raised in the Palolo housing project on the Island of O‘ahu. As a child he was inspired by local `ukulele master Peter Moon. In these early days, Fernandez also performed with fellow surfer Ernie Cruz, Jr., who was later to become his partner in the legendary Ka’au Crater Boys. This pairing would soon make Hawaiian music history. With Cruz Jr. on guitar and bass, and Fernandez on `ukulele – and the pair sharing vocal responsibilities – the Ka’au Crater Boys went on to record four popular contemporary Hawaiian albums.
Drawing on their roots in Palolo, Fernandez’s `ukulele style, combined with Cruz’s fresh guitar riffs, quickly established the Ka’au Crater Boys on the forefront of contemporary Hawaiian music. Most of all, the music Fernandez and Cruz created together reflected their love of Hawai‘i and in total, earned three Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards.