Interview With LGBTQ Hawaiian Artist Kalani Pe’a! (@KalaniPeaMusic)
Photo Credit: Antonio Agosto
- How did you get your start in the music industry?
I got started in the music industry as I struggled with a speech impediment as a child. When I was 3 or 4 years old my mom found me serenading a mannequin in JC Penny’s at a shopping mall. My mom, Pua, knew that music would heal me, so we I was signed up for music lessons, I joined choir and was put in karaoke competitions to ultimately help my speech impediment. So, music really saved my life as a child!
- Who are your musical influences?
Smokey Robinson, Luciano Pavarotti, Luther Vandross and older Hawaiian artists as well!
- How would you describe your sound?
My sound is described as Hawaiian Contemporary Soul. I do not sing traditional Hawaiian, but I bring a modern approach to my singing style. I sing in the Hawaiian language, but with a contemporary soul style. It’s unique and has definitely helped people gravitate toward me when my debut album came out in 2016. And I think ultimately helped me win both of my Grammy’s in 2017 and 2019.
- What was the recording process like for your most recent album “No ‘Ane’i” ?
I learned a lot from making my first album, so I knew what to expect when making No ‘Ane’i. The recording process is tricky in Hawaii. There are eight islands and I record on multiple islands, so I have to fly a lot to the recording studio. I always record in the mid-day, between 11AM and 3PM. It’s just what works best for me! The recording process for this album was great overall though. I grew a lot, learned a lot, and wrote a lot. There are a total of eight originals! It’s fun in the beginning, but towards the end it definitely gets stressful as you are almost to the finish line.
- What has the fan reaction been like to the album?
Everyone says this album is their favorite of the two! The fans have loved it, and I’m so glad they have stuck with me from the first to the second album. My fanbase is constantly growing and getting to meet new fans who love this second album has been very exciting.
- What is your favorite song off of the album?
My favorite would have to be Kahunani No ‘Ola’A. The song is for my grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer’s. She can not remember anyone, but when I sing to her she can remember for a few seconds who I am, and those couple seconds are really everything to me. It just proves that music is really very healing.
- How has touring gone so far to promote the album?
Touring has been great! I just finished a run in Phoenix and Irvine. The Los Angeles debut was incredible. I returned to a lot of markets and everything has been wonderful. Touring is a lot of work, I just can’t go once, I have to continue to return to the cities and grow. However, I’ve never been more grateful for these opportunities.
- Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to share with us?
Yes! I am working on a new collaboration project with Hawaiian music legend, Henry Kapono which I am very excited for. I am also working on another collaboration with Hawaiian artist, Kimie Miner. We are doing a children’s lullaby album which we plan to submit for the 2020 Grammy Awards. This album is going to be great because she is also featuring 10 other incredible artists. I’ve worked on this project with my heart and soul because I have translated a lot of English words to Hawaiian, I was basically a co writer on this project.
I plan on recording a holiday album as well as my third album very soon so stay tuned for that! My next show is also on May 3rd at the historic Hawaii theatre, its my biggest show yet, so I am very much looking forward to it!
- What are your social media platforms?
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