I knew music played a pivotal role in my life. I knew that Hawaiian music defined who I am
and shaped my identity as a Hawaiian person, a man that speaks Hawaiian
fluently, uh, a person that-that loved my family, and wanted
to write music about my family, people I love, cherished aliʻi, places I love called wahi
pana. And these … these
elements that I wanted to bring up in my music happened over time. [SINGING] Nani ka lā, maikaʻi
Me kuʻu pōmaikaʻi Nani ka hui ‘ana
Ma kēia hālāwai Nani, Nani. Nani nā hana maikaʻi
Nani nā ‘ōlelo a Iesu Me kona lokomaikaʻi
Nani nā kumu aʻo Me kuʻu ‘oli nei
Nani nā aʻo ‘ana Kū i ka pololei
Nani, Nani. Nani nā hana maikaʻi
Nani nā ‘ōlelo a Iesu Me kona lokomaikaʻi
Nani nā ‘ōlelo a Iesu Me kona lokomaikaʻi
Nani nā ‘ōlelo a Iesu Me kona lokomaikaʻi. My grandfather was an opera singer. My grandmother taught primary in church, uh,
music and hula. And my
aunties and uncles are classical musicians. My dad-my dad will play music from the Temptations,
Bon Jovi, Led Zeppelin, and-or even tunes from Uncle Willie
K. And uh, I grew up in a hot pink trailer home on Railroad
Avenue, in Panaʻewa Homestead. Four kids in a-with two bedrooms. My mom had a bedroom, my mom and
dad, and so did we. We weren’t rich, we weren’t poor, but I knew
that we had to work hard as people of Hawaiʻi living in this ʻāina of aloha. The love, the-for this land, and for our people,
we had to go through struggles. We
had lanterns, we didn’t have electricity. We lived off of coolers my entire childhood
years. My parents were not
that s-strict. Like, they allowed us to be comfortable with-uh,
within our own skin, uh, but there were parameters, there were rules. So I, I come from a really good childhood
background, that pink trailer home, Panaʻewa, shapes who I am today. [SINGING] Nō Hilo Hanakai. Hoku pua hana kaʻa. Eō Hilo. Hīhīmanu Hilo i kuʻu pua
I ka pua loke kau i ka ‘ōnohi Hiaʻai ka manaʻo i ke kiu
Ka makani hiwahiwa o ka ‘āina Hīhīmanu Hilo i kuʻu pua
I ka pua loke kau i ka ‘ōnohi Hiaʻai ka manaʻo i ke kiu
Ka makani hiwahiwa o ka ‘āina Pūlamahia. Pūlamahia ka huahekili. I pili i ka poli a hemoʻole
Eʻole oumalu lani lā ē ‘Aʻohe anu, ‘aʻohe māʻeʻele
Ea ʻeā. Ea ʻeā. Ua pakele mai kahaone
I ka popoʻi mai o nā nalu ‘Aʻole nō e paulilo ana
I ke aʻa kūpaʻa o ka ‘āina Ua pakele. Ua pakele mai kahaone
I ka popoʻi mai o nā nalu ‘Aʻole nō e paulilo ana
I ke aʻa kūpaʻa o ka ‘āina Pūlamahia. Pūlamahia ka huahekili
I pili i ka poli a hemoʻole Eʻole oumalu lani lā ē
‘Aʻohe anu, ‘aʻohe māʻeʻele Ea ʻeā. Ea ʻeā
Hāʻina ka puana aʻi lohe ‘ia Kou inoa hanohano (kau) i ka ‘iu. ‘Iuʻiu kūlana o ia pua
‘O Naupakanō i ka wēkiu Hāʻina. Hāʻina ka puana aʻi lohe ‘ia
Kou inoa hanohano (kau) i ka ‘iu ‘Iuʻiu kūlana o ia pua
‘O Naupakanō i ka wēkiu Pūlamahia. Pūlamahia ka huahekili
I pili i ka poli a hemoʻole Eʻole oumalu lani lā ē
‘Aʻohe anu, ‘aʻohe māʻeʻele Ea ʻeā. Ea ʻeā. [INDISTINCT] Ea ʻeā. Hey. I stuttered a lot as a child. Um, I had a speech impediment from age one,
two, three, three and a half, and I-and in preschool, my mom wanted me to take speech
therapy. That didn’t work. My mom realized, maybe, let’s put
him through music. So, my parents debated about that, they were
like, if we put him through choir, vocal training, will that really help him? Give him the confidence to-to be comfortable
with himself, to be able to overcome such a challenge? So, I went through vocal training, I went
through uh, ka-um, Nā Pua Noʻeau Kamalani Children’s
Choir. And over the time, um, they saw improvement,
um, on how I d-um, communicated or-or conversed with
my peers, or how I talked to my teachers. But it was through music. Um, singing helps me to um, enunciate and
pronounce certain words, whether it’s in Hawaiian music or English. My mom and dad saw the growth and
development. And I call it a growth mindset. It’s all about trying. In Hawaiian we call it, pone hoʻāʻo wale,
you just gotta try and do the best you can. So I did competitions. My mom was like that dance mom pushing me
to sing. But I, I wanted to do that. I wanted to sing and write music, and um,
I started writing music my senior year in high
school. And I wrote this song about my mom, Ku’u Poli’ahu. My mom was going through some challenges in
my early years, and I wanted to uplift her an-and
compare her to the beauty of-of-of Poli’ahu I Ke Kapu, the snow
goddess of Mauna Kea. Ku’u Poli’ahu is a song for all of our mothers,
and I wanted to honor my mom. [SINGING] Mauna Kea kilakila keu āka uʻi
Luhiehu ka Makua o kuʻu lani Poliʻahu ka wahinekapa hau anu
Pumehana ka wahine e ‘apo mai ē, ‘apo mai ē
Mauna Kea kilakila keu āka uʻi Luhiehu ka Makua o kuʻu lani
Poliʻahu ka wahinekapa hau anu Pumehana ka wahine e ‘apo mai ē, ‘apo mai
ē Hiʻi mai ke kuahiwi i ka moena hau
Pōʻai nā hale a puni ka Makua Ua kani ā ‘uʻina a māuna ‘ia
E anoʻi pono nō e pūlama mau ē, pūlama mau ē
Hiʻi mai ke kuahiwi i ka moena hau Pōʻai nā hale a puni ka Makua
Ua kani ā ‘uʻina a māuna ‘ia E anoʻi pono nō e pūlama mau ē, pūlama
mau ē Eō mai Poliʻahu e noho nani mai
Poliʻahuka Makua o kuʻu lani Mauna Kea kilakila keu ā ka uʻi
Luhiehu ka Makua o kuʻu lani Eō mai Poliʻahu e noho nani mai
Poliʻahuka Makua o kuʻu lani Mauna Kea kilakila keu ā ka uʻi
Luhiehu ka Makua o kuʻu lani Luhiehu ka Makua o kuʻu lani, ē. Mama, you. When he was in third grade, Kalani asked his
parents if he could enroll in Hawaiian language immersion
school. He went on to become a 2001 graduate of Ke
Kula ʻO Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu. Walking to a classroom, day after day and
having teachers greet you in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, speaking our language
fluently, you’re speaking eight hours a day or more, whether it’s trigonometry, algebra,
calculus, everything was taught in Hawaiian. And it’s so funny, because once we get into
an English literature class, and we had to learn
about Shakespeare, everything was spoken in English, in that particular class. But we were lectured by our
teachers; once you walk out, this is a Hawaiian immersion program, so speak ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. [INDISTINCT] you
have to speak your language. And so, throughout my childhood years and
in high school, I-I never thought of…okay, I really know my identity, this
is who I am. It’s all part of the growing process, I think. And when all
these elements, all of these places, all of these people that we interact with here in
Hawaii truly helps us, shapes our own identify if you allow it to. I don’t call myself as a traditional Hawaiian. I w-I would call myself as a
modern Hawaiian. A Hawaiian of this century, of this time and
space. I’m all about innovation and creation. I’m a
Hawaiian contemporary soul artist that will have certain riffs in certain area, hold back
certain riffs, but I-I can’t stop being who I am. You know. I’m, I’m going to, I’m going to sing the music
that I want write, and produce, and compose. [SINGING] [HAWAIIAN] He nani nō kēia pua
Ua hiluhilu ke Kanilehua Nonohe ka maka mai ‘Ōlaʻa
Nani wale ‘oe Kahunani, Naniwale’oe Kahunani He nani nō kēia pua
Ua pāwehi (ho’i) nō ia No Hilo kēia pouhana lā
Nani wale ‘oe Kahunani, Nani wale’oe Kahunani He mai, he mai wahi a Lu darling
Luluʻia, hali’a ke aloha ē He mai, he mai haiamū ē
E ku’u pōlani ē Kau kehakeha kou inoa. He nani nō kēia pua
Hiloʻia pikake lei aloha Makahehi ia maka mai ‘Ōlaʻa
Nani wale ‘oe Kahunani, Nani wale’oe Kahunani [HAWAIIAN] Kalani Peʻa was 32 years old when he recorded
his first album, E Walea, which won a Grammy award in
2017. Peʻa was the first Hawaiʻi artist to win
a Grammy since 2012, when the Hawaiian Music category was
absorbed into a Regional Roots category that included other music genres. That same year, E Walea also
won a Nā Hōkū Hanohano award for Contemporary Album of the Year. Two years later, Kalani won a
second Grammy award for his second album, No ʻAneʻi. I’m just inspired all the time, whether I’m
sipping on coffee, or eating breakfast with my ʻohana. I’m literally
creating music in my head. I’m all about pushing the envelope and coming
up with ideas. And that’s, that’s the
beauty about our, our people. We have a different perspective, because there’s,
there’s poetry behind that. We
use certain linked assonance and metaphors when we’re comparing one’s flower to someone
else that we love, or a place to someone that we love. So, when we’re writing in Hawaiian music,
um, we have to be in that mindset and that perspective. And no one owns the language, no one owns
the word-ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, no one owns the word-aloha. It’s our language, but use it wisely as you’re
composing music. I woke up one day and did this… I
want to record a second album, but I want to focus on cultural identity and values,
but go back to my foundation. Going back to the Hawaiian immersion program,
that helped shape who I am today. Partially, or part of that pie,
because my family shapes me. The school shaped me. My experiences in college in Colorado shaped
my identity. So, all of that became a full, ʻono pie. [SINGING] No ʻaneʻi ko kākou ola
No ʻaneʻi ko kākou pono, ʻeā, E nā kūpuna
ʻAʻohe mea nāna e hōʻoni; ʻAʻohe mea nāna e kulaʻi, ʻeā,
E nā mākua E nā hoa ʻōpio, ʻeā,
Alu ka pule i Hakalau lā, ʻeā (e ke hoa ē)
E nā hoa o ka ʻāina, Mai huli kua mai iā mākou lā, ʻeā,
E nā Hawaiʻi, E nā Hawaiʻi No ʻaneʻi ko kākou ola
No ʻaneʻi ko kākou pono, ʻeā, E nā kūpuna
ʻAʻohe mea nāna e hōʻoni; ʻAʻohe mea nāna e kulaʻi, ʻeā,
E nā mākua E nā hoa ʻōpio, ʻeā,
Alu ka pule i Hakalau lā, ʻeā (e ke hoa ē)
E nā hoa o ka ʻāina, Mai huli kua mai iā mākou lā, ʻeā,
E nā Hawaiʻi, E nā Hawaiʻi E nā hoa ʻōpio, ʻeā,
Alu ka pule i Hakalau lā, ʻeā (e ke hoa ē)
E nā hoa o ka ʻāina, Mai huli kua mai iā mākou lā, ʻeā,
E nā Hawaiʻi, E nā Hawaiʻi No ʻaneʻi ko kākou ola
No ʻaneʻi ko kākou pono, ʻeā, E nā kūpuna
ʻAʻohe mea nāna e hōʻoni; ʻAʻohe mea nāna e kulaʻi, ʻeā,
E nā mākua E nā hoa ʻōpio, ʻeā,
Alu ka pule i Hakalau lā, ʻeā (e ke hoa ē)
E nā hoa o ka ʻāina, Mai huli kua mai iā mākou lā, ʻeā,
E nā Hawaiʻi, E nā Hawaiʻi E Lēkia ē
‘Oni a paʻa, E Nāwahī ē
ʻOni a paʻa E Lēkia ē
‘Oni a paʻa, E Nāwahī ē
ʻOni a paʻa I started singing twenty-five years ago, but
I never thought I would do this professionally. It’s mindboggling. I’m,
I’m, I’m astounded every day. I wake up every day, my other half tells me
, we should put our Grammys away in the storage; why do we have to see it next
to out TV set. It reminds us of hard work, though. It, it, it … when I
see it, I’m like, okay, we have to continue working hard. Accolades do not define who I am. I’m the same local boy
that grew up in a trailer house, the only trailer home on Hawaiian Homelands, and I
will never change who I am. I
am the same Kalani Peʻa, you’re gonna get what you get. [SINGING] [HAWAIIAN]
No ke ‘a’a lā ka’u ipo lā Nā lani o nā lani
Hiaʻai ka manaʻo mai ku’u kino Ho’oheno ‘ia i ku’u poli
No ke ‘a’a lā ka’u ipo lā Nā lani o nā lani
Hiaʻai ka manaʻo mai ku’u kino Ho’oheno ‘ia i ku’u poli
Ua wehiwehi mai kou maka Ka nohea o nā lani
‘Ā maila ku’u kino eʻāpona mau Mau ka halehale Kealoha
Ke ‘imi nei iā ‘oe i Kona No ke kai mā’oki’oki
Kai mālie i Keauhou lā Ka wai pa’anehe i ke kai
Eia nō ‘oe ku’u lani ē No ke ‘a’a lā ka’u ipo lā
Hilo ‘ia a pa’a e kāua ē Ke ‘a’a o nā lani
Eia nō ‘oe ku’u lani ē No ke ‘a’a lā ka’u ipo lā
Hilo ‘ia a pa’a e kāua ē Ke ‘a’a o nā lani [END]