KALANI PE‘A Singer/Songwriter
Three-time GRAMMY® Award winner (2022, 2019, 2017) Only Hawaiian artist to win in Regional Roots category
“Gifted with a gorgeous voice and a flair for composing resonant Hawaiian songs, [he’s] a major, innovative figure in contemporary Hawaiian music.” – Maui News
“Kalani Pe 'a holds an important place in the history of Hawaiian music... [His] third album...displays the depth and breadth of his talent as a vocalist and songwriter in vivid style.” -- Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Kalani Pe’a’s third and most recent release Kau Ka Pe’a garnered his 3rd Grammy win in Regional Roots. He took home his 2nd Grammy Award in 2019 for his second CD No ‘Ane’i [We Belong Here], a release that hit #1 on iTunes World Music Charts and #11 on Billboard’s World Music Charts. His debut album E Walea won him his first Grammy® Award in 2017 for “Best Regional Roots Music Album”, which also received the 2017 Na Hoku Hanohano Award (Hawai‘i’s “Grammy”) for Best Hawaiian Contemporary Album, making Hawaiian music history as the only album ever to win both a Grammy and Na Hoku.
The Maui News praises “[his] distinguished...flair for Hawaiian language composition, a talent for fusing traditional and contemporary elements into his music and his wide, expressive vocal range.”
February 2020 saw his New York debut, at a sold-out
performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center for Lincoln Center’s
American Songbook, the first Hawaiian artist to be featured on the series. His original song He Lei Aloha (No Hilo) was also featured on NBC’s Little Big Shots hosted by Melissa McCarthy, sung by Keala Suttle (The Greatest Showman) and danced by Hunnay Demello, and his recording of He Lei Aloha (No Hilo) was featured on the 2021 Netflix release Finding ‘Ohana. In 2019, he made his debut appearance at the prestigious Merrie Monarch hula competition, with an original song for Hula Halau ‘O Kamuela, the group that went on to win top honor at the competition.
Self-described as “Hawaiian contemporary soul”, Kalani Pe‘a’s is garnering awards and recognition:
Native Arts & Cultures Foundation Fellowship, Artist in Business Leadership Fellowship by the First Peoples Fund, Distinguished Alumni Award by his alma mater Colorado Mesa University, and a WAA Native Launchpad Award in 2020. In May 2021, Kalani was selected as a featured artist for Spotify and Amazon Music campaigns during AAPI (Asian-American Pacific Islander) month, gracing billboards on over 120 transit shelters in New York and San Francisco. He was also nominated for a Folk Alliance International Artist of the Year Award in 2022. In 2022 Pe'a was selected to be apart of the AAPI Campaign with Pandora Music & Tune Core Music.
KALANI PE‘A ● BIO Singer/Songwriter,
3-time Grammy®-Winner! (2017, 2019, 2022)
Kalani Peʻa sings everything from classical, musical, ballads, R&B, soul to traditional and original Hawaiian music, displaying his wide-ranging talents as a songwriter and music composer. His talent for lyrics is on display in his original Hawaiian songs alongside his affectionate bilingual arrangements of R&B favorites.
It started at age four when Peʻa was diagnosed with a speech impediment; his mother introduced him to singing and music to help him pronounce his words. His
father who comes from a musical family and his mother
encouraged him to take vocal lessons and choir, and by
age 8, Peʻa was winning numerous talent competitions.
His winning streak contined with Brown Bags to
Stardom, and first place in the National Association Teachers of Singing Competition in Colorado/Wyoming chapter, in men’s classical and musical divisions, while receiving his degree from Colorado Mesa University in Mass Communications. “From speech therapy to being a college graduate in communications,” notes Peʻa’s father laughingly, “Kalani can’t stop talking and singing”.
His debut album brought him into working with Dave Tucciarone, a 13-time Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award- Winning Engineer and Producer based in Honolulu. leading to the 2017 Grammy® win and first Na Hoku Award. This successful collaboration continued with Kalani’s second CD, No ‘Ane‘i [We Belong Here], garnering
rave reviews and a second Grammy win in 2019. Now his 3rd CD Kau Ka Pe‘a has once again brought him Grammy recognition, and he was also featured in the Grammy Opening Premiere Concert. Says award-winning Hawaiian vocalist Darlene Ahuna,
“His voice will take you to the heavens. His passion for music will have you rockin’ in your seat.“
A fluent Hawaiian speaker and graduate of Hawaiian language school, Peʻa went on to illustrate and publish five Hawaiian language children’s stories while working on his master's degree in early childhood education at the University of Hawaiʻi Hilo. He taught at Kamehameha Preschools in Kona, followed by 8 years as a Hawaiian resource coordinator for Kamehameha Schools Maui, teaching Hawaiian culture (science focus), and creating curriculum.
The Grammys opened the door for his performing and touring career, and he was honored by the Hawai‘i State House of Representatives with an official proclamation: “It is vital that Native Hawaiian culture and the arts be perpetuated for future generations: Kalani Pe’a is a torchbearer and we recognize his accolades, accomplishments, and continued work on behalf of Native Hawaiians.”
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
2017 Grammy® Award - Best Regional Roots Music Album "E Walea"
2017 Na Hoku Hanohano Award - Contemporary Album Of The Year "E Walea"
2019 Grammy® Award - Best Regional Roots Music Album "No 'Ane'i"
2021 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards - Christmas Single of the Year "O Holy Night"
2022 Grammy® Award - Best Regional Roots Music Album "Kau Ka Pe'a"