Grantee: Kalani Pe’a
Native Citizenship: Native Hawaiian
Location: Wailuku, Hawaii
Award: 2018 National Artist Fellowship
Web Site: kalanipeamusic.com
Kalani Pe’a is a songwriter and vocalist who celebrates his Native Hawaiian language and heritage through music and visual arts. In 2017, he made history as the first Hawaiin Recording Artist to ever win a Na Hoku Award and Grammy Award for the same album ~ his debut, E Walea.
A proud Hawaiian language immersion graduate of Ke Kula ‘o Nawahiokalani’opu’u, Pe’a strives for millennial innovation while honoring his traditional roots, injecting soul and R&B into his message of aloha. He began singing at the age of 4, through music developing self-confidence and the tools to overcome an early speech impediment. The experience prompted Pe’a to pursue a first career in early childhood education, teaching Hawaiian language to children, and even illustrating and publishing 5 Hawaiian language children’s stories.
A consummate creative, Pe’a shares that he wakes up every day reflecting: “what am I going to do to ensure that the identity and foundation of ‘being’ and ‘living’ Hawaiian is instilled in the minds, hearts and souls of the Hawaiian people?”
Music is here to heal the hearts, minds and souls of the world. Music is free medicine. It’s my kuleana (duty) to do the work of my ancestors.
~ Kalani Pe’a
“Ku’u Poli’ahu” is a original song written by Kalani Pe’a off of Kalani Pe’a’s GRAMMY® Award-Winning & Na Hoku Hanohano Award Winning debut album titled “E Walea” released August 5th 2016.”E Walea” hit No.1 on the iTunes World Music Charts and No.11 on the Billboard World Albums Charts.