His extensive experience in both the Hawaiian and Contemporary music scenes contributed to Nāʻiliʻiliʻs desire to create music that reflects himself and his influences. A graduate of the University of Hawaii with a B.A. in Hawaiian Language, he uses those language skills on most of the album’s vocals, and also gives listeners several glimpses into the reason he won Maui’s 2007 Falsetto Contest. However, equally as comfortable playing R&B, Jazz, Soul, Gospel, and Pop as he is with traditional and contemporary Hawaiian, listeners will also find his arrangements influenced by his love of those genres.
Nāʻiliʻiliʻs musical background includes a stint as the lead guitarist in the quintet for the “Hawaii Calls” concert at the Hawaii Theatre in 2008; formation of a band called The K.N. Orchestra, specializing in R&B, Soul, Jazz, and Top 40 that same year; and in 2009 the formation of a four-piece band called “Ke Kauoha the Jazz Project” with Halehaku Seabury of Nā Hoa, Ioane Burns of Nā Palapalai, and Ikaika Tecson. The band specializes in traditional Hawaiian songs set to Jazz arrangements. He is also the lead vocalist for the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winning band “Pali”.
Ala Iki contains 12 tracks and was produced by Nāʻiliʻili and the multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winning Dave Tucciarone (who also engineered the album). It was recorded primarily at Tucciarone’s Seventh Wave Productions studio (two tracks were recorded by Matthew Honda at Matt Honda Studio). Guest musicians include Rockford Holmes (clarinet); Kamakoa Lindsey-Asing (ʻukulele and upright bass); Casey Olsen (steel guitar); and Bryan Tolentino (ʻukulele). Zachary Lum sings backup vocals.
The CD is available on Naʻiliʻili’s website and at Me Ke Aloha. It will be available in digital format on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby. Listen to clips from a few songs below!