Kehaulani, aka LANI, is an award~winning poet, singer, hula dancer, surfer, certified yoga teacher, lomi lomi practitioner, mommy, & da first woman to become Poet Laureate of Queens.
Kehaulani means "morning dew from the heavens" ~ it is a name gifted to her from her first Kumu Hula ~ Kumu Healani Youn, Miss Aloha Hula 1986. Kehau is of Corean ancestry (her name in Corean is Issil, which means morning dew) ~ and both her children were born & are now being raised on the Hawai'ian islands, da place she now & forever calls home * sweet * home. Her musical influences include Bob Marley, Jack Johnson, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Norah Jones, and Sade, among many others.
Over the past decade, Lani has traveled around the world, reading poetry, singing & playing music at over 300 music festivals, colleges, cafes & cultural venues in the United States, Cuba, Jamaica, Singapore, Aotearoa, North & South Korea and South Africa, at festivals such as the Auckland International Writers' Festival, SPLORE, the Parihaka Peace Festival, Calabash Literary & Arts Festival, Poetry Africa, the Singapore Writers' Festival, Yale University, Stanford University, Columbia University, New York University, the University of Santa Cruz, Berkley University, and many more.
As a peace activist, she has organized readings & benefits to raise awareness about Korean Reunification, to support women in situations of domestic violence, to help victims of natural disasters, and to support the greening of our planet. One summer, while pregnant with her firstborn, she started a library with over 150 books donated to Indigo Skate Camp in Kwazulu-Natal, called the Indigo Lending Library. She is a sponsored artist of Element Skateboards, a company that supports independent, progressive artists, natural living, and has nature skate~camp retreats for children.
In her career, she has been blessed to receive the Sister of Fire Award from the Women of Color Resource Center in California, a Poet Laureate title for the Borough of Queens, New York, a Certificate of Merit from John C. Liu at City Hall, New York, and was honored to have her birthday, May 24 become "Ishle Yi Park" day in Queens, New York, an honor given to her by Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. Lani has been blessed to open for, perform with & share da stage with inspiring artists, poets & activists such as Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Ben Harper, Sonia Sanchez, Joy Harjo, Hajjar Gibran (descendant of Khalil Gibran), Angela Davis, KRS~One, Saul Williams, Taiyo Na and Denizen Kane. She was blessed to be a touring cast member of Russell Simmon's Def Poetry Jam & tour 51 cities & New Zealand with a talented & crazy bus~full of amazing poets (Beau Sia, Lemon, Suheir Hammad, Georgia Me, Black Ice, Flaco Navaja, Shihan, Bassey Ikpi & DJ Reborn) who she considers now to be lifelong family & friends.
Kehaulani's book of poetry & fiction, The Temperature of this Water, published by Kaya Press, was the recipient of 3 literary awards, including the Pen America Beyond Margins Award for Outstanding Writers of Color, and the Member's Choice Award of the Asian American Writers' Workshop, and is taught in colleges across the country.
The New York Times said, "she has the voice of an angel and the soul of a rock star." Now rooted & settled on the Big Island of Hawai'i, she is living da dream, raising a beautiful tribe & finally following her lifelong passion for music and focusing on singing, songwriting & hula. She is excited and stoked to be playing with other musicians now, and is playing with a live full band every other Friday in Kona town.
Kehaulani is currently one of the top~ranked Singer Songwriters in Kailua~Kona and is working on an album called "Bless Our Waters", due out this summer. You can find her dancing hula on the Kona Oceanfront Plaza, & singing at various restaurants & hotels in Kailua~Kona, sharing the Hawai'ian & island culture with visitors through song.
Inspired by reggae, island, Hawai'ian and acoustic music, Kehaulani is currently talking to & teaming up with some amazing island studios, producers & musicians to bring a fuller sound to this project & make it radio friendly, ready for da cars, jeeps & surfbeaters of Hawai'i and beyond. Some of the artists who have expressed interest in possibly collaborating & sharing their musical medicine & magic for this album include Sashamon, Greg Foxx from Ka'au Crater Boys, and Na Hoku Award winning Kenneth Makuakane.
Kehaulani has already begun recording a natural solo acoustic version of the Bless Our Waters album, recorded entirely in 432 hz ~ will be available as well ~ simple ~ pure, just Lani & her guitar & uke & windchimes & da kai, for those who like da natural, organic singer~songwriter feel. This acoustic album, produced & composed & played entirely by Lani, will be available in spring 2018.
Lani prays that this album will lift people's spirits & inspire. Her songs, encourage a love da natural world, promote an eco~friendly and sustainable natural lifestyle, are love~songs to our sacred waters, and call for a return to a simple & sustainable lifestyle with fresh, local foods & pure aloha.
For the Bless Our Waters tour, she plans to sing at farmer's markets, yoga centers, retreat centers, colleges & festivals around the islands and also in California, and conduct water blessing ceremonies along the way, sharing new & traditional water blessing & healing Native American medicine songs she has learned from da blessed rainbow tribe.
She is also open to touring & reading from FOUR new collections of poetry & memoir (printed on demand, independently published, grassroots earth mama style):
1) da North Corea stories (a series of poems, stories, and actual journal entries from her time in North Korea, delivering medical supplies with a Korean American peace delegation)
2) Angel & Hannah: a love story in hip-hop sonnets (a book of poems in sonnet form about a young interracial couple in love), adapted into a theatrical show that had a sold~out, two night run at the Hip Hop Theatre Festival in New York with DJ Reborn of Def Poetry Jam.
3) Diary of a Soul Surfer: a young woman's chronicles of her first experiences surfing the epic waves of Hawai'i's legendary North Shore
4) Motherlands: a memoir composed of songs, stories, poems, and journal entries written during the 9 moons of her first pregnancy while living in the Valley of 1000 Hills, Kzazulu~natal with a Zulu sangoma (healer). (**proceeds from this book will go directly to the family of the Zulu sangoma LANI lived with & writes about in this book ~ full circle gratitude).
If you want to fly Lani to your college, university, or high school to perform for your Asian American Month, Women's History Month, Asian American Association, Multi~cultural Association, Women's Group, or International club, please contact: kehaulanimusic.com. She has years of experience with college audiences & is available to sing, read from her collection(s) of poetry, & facilitate workshops on everything from poetry, ukulele & guitar to sound healing mantras, hula, and yoga.
If you'd like to feature Lani on your radio show, magazine, or website, feel free to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org to talk~story da possibilities! <3**
NOW Available for performances at weddings, high end restaurants, hotels, cafes, luaus, private functions, and birthday parties in Maui, HI. Please contact email@example.com to book LANI today!
Please keep checking back in for music updates, upcoming shows, and anything else that Kehaulani finds interesting! Aloha & peace be your Journey!
* namaste *