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Willie K


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Raised on Maui, Willie Kahaiali’i (aka Willie K) has been playing music and entertaining audiences since the age of 10. His father Manu Kahaiali’i, one of Hawaii’s most respected musicians, recruited willie and his brothers to perform in his band. From the very beginning, Willie was influenced by and exposed to a myriad of musical genres; from the Hawaiian, Jazz and early R&B he heard at his father’s side, to the sounds emanating from the radio and TV from musical giants suc as BB King, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, and Willie Nelson. It is no wonder why Willie has evolved into such and eclectic and charismatic singer/songwriter/entertainer. By his high school graduation, Willie was playing in as many as 8 bands from country and western, salso, rhythm and blues, rock and of course Hawaiian. A few years later he moved to San Francisco determined to make it in the music scene there.

After returning home, with renewed determination, Willie focused on recording an album of his own. His first three albums changed the direction of contemporary Hawaiian music. He swept up Na Hoku Hanohano Awards (Hawaiian Grammy Awards) from the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts. Willie then teamed up with Amy Hanaiali’i Gilliom and produced three more albums. He earned 2 more Na Hoku Hanohano Awards for Producer of the Year, while Amy won Album of the Year, Femail Vocalist, Song of the Year, and Hawaiian Album of the Year awards.

In 1999, while working on Amy’s new album, Willie filled the studio with his own music. Between takes and on breaks, Willie kept the recorder going and finished a Christmas album, “Willie Kalikimaka.”


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  • belmudez

    My name is Gilbert Belmudez and am the author to the original words, You Kuuipo, music by Willie Kahaialii. It is a nice feeling to see how the words I wrote are so well loved. The came from deep inside of me when I penned the first drafts on Maui in the 1980's. To read more about the original story please go to my website at Mahalo & Aloha.

    29 Apr 2007 Reply
  • Otokichi

    Taking five between projects, Willie Kahaiali'i turned on a tape recorder and began singing his favorite Christmas songs. This led to 1999's Willie Kalikimaka, which took off on the charts and in local music sales on his soaring version of O Holy Night. This is a mix of Pop, ballad stylings, and ROCK! (The Little Drummer Boy could well have been Ginger Baker for the hard driving tempo.)

    10 Dec 2006 Reply

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