Friday - August 01, 2008
Talk about a team player. Del Beazley has performed and recorded with some of Hawaii’s biggest names in music. A big name himself, Beazley has earned the respect of his peers and the honor of five Na Hoku Hanohano awards, including: Most Promising Artist(s) with Peter Apo in 1989; Religious Album of the Year for his album One For Akua in 1990; and Contemporary Album of the Year for his album Night and Day and Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year for Brown Man Blues in 1993.
Also on his list of accomplishments are a gold and a platinum record for the work he did on Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s album Facing Future, on which he composed the song Maui Hawaiian Supa Man.
All honors aside, Beazley is extremely proud of his family.
“My most notable accomplishment, first and foremost - and I can’t stress this enough - is my ohana,” says Beazley, who was raised in Makaha.
The proud family man, who has been happily married for the past 27 years, has a new accomplishment to add to his resume with the release of his album All For One this week. Beazley describes the album as “Very me. Some of the songs on the album are songs that I grew up singing.” The title, All For One, means “all for Ke Akua (God).”
“I’d say the inspiration for the songs came from Ke Akua,” says Beazley, a 1979 Waianae grad.“They are songs that I chose to honor, praise and glorify him with. Some I knew, and some I learned while we worked on the project.”
For a live sampling, catch Beazley on the Perry & Price Morning Show Aug. 2 and also at the Gordon Biersch Sunday Sunset Jam Aug. 17.
Was music a big part of your childhood?
Yes, it was, actually. I learned to play the ukulele at an early age; I think I was 6 or 7.My Grandma Rose and Grandpa Harry Ka’awai taught me. I was a left-handed player,but my grandparents had a hard time teaching me, so they made me play right-handed. That is still the way I play today.
My entire family is musical. My dad is a very accomplished ukulele player, and my mom can play and sing like a bird. My brother and sisters can all sing, and it has trickled down to my nieces and nephews and even my granddaughter. I didn’t pick up the guitar till I was 14. I learned slack key from Pat Cockett, who was a science teacher at Waianae High School - he is part of the musical group Na Pali from Kauai.
When I was growing up, we only listened to Hawaiian music, and I was influenced by Richard Kau’i, Gabby Pahinui,The Sunday Manoa,Gabe Kila, Reggie Berdon, The Makaha Sons of Ni’ihau and many others, including the contemporary stars of ‘70s.
Is there any album or song that you’re most proud of?
It would have to be God Sent An Angel.
That song was written for my only grandchild Mikeila,daughter of my son Kahale.When the song was written, she was 4 months old and had been crying. I was holding her in my arms trying to calm her down, and my wife Rhanda suggested that I write a song for her. So I did! Coincidentally, when the song came to me, it took on the life of a lullaby. She’s 5 now - that’s how long it’s taken to produce this project - and she knows the words to the song by heart. In fact, she gave the song the title.
Who has been your biggest supporter throughout your musical career?
My biggest support throughout not only my musical career, but life in general, has been Rhanda. Though we’ve been married for 27 years, we’ve been together for longer than that.She’s been with me from the beginning, through ups and downs, and has never left my side. She’s always in my corner.
My sons have also supported me and have been a big part of my music career. Kahale is actually following in my footsteps. He’s a drummer and has played with BET, Kawao, and he has his own band, NexMovement. Nalei, who lives in Las Vegas and will be graduating from college next year, he sang with the choir on this recording. I am proud of both of their accomplishments.
Who are your favorite musicians to perform with?
Wow! There are and have been many. Dwight Kanae, Kimo Bell, Bailey Matsuda, Ernie Cruz, Sean Na’auao, David Kahiapo, Bryan Tolentino, Chris Kamaka, Mike Muldoon, Asa Young and, of course, because I’d never live this down, my son Kahale. These are just a few, though. There are so many other musicians I’ve had the honor to play with, but it’s so hard to name them all.
One of my other favorites - and I have to mention him - was Iz.We had a"braddah-braddah"kind of relationship.We would support each other,both musically and with just life issues. Our kids are around the same age. It was never a dull moment with Iz. It was an honor to play with him and be his friend, and it’s great to see his continued success. In fact, if Iz hadn’t asked for those songs I wrote for him (Hawaiian Supa Man, Johnny Mahoe and Men Who Ride Mountains , to name a few), they wouldn’t have ever been recorded. I didn’t plan on recording those.
In fact, kind of a neat story, on the night that Iz got the idea for Over the Rainbow, he pulled into my driveway at 1 in the morning after doing a gig with The Sons,saying that he had a great idea. So, at my kitchen table, on a mickey mouse cassette recorder, he proceeded to record Over the Rainbow exactly how it’s heard today.
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