Friday - January 11, 2008
After spending his 20s and early 30s as a performer in the entertainment business, Blaine Kamalani Kia transitioned his energies into hula and his blooming family.
Kia, now 44 years old, decided to break from the “live by night, sleep by day” lifestyle 10 years ago when he married Kaleo and they started a family. The busy dad of 10-year-old daughter Opua, 8-year-old daughter Mahie and 2-year-old son Kikau celebrates his “life-changing” years with his new album, Moea - From this moment onward.
“When I got married 10 years ago, hula and entertaining flip-flopped,” says Kia, a 1981 McKinley High graduate. “I did less entertaining and more hula, and built my organizations and my halau. And the underlying inspiration for this album is my organization (Ka Laua’e Foundation) because they inspire me to write, compose and do all these things that I do.”
The Ka Laua’e Foundation is the umbrella organization for Kia’s 14 hula halau, Ka Waikahe Lani Malie and also a kane (men’s) halau, Kahualiwai.
“In the 10 years I have built my halau schools in many geographical areas, beginning with Kauai, Oahu, Sacramento, Antioch, Montana, Stockton, Canada, three in Japan, and we just opened a month ago in Tahiti,” says Kia. “These organizations are actual halau schools that perpetuate one particular teaching. It’s a teaching from three men who were my mentors since I danced in high school: Darryl Lupenui, John Kaimikaua and Frank Kawikapuokalani Hewett. All of these organizations carry the two same halau names and they carry the same halau rules.”
A gift for his halau, Moea is a collection of traditional Hawaiian song and chant and contemporary melodies. Of the 15 tracks, 12 are originals. The theme song, Moea, was written by Tuti Kanahele, Kikau and Naupaka were written by Kawaikapuokalani Hewett. The other nine original songs were written by Kia in collaboration with Michael Keala Ching on Pae Moku and Ku’uleialoha, and Hewett on Huahine.
The background vocals and instrumentation on the album are performed primarily by Kia’s Hawaiian music group, Kekaniwai, which consists of members Albert Kia, Kalei Kahalewai, Matthew Sproat, Arthur Akana and Kaleo Kia.
“What I’m trying to do right now is a compilation album of all the stuff I’ve done in the past, then do one more CD that will actually be a Volume 2 to Moea , and then I’m done,” says Kia. “Then I can say I’ve accomplished everything that I want to do.”
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