Napua Greig - Pihana

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - July 27, 2007

The 411

The lovely Napua Greig laughs as she thinks about all the songs she would have recorded had she taken the opportunity to release a CD when she was 18 years old.

“You try to balance and do everything and accomplish everything, and I’m glad I waited,“says Greig. “I’m 33 and I am happy that I could have done my own project.”

The CD, Pihana, which means to be fulfilled or complete, isn’t the name of a song on the album, but instead a reflection of Greig’s sense of accomplishment with the album and her life.

“Pihana is what the album represents to me,“says the Maui native. “To be complete as myself as a woman and to feel fulfilled in my life. I feel really lucky. I think this process represents the last piece of my life.”

As a full-time kumu hula for Halau Na Lei Kaumaka O Uka,a full-time teacher at Kamehameha Schools Maui Campus and full-time mom to her 7- and 8-year-old daughters, the process of recording the album was a bit of a challenge for Greig.

“Along with being kumu hula, I’ve gotta be soccer mom too, and do the recording thing,“she says. “So just finding the time to go to Oahu to record with Dave Tucciarone was tough. On top of that it was a very difficult process. We sing all our lives and think that it’s good enough, but going into the studio and recording something that is going to be permanent is totally different.”

The traditional Hawaiian album took almost three years to produce and features songs written by Greig and some friends.

“I have some songs that are very traditional and some merge chanting with singing and some more contemporary styles,“says Greig.“It represents the best that I could have done.”

To find out more about Napua or for a list of her upcoming performances, visit


The 411

Napua Greig and her two daughters, Kala‘iakea and Ka‘ilihiwa
Napua Greig and her two daughters, Kala‘iakea and Ka‘ilihiwa

When did you realize that you had talent?

I think when I was young because my mom is a singer. I was about 9 years old when she made us dance, and she would make us dance for the aunties and uncles.

Musical talent, probably like seventh grade. I used to play with the ukulele band and I went to Japan in the eighth grade to sing. It was fun.

If you weren’t living in Hawaii,where would you be living?

Probably like Cook Islands, South Pacific. Something closest to our islands in nature because I could never live in the Mainland.

What was the happiest moment in your life? When I gave birth to my kids.

What’s your favorite karaoke song to sing?

Something To Talk About by Bonnie Raitt. I don’t ever sing Hawaiian music on karaoke. I think it’s because we sing Hawaiian music so much that when you go out karaoke you want to sing funky stuff that’s fun. I love country music and I also like to sing country songs when I go karaoke.

What food item is always in your kitchen?

Poi. We have to have poi. And what else? Kim chee.

What do you hope to be doing in 10 years?

My daughters will be graduating. How sad. I’m going to follow them to college. (laughs) I’ll be hoping they’ll become kumu hula so I can retire.

Who is your music icon?

My mom for Hawaiian music, but I love to listen to all kinds of music.

If you could spend the day with any local musician, who would that be?

I would say Keali’i Reichel. He wrote the liner notes for my CD and I know him. But I would pick him just because he’s so real and someone who you could hang with the whole day.

What is your fondest childhood memory?

When my parents took me to Disneyland when I was 7 years old. We had those mouse ears and everything.

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