Take My Hand - Kristian Lei
Friday - August 17, 2007
Take My Hand
First introduced to the world as Kim in the Cameron Mackintosh Production of Miss Saigon, Kristian Lei has since moved back to her Hawaii home and further embraced theater and music.
Since returning home, Kristian Lei has kept busy with church and missionary work, and private voice lessons, although most of her time has been dedicated to her nonprofit group, Honolulu Broadway Babies, which supports programs for people with disabilities.And she’s also managed to squeeze in a few stage performances, including The King and I, produced by the Hawaii Opera Theatre, and The Magical Bird with Honolulu Theatre for Youth.
This month Kristian Lei has a new accomplishment to add to her musical resume, as she releases her very first album, Take My Hand.
The Christian-inspirational album features 11 songs, all of which are written and orchestrated to uplift and heal the soul.
“I’m a very strong Christian, so I really do believe in healing,” says Kristian Lei, a graduate of Waianae High School.“Everyone has their problems, and there’s a lot of things going on in the world like war, so I really think a lot of people are ready for healing. I really want to touch other people’s hearts and help them find the love of Christ.”
For the 29-year-old, the album couldn’t have come at a more perfect time, as she says,“I really know now who I am in terms of the message I was to get across.” And although she has plans for more CDs, she says she is most proud that this first album really stands for who she is.
“Since I came home from Miss Saigon, I’ve hooked up with different producers. They would all say they’ll keep to my genre, which is conservative, but later they think they can market me in a different light, like a Beyonce-type singer,” says Kristian Lei. “When it starts to do that, the relationship tends to go sour. Luckily my mother found a corporation called Women of Our World, which decided to fund the album. It’s really cool because it’s really at the right place now, and that’s the reason that it could be done.”
Kristian Lei welcomes the public to her CD release party at Rumours, Aug. 22 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. For more info, visit www.myspace.com/kristianlei
How do you prepare for a performance?
What I do is I vocalize and I drink a lot of water. I do breathing exercises and crunches. Those are the things I do to prepare before I go on stage. And then I get ready and put on the makeup. Makeup is really cool because it helps me relax.
Who is your favorite musician/singer?
I really grew up listening to Whitney Houston. I really like Whitney and Barbra Streisand, as far as their musicianship goes. But I really love CeCe Winans and Yolanda Adams in the Christian realm.
What do you do in your free time?
Basically, the Honolulu Broadway Babies is the thing I like to do. But in my free time? You know I haven’t had free time for so long. I love to read. I read self-improvement books. I don’t know if that’s very interesting, but I like to read things to help better myself.
Is there any music that you don’t like?
Anything with too much swearing or sex, I’ll change the station. But I like everything, like hip-hop. What I can’t stomach is the real heavy profanity stuff.
To whom or what do you credit your musical talent?
What place would you suggest to listen to live music?
Right now I know Gordon Biersh, Hanohano Room and the Honolulu Club. Those places have really great music. They have like Anita Hall and Rocky Brown.
Do you have any ongoing or upcoming gigs?
On Aug. 18 I’m going to be appearing with the Four Doctors, a Patient and the Mayor and it’s a surprise. I came in a little late, when the commercials were already out, but I was called by Mayor Mufi for a special appearance. That’s where I’ll be selling my first exclusive batch of CDs. Then after I have an Asian tour coming up in November and a bunch of private events like weddings. And finally I’m doing Hawaii Theatre for Honolulu Broadway Babies in December.
What has been your most memorable musical moment? Most memorable to my heart is being on stage with all my friends for the Honolulu Broadway Babies. Those are like really special to me because my friends just fly down (from the Mainland) to help me out. I was also flown in by the Freedom Festival this past July, and they had me as a featured artist for the gala where they honored all the men and women with a Freedom Award. The cool thing is when I was flown in, I thought I was just one of the singers,and I was the singer.They had the parents of children who passed away and were lost to the war, and I was just part of something so huge. I couldn’t believe that I was chosen. It was great because I got to sing some of my songs from the album, and it was there we found the distributors who wanted to take it national.
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