Weldon Kekauoha - Ka Lehua Ula

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - June 08, 2007
| Del.icio.us

In high school,Weldon Kekauoha won Brown Bags to Stardom with a group that would later be known as The Mana’o Company and today as Tapa Groove.About 20 years later, he is releasing his third CD, two solo and one under The Mana’o Company.

His CD, Ka Lehua Ula,is a reflection of his musical journey and an expression of the freedom he now enjoys in his music and his life. He describes the album as traditional Hawaiian with one hapa-haole and one Christian track.

“My musical career has taken different directions and opened up a broader perspective,“says the Kalani High School graduate.“I’ve grown in different ways in knowledge and everything that involves music, but my music has been the same.”

Besides the occasional luau, graduation parties and wedding-type engagements, Kekauoha has two weekly gigs that keep his days occupied with music. Every Wednesday from 9 to 11 p.m. he takes the stage at Tiki’s Grill and every Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. at Kona Brewing Company.

Recently Kekauoha decided to take the big leap from part-time musician to full time. It’s a decision he made after seven years of juggling a day job, night and weekend gigs and a family.

“I was always afraid to let the day job go, but I just decided to make the time and the investment and let the day job go,“says the proud father of three girls. “It’s been fun, and I think as long as you have all your priorities set then you can’t help but come out on the winning side.We make ends meet and everything is fine.

“I think it’s a great balance and something nice to have - I have my freedom to express myself through my music and that’s my own thing, yet it allows me lots of time to spend with my family.”

To learn more about this Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning artist, visit www.weldonkekauoha.com

Q’n A

Weldon Kekauoha Ka Lehua Ula

Released: June 5

Who can always put you in a good mood?

In my family household right now I would have to say my youngest little girl because she’s just at that age when everything is so cute. And I play music with several different people and so I would have to mention Keao Costa and Kawika Trask.

What local celebrity would you like to spend the day with?

I’d like to check out Jack Johnson. He’s just on a whole different level as far as local artists are concerned. And he grew up on the North Shore and I grew up on this side (Kaimuki), so it would be cool to hang out with that guy.From what I hear, he’s pretty down to earth and mellow.

What’s your favorite song to sing?

Oh my gosh, there’s so many, I have so many favorite songs to sing. Lately, it’s been a song that I wrote for my wife that’s on my new album, Ka Lehua Ula.

Weldon Kekauoha
Weldon Kekauoha

What food can you never turn away?

I eat anything. I really do. But a food I can’t turn away would be Baskin-Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream.

At what age do you think you became a man?

I would probably say 16,because I could drive my mom’s car. (laughs).

How do you measure success?

I measure my success by happiness.

What’s the best dish that you can cook?

Chicken long rice.

Do you have any hidden talents?

(laughs) Um, I can continuously crack my big toe. No worry, I get like weekly pedicures. Nah.

What’s the worst job that you ever had?

I’ve always had fun at my jobs, so it’s hard for me to say this because I actually had fun at this job. But it would be my very first job, which I was like a messenger downtown. I delivered documents for this escrow company. That would probably be the worst, but I had a blast at that job because they gave us the company cars to drive around in and they were like BMWs,Jaguars and Mercedes. It was just after high school and I was young and I used to do my deliveries really quick and bring the cars home and then throw my surf racks on these cars and head to the beach. I used to have so much fun.

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