By Kerry Miller Share Del.icio.us
With an iPod in her ear, Melveen Leed sits poolside, sun-bathing in the afternoon, while talking via her cell phone to MidWeek about what’s new in her life.The former cover subject from June 1986 dished out the dirt on everything from having two wedding ceremonies to her new CD.
Leed, pictured above with Keahi Conjugacion during a performance at Pohai Nani, and husband Al Dacascos were married on Aug. 19 and are just now getting ready to take their honeymoon this month to Tahiti. Dacascos is a martial arts expert who developed his own style, Wun Hop Kuen Do. Dacascos has since gone on to found several martial arts schools.
“He’s from Kalihi Valley. He’s an island boy,” gushes the new bride. “We were high school sweethearts and we’ve come full circle. After 45 years we finally got married.”
The couple married twice, actually, with one ceremony on Leed’s daughter’s yacht and the other at her girlfriend’s home in Kailua.
“It’s wonderful to be with the one I always wanted to be with, my first love, after many trials and tribulations we both went through,” she says.
On the music front, Leed says lately she’s been “doing concerts and shows only, all over (the Hawaiian islands).”
Her newest recording is a spiritual CD tentatively titled Listen to My Voice, which is not out on store shelves yet, but Leed says will be sold at the New Hope Christian Fellowship, one of two churches to which she belongs.
Two more albums are also in the works for the Kaneohe resident. One is a slack key album, “a real Hawaiian CD,” Leed calls it. The other is a jazz album, the genre Leed considers her roots.
And at 63, she is also getting back on the touring circuit. “I’m going to New Zealand in March for the first time, then to Japan, then Germany with my husband.”
In February, Leed tried her hand at something non-musical. The singer launched a perfume with the help of friend Phillip Manunier, who concocted the scent specifically for Leed, and is marketing the product for her. The perfume is called Manoa, after Leed’s daughter Ka`aikaula Tauatuahine `O Manoa, and “smells like Polynesian flowers. It’s a really beautiful smell,” she says. For now, Manoa is only sold in Tahiti (where Leed lived for four years and where she’s honeymooning) and Paris.
Elsewhere in her life, Leed is excited to get back into teaching, which she’s doing next year. Currently, she does teach out of her home, but “I hardly have any time,” she says.
“Next year I’m teaching vocals and performance at Windward Community College. I’m going to include ha`i, the Hawaiian way of singing.”
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