May 2018

 

It was 34 years ago that the world was introduced to the harmony of three high school friends singing on stage at the Brown Bags to Stardom talent contest at the Waikiki Shell.  It was that performance that started it all for Na Leo Pilimehana and changed the direction of contemporary music in Hawai`i.  With their original song “Local Boys,” Na Leo Pilimehana won the talent competition and put themselves on the map as musicians.  To this day, “Local Boys” remains the #1 selling single in Hawai`i’s history. That was only the beginning.  Today they have over 23 CDs, more than 20 #1 hits with two of them hitting the top 25 national charts. Na Leo Pilimehana is the largest selling Hawaiian female music group in the world.

It’s been seven years since the three friends, who now go by the name “Na Leo,” recorded together.  Each took the time to explore new adventures in their lives.  Lehua Kalima continued with a variety of collaborations and recordings.  Angela Morales works at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. She takes care of the Character & Resort Performers as well as schedules all Hawaiian Entertainment for the Olelo Room and ‘Ama’ama Restaurant. Nalani Jenkins continues to manage Na Leo’s record label while also starting several other companies including her recent venture 721, LLC, a community engagement company.  Although their life paths took them in different directions, they knew they would one day reconnect in the studio.

“We have wanted to do a new CD for a few years, and finally the timing was right.  Our fans have been asking for new Na Leo originals and we all got in the mood to write music.” said Jenkins.  “And once we got into the studio, it all started to gel. This was our first time working with Dave T. as producer.  The flow was natural and easy. I’d call it - Hawaiian Pop. It’s new, but still very much ‘us’, which made us all really happy.” stated Jenkins.  That is just what they did. “We were a little nervous about how it would be after seven years.  Once we were in the studio, it was as if we never left.”

Beautiful Day includes 4 original songs (including the title track), a Bee Gees cover, and an acoustic rendition of Burt Bacharach’s “What the World Needs Now” featuring Jake Shimabukuro on ukulele and Na Leo on vocals. This new Na Leo album is a timely collection of inspiring and uplifting songs aimed to bring joy and empower listeners, coupled with a few romantic ballads to soothe the soul.  Beautiful Day is filled with thoughtful arrangements, new compositions and the incomparable, iconic harmonies that the world has come to know and love from those three young friends who graced the Waikiki Shell stage 34 years ago.