Island98.5’s Wake Up Crew welcomes Na Palapalai, to the Road
Runner Music Hall
on May 27, 2010.
Gregg Hammer: I saw
you guys years ago at a fundraisers and I’ve been in love ever since. Seriously. You guys been fifteen years
NA PALAPALAI: Fifteen years since we
formed a group.
Rory Wild: Let’s
talk about the beginning of the group. You have two original members, you Kuana
(Kuana Torres Kahele). Say hello Kuana
and Kehau (Kapulanakehau Tamure). How
did you guys start?NA PALAPALAI: Umm, actually she was
dancing for Rae (Kahiki) Fonseca at the time and I was dancing for Johnny Lum
Ho. Hilo is small yeah? There was a rumor about some person that can really
scream and sing notes from Rae Fonseca.
Likewise, she heard about that boy that could sing for Johnny. That’s
how we knew of each other. But we never
Rory Wild: Take us
to the meeting.
NA PALAPALAI: I was still in high
school. I was singing for this musical
group called The Ambassadors, a musical group for the school. She had showed up
since she known some friends that were my classmates. She started singing and it wasn’t until after
I realized “oh you’re the one from Rae Fonseca!” Then she realized “oh! It’s
you from Johnny.”
Rory Wild: Then you
hooked up with Akoni (Akoni Malacas).
NA PALAPALAI: It was after a few years
later we were playing with each other before we actually founded the group Na
Palapalai. We were just doing
halau-associated stuff. It was right
before met Akoni that we formed the group Na Palapalai and we started doing to
the Hilo/Kona thing. And then when we
met Akoni, which is my cousin, we already been Na Palapalai he affectionately
called us his Palapalai (Akoni & Da Palapalai Patch.) Therefore we became the friction, the
Rory Wild: Right,
Gregg Hammer: I
used that when I was a heavy smoker. I
couldn’t keep it lit, so I just gave up the patch.
Rory Wild: You
eventually moved on and joined up with Keao (Keao Costa).
NA PALAPALAI: Ya so when we joined up
with Akoni, we came up here to Oahu. We started doing the Oahu scene and met a lot
of people. She was actually friends with
Keao a long time but it was kind of weird how Keao slipped into the
picture. As Akoni went out, then we got
off the patch and went back to Na Palapalai.
Rory Wild: So
today, we see you as a duel. How is
going back to the original group?
NA PALAPALAI: It’s kind of funny because
fifteen years later, we find us in a complete circle. It’s like ‘huh, here we are fifteen years
later and we are back where we kind of started.
Where it was just me and her.’
It’s kind of ironic but at the same time great.
Rory Wild: Can you
remember the first song you sang together?
Gregg Hammer: It
was “Good Bye Mama I’m Going to Yokohama”
Rory Wild: Well
lets hear it guys.
Gregg Hammer: It
was in the Sinatra category.
That was a really long time ago.
Rory Wild: I don’t
even remember fifteen minutes ago, so don’t worry about it.
Gregg Hammer: After
awhile, the effort is ‘you know what, never mind I don’t even remember”
Crystal: Like some rusty old steam pipes. Neon Moon.
Rory Wild: Are they
thinking of maybe attempting it?
NA PALAPALAI: That is a portion of our
life that we just don’t want to go back to.
Rory Wild: What
does the future have in store for Na Palapalai?
NA PALAPALAI: 24 hour fitness
Great. Stay in shape. Bless your heart.
NA PALAPALAI: Costco
in bulk, honey.
NA PALAPALAI: The future this time
around, especially celebrating our 15th year anniversary. We’re just trying to break the barriers of
what we weren’t able to do or what we haven’t accomplished when we were under a
label. This time around we created our
own label and we’re self controlling.
Gregg Hammer: Like sovereignty.
Song 1: Ho’oipo Hula (Ipo Hula)
Rory Wild: Na Palapalai live here in
the hall of the Road Runner
Crystal: I heard you’re up for nominations in the Na
Hoku Hanohano Award. And what category is that?
NA PALAPALAI: I have no idea.
have no idea?
Rory Wild: You guys were nominated for
five, right? Wonderful. I hope you guys win all five.
NA PALAPALAI: We’re walking in here
Crystal: Okay, I got one for you. You guys are up for Album of the Year.
NA PALAPALAI: Oh that’s news to us.
Gregg Hammer: Your guys Hoku
performance you were paired with Mailani.
How did that come about?
NA PALAPALAI: We really don’t know.
Gregg Hammer: They just told you;
you’re going to play with Mailani, yeah?
they really knew is that they are going to come here and play music. They didn’t know they were going to be asked
ten million questions.
Rory Wild: In the
last fifteen years, you know with the trend with Jawaiian and all the Reggae,
any temptations in to do some of that
NA PALAPALAI: Never.
Rory Wild: And we
thank you for that. Can we hear another
Song 2: He Aloha No O Honolulu
Gregg Hammer: Live
from the Road Runner
Music Hall, we want to thank our
sponsors Road Runner, Ex-drinks, Na Hoku O Hawaii Music Festival, and Hawaiian
Airlines Hawaii Academy
of the Recording Arts 33rd Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.
Song 3: Lepe ‘Ula ‘ula
Rory Wild: If you
just tuned in, Island98.5 and the Wake Up Crew, you are being treated to a
performance by Na Palapalai live here in the Road
Runner Music Hall.
And you can actually watch it online streaming on island985.com. Click on the Road Runner Music Hall link.
Rory Wild: And if
you are watching, you notice there are four people on the stage. There is Kuana and Kehau. Lets introduce you to, wow this guy is just
about family, Ioane Burns, ladies and gentlemen.
Gregg Hammer: And
of course on the far end, Shawn Ishimoto.
Now how did Ioane and Shawn end up being part of the Na Palapalai thing?
Spit it out.
NA PALAPALAI: For those of you, who have been following us,
Shawn has been playing on our older albums from the past and we had him be part
of our last album, Nanea. Now that we
have control on this album, we can take him when we want and feel. Right Shawn?
As for Ioane, we’re still figuring it out.
Gregg Hammer: Now
Nanea, your current project, thirty thousand copies since November has been
sold. I don’t know who wrote these. But, Nanea sold over thirty thousand copies
since November, where did you sell them all?
I don’t get the question. But I’m going to ask it.
Crystal: Have you only sold them in Hawaii?
NA PALAPALAI: I think its been sold in Japan.
Japan is huge
with the Hawaii music. How did they embrace you guys when you guys
come there and play music? You guys must
be treated like royalty.
NA PALAPALAI: Pretty much.
It’s kind of sad you know because over there we are and at home we’re
So on the album, Nanea, is that all the original songs?
NA PALAPALAI: No, not all of them. There are some original that we have on
there. A few that I wrote and one that
Kehau wrote a long time ago.
Rory Wild: So being
on your own, there are some positive and negatives. What are the negatives?
NA PALAPALAI: The negative was trying to get it kick
started and taking the initiated in doing things on our own. A lot of people at first didn’t take us
seriously. In the long run it worked out. Luckily we’ve been in the business for so
long, that the name alone has its own drive which kind of helped open a lot of
doors for us.
Rory Wild: Looking
forward to all the things coming up.
Everybody really loves you in here.
We got another request on tweets, the social network. Ladies and gentlemen Na Palapalai.
Song 4: Pili Kapekepeke
Crystal: So you guys are from Hilo,
do you guys live here?
NA PALAPALAI: No. We live in Hilo. We moved out here with Akoni. We lived here
for a little over ten years. During the
break, after our third release we moved back home to Hilo. We’ve been do the
commute all this time.
So do they still welcome you like the first time you guys played? Do they claim
you? Like Na Palapalai is from Hilo?
NA PALAPALAI: Yes, they’re fast to claim.
Ok, that’s cool. Homebound.
Rory Wild: Who do
you guys locally, musically, do you guys like to listen to? I mean Natural
Vibes? Who do you like to listen to?
NA PALAPALAI: I listen to different music
from her. Maoli is good.
Rory Wild: Do you
guys play anyone’s music on the side?
NA PALAPALAI: Totally.
Song 5: Ka Ua Kipu’upu’u
If people want to find you guys or book you for parties, where can they find
NA PALAPALAI: At your website www.napalapalaimusic.com
Gregg Hammer: Live
from the Road Runner Music Hall we want to thank our sponsors for making today
happen; Road Runner, Ex-drinks, Na Hoku O Hawaii Music Festival and Hawaiian
Airlines Hawaii Academy of the Recording Arts 33rd Annual Na Hoku
Rory Wild: If
you’re just tuning in, Na Palapalai. Nanea
is their new album.
Gregg Hammer: We
got one more song. We want to thank Na
Palapalai for being here.
And don’t forget you can always recap this on Island985.com click on Road
Runner Music Hall Live.
Song 6: Aia La ‘O Pele I Hawai’i
Thank you guys so much! That’s a wrap from the Road
Runner Music Hall
and the Wake Up Crew. It’s Island98.5.
Rory Wild: I heard a hana hou over here.
Song 7: I Call Him Lord