Before you set off for your stay at a Hawaiian vacation rental, you should try to get in the mindset of your tropical trip to truly get a better understanding of the culture and vibes of island life. One of the best ways to mentally prepare yourself for a Hawaii vacation is by making a playlist of some of the famous native artists and bands that have made music that embodies the emotions and attitudes of many of the locals. Whether you need some background music during down time at the Hawaiian condo rental or are looking for some songs to play in your headphones as the plane is about to land, check out some of these famous Hawaiian artists to include in your vacation playlist:
Even if his name doesn't ring any bells, odds are you've heard Israel Kamakawiwoʻole's soulful and awe-inspiring music at some point in your life. Known primarily for his beautiful cover of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," Kamakawiwo'ole's songs have been featured in dozens of television shows and films, ranging from "ER" to "Lost" to "50 First Dates." This legendary Honolulu ukulele player and songwriter incorporated many of the notable folk- and reggae-influenced elements of native Hawaiian music into his songs, and his profound vocals prompted National Public Radio to declare Kamakawiwo'ole "The Voice of Hawaii." While his untimely death occurred in 1997, his legacy lives on through his music, and he currently has four studio albums as well as four compilation records in his discography.
"Na Leo Pilimehana embodies the soothing soul of Hawaiian music."
Na Leo Pilimehana
This group of three female vocalists has been creating and performing traditional Hawaiian music for more than 30 years. Consisting of Nalani Choy, Lehua Kalima and Angela Morales, the three artists grew up as childhood friends, and started their musical journey by performing at their high school talent contest in 1984. Since then, the trio has gone onto release several albums while racking up more than 22 Hoku Awards, which essentially is the Hawaiian equivalent of the Grammys. Their group name is Hawaiian for "voices blending together in warmth," and their soothing melodies and serene instrumental arrangements make for a perfect relaxing soundtrack for your Hawaiian vacation.
Born and raised on the island of Maui, Keali'i Reichel has not only crafted dozens of timeless tunes that embody the sounds of traditional Hawaiian music, but has also devoted his life to helping other local musicians of the islands get their big break. His songs feature instrumental accompaniment with everything from acoustic guitars and ukuleles to even string quartet arrangements, and he sings in both Hawaiian and English. In addition to his own solo career, Reichel has worked hard at helping young Hawaiian artists perfect their craft, as he's a director and teacher of many music educational institutions and programs, such as the with the University of Hawai'i and the Bailey House Museum. Vacationers looking for music that truly captures the essence of Hawaii should certainly add Keali'i Reichel to their vacation playlist.