We are going on almost 20 years of Na Palapalai- it’s talented members and it’s uniquely Hawai’i Island sound. We started in the early 90’s backing up Akoni as da Palapalai Patch, singing our hearts out to Moku O Keawe songs from he and his Tutu, Ida Kahele. Later, as Kuana, Kehau and Wailau we became full fledged ferns, Na Palapalai. Hilo’s own. We were determined to hit it big and started with every seedy bar, back yard pa’ina, Tuesday fundraiser and funeral we could get our hands on.
We continued to seek out sources for traditional Hawaiian songs we could reintroduce and include to our repertoire. We were taken under the wing of Keli’i Joy, Sam Bernard and The Kalimas, Alberta and Alvin. Uncle Johnny Lum Ho, of course, had a big influence in our sound and writing style. We wanted to keep it Big Island, keep it traditional Hawaiian, but with a fresh twist.