Natalie Ai Kamauu
Natalie Ai Kamauu’s personality is as charming as her music, which has entranced and entertained fans with each new venture.
Last year, she released Eia through Mountain Apple Company. An anthology CD, it combines the names and songs of her first three albums ‘E, ‘I and ‘A.
Though some fans have questioned whether Kamauu will name her follow-up albums after the last two vowels, she feels it is complete with the release of Eia.
“I did that to close that chapter,” she says. “And it just so happens to be super cool that ‘eia’ means ‘here,’ so those three albums are stepping stones that have brought me here.”
Kamauu, who appeared on MidWeek‘s Nov. 28, 2008, cover, also recently released Moana Memories, an exclusive album only available to the public at Moana Surfrider’s Moana Lani Spa.
The project began last July when the resort sought to use her music in its spa. It eventually led to an entire compilation album, played and timed perfectly to Moana Lani’s lomi lomi facial.
“The rhythm of the lomi lomi goes with the rhythm of the song,” she explains.
Also on Moana Memories is a song written specifically for Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, titled The First Lady of Waikiki.
Inspired by an overnight visit at the resort, Kamauu sought to incorporate the emotions and feelings it stirred.
“I asked if I could stay in the older part of the hotel so that I could really be inspired not only by what it looked like, but also even the creaking of the floors, and even the smell,” she says. “All those things inspired me.”
These days, Kamauu no longer teaches with her family’s hula halau, though she does work closely with her sister on musical arrangements. As always, Iolani, her husband of 23 years and musical companion, plays a vital role in all Kamauu accomplishes.
“I can’t do anything without him. Are you crazy?” she says with a laugh. “If they could know everything he does, they would see that he really does more than me.”
Currently, Kamauu is in the studio recording her next album, which is slated to be released in November. Though there is no album title yet, she’s certain of the direction she’s taking with each song.
“I’m going to stick with the original,” she says, “what I love, what speaks to me, and hopefully, if the song speaks to me, then I can translate it into a new version of how I feel, and people will be able to feel what I feel.”