KAILUA-KONA — Kalani Pe’a arrived at the 2019 Grammy Awards decorated with several lei and with an arsenal of Hawaiian language words to teach his fellow music stars.
He left with an award.
The Hawaii Island-born musician won a Grammy Award on Sunday, winning in the category Best Regional Roots Music Album for his sophomore album “No Ane’i.”
Sharing his culture with the world and keeping the Hawaiian language alive is something Pe’a feels strongly about, and on stage Sunday, he was able to spread that message.
“I love my parents, and my grandparents, for instilling cultural values and practices,” Pe’a said in his acceptance speech. “The foundation of cultural learning and practices start at home. We must instill the ike, the knowledge and wisdom, to our children at home first.”
Pe’a, who also was a presenter at Sunday’s ceremony, is no stranger to giving an acceptance speech on stage. He had previously won a Grammy for the same category in 2017, for his debut album “E Walea.”
Accompanied onstage by his fiance, Allan, Pe’a thanked his producer, Dave Tucciarone, and his band for supporting him through his journey to the Grammy stage.
Pe’a also thanked his fellow independent music artists.
“‘No Ane’i’ is the title of my album, which means we belong here,” Pe’a said. “Everyone in this room has a gifted talent. We are profound and prominent resources for the communities we serve.”
Pe’a beat out Sean Ardoin, Cha Wa, Young Spirit and fellow Hawaii musicians Na Hoa for the Best Regional Roots Music Album award.
As for what he will do with the physical award, Pe’a plans to give it to someone special — his grandmother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.
“I wrote a song for her, and music is medicine for her,” Pe’a said. “Music is healing for us all. We need to continue building bridges and collaborate as independent artists. Build bridges, not walls.”