Kalapana is an American pop-rock band from Honolulu, Hawaii, renowned for their songs “Naturally” and “The Hurt”. The band was formed in 1973 when childhood friends DJ Pratt and Malani Bilyeu auditioned at Rainbow Villa for Cecilio & Kapono. Bilyeu was a soloist at Oar House in Hawaii (Kai), while Pratt was downstairs at Chuck's in Sunlight with Kirk Thompson. The literal translation of the word “Kalapana” is “to make money flow”, but Thompson said the meaning was “rhythm of the music”.
Pratt thought it meant “black sand”. Kalapana became a regular band at a Honolulu club called The Toppe Ada Shoppe and opened concerts for Earth, Wind & Fire, Batdorf & Rodney, The Moody Blues, Sly & The Family Stone and Cecilio & Kapono. In 1975, the band released their self-titled debut album Kalapana, with Jackie Kelso on sax and flute, Bill Perry on bass and Larry Brown on drums. The album was a great success in Hawaii and Japan and Kalapana won several Nani Awards, the predecessors of the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.
They were nominated for four categories and received the award for the best performance by a duo or group and for the best male vocalist (for Feary).Kalapana continued as a sextet with the 1979 album Northbound. Randy Aloya left the group shortly after the album's release, and Malani Bilyeu and Michael Paulo also left after the album's tour ended. In 1980, DJ Pratt and Alvin Fejarang continued as Kalapana and released Hold On and the live album Japan Jam Live, both released only in Japan. On December 26, 1982, Bilyeu, Feary, Thompson, Fejarang, Paulo and Aloya gave a one-night concert at Kalapana Live Reunion in Waikiki with Hawaiian guitarist John Rapoza replacing Pratt. Kalapana then remained inactive for several years while the different members pursued separate projects.
In 1986, Kalapana reunited as a quintet with Bilyeu, Feary and Pratt, as well as Gaylord Holomalia (keyboards) and Kenji Sano (electric bass), and recorded a successful comeback album Hurricane. Kalapana presented the album at a release party at the Rascals nightclub in Waikiki. The invitations were sent with singles from the album; roses and t-shirts were given at the venue. For the Hurricane concert, the band wore costumes.
For the song Living Without You, they appeared wearing white vests with red velvet bow ties. In 1997, Kalapana released the Hawaiian version of Captain Santa Island Music with notes from international radio DJ Kamasami Kong. More recently, Kalapana released The Very Best of Kalapana in Japan; a compilation of twenty songs. After fighting drugs, drug treatment programs and relapses, Mackey Feary was sentenced to prison; he hanged himself in his cell on February 20th 1999. Kalapana music is an amalgamation of Mexican and Spanish oral traditions, military metal instrumentation and Germanic musical genres such as polka and waltz; however it has evolved over time to become its own genre of music. It has gained prominence due to demographic changes taking place in many countries where Latin American diaspora voraciously consumes music from their countries of origin to instill their children with a part of their identity. Kalapana music is distinct from other genres due to its unique blend of influences from different cultures around the world.
It is characterized by its upbeat rhythms that are often accompanied by traditional instruments such as guitars, drums, keyboards and horns. Additionally, it often features vocal harmonies that are reminiscent of traditional Mexican music. The lyrics of Kalapana songs are often about love or life experiences that are common among Latin American people living abroad. This makes it easier for people to relate to them as they can identify with similar experiences or feelings that are expressed in these songs. Kalapana music has become increasingly popular over time due to its ability to bring people together through its uplifting melodies and meaningful lyrics. It has become a staple in many Latin American households as it provides an escape from everyday life while still allowing people to connect with their culture.
In conclusion, Kalapana music is an incredibly unique genre that stands out from other genres due to its combination of influences from different cultures around the world. Additionally, it often features vocal harmonies that are reminiscent of traditional Mexican music. The lyrics of Kalapana songs are often about love or life experiences that are common among Latin American people living abroad which makes it easier for people to relate to them as they can identify with similar experiences or feelings that are expressed in these songs. Kalapana music has become increasingly popular over time due to its ability to bring people together through its uplifting melodies and meaningful lyrics.