First Eastern concert in 2012 features Kalai

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He offers deep lyrical content with impressively unique complex and striking guitar style
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Posted Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - 7:02pm

Kaila, who offers deep lyrical content with impressively unique, complex and striking guitar style and ethnic vibe will make his first appearance on USU Eastern’s campus on Friday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the BDAC.

Kalai was born “Kaniela Ka Lei Ali’i ‘O’ Kalani Kala’i” on Dec. 18, 1979, in Kailua, Hawaii. He was raised with his three siblings in a broken home in Anchorage, Alaska, from age 2 with a future under construction.

He now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah where he commands a local following of thousands at every concert.

Kalai began singing to Bell Biv DeVoe and Boys II Men, later he was heavily influenced by James Taylor, Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles.

He picked up the guitar at 16, focusing mostly on folk and rock during his fledgling pursuit of musical development and later moving on.

In good musical conscience, one could not describe him with the words “bluesy,” “acoustic” or “finger style” to explain the edge that Kalai sharpened sheer enough to cut. He is “Urban Vintage!” Kalai is just good music: fast music, slow music, hard and soft music.

He writes his recorded music offerings on stage, with some revamped covers like Hendrix’s “Voo Doo Child” and Marley’s “Thank You Lord.” Kalai toured with Bob Marley’s “The Wailers,”

Since his 20s, he’s surfed the shallows of “indie” labels, swam with the sharks in the industry’s deep, appearing on shows like “Jimmy Kimmel Live,”even national celebrity gossip shows like “Extra” gave Kalai an exclusive.

He has also performed and been interviewed on TV Guide’s “Mvids.” Nowadays Kalai feels at home on the docks of the free market and headed back “underground” to perform less for cameras and more for music lovers.

Nearly all of Kalai’s work can be found on iTunes and a few other Internet locales, with his latest national release “Crows Feet” found under severe demand in stores everywhere.

So it would seem that in all his analogous sea travels through the time warping, ear infecting, self-plugging, shame throwing, peaceful valley that is the music industry, Kalai’s ship has come in.

As a matter of fact, it has and the door is wide open. For the price of an admission ticket and a CD, you can climb aboard the coolest cruise since Tom Cruise, pre-Y2K. (It changed some people.)

As a baby he was short and fat like everyone else except for having an enormous hemangioma on the entirety of his left hand, earning him his plumber given nickname, “The Hand.”

Why does Django Rheinhardt come to mind? The hemangioma, coupled with a failed surgery, left Kalai’s hand largely deformed and permanently pain prone, or at least until he breaks it off in a careless, fame driven, helmet-less motorcycle accident that somehow kills his drummer.

As a teen he was a lanky, guitar-playing, identity mess like everyone else except for the fact that he played guitar on bloody fingers and a fat hand over eight hours a day.

Now as a man, he is a six-foot, dream-wielding, American like everyone else except for the fact that he can sing like the King of whatever kingdom Prince is from and he can jam like a jelly sandwich.

Article contributed by Kaila.

Filed under: lifestyles

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