Singer-songwriter Mailani Makainai returns to the Hawaiian music scene with her first solo album on the Mountain Apple Company label. “Mailani” features her beautiful, unique voice and original songs that have endeared her to fans in Hawai‘i and around the world.
Mailani, who grew up in Kailua Town on O‘ahu’s Windward Coast, is part of a musical family. She started signing at the age of two and taught herself ‘ukulele while in high school. It was at Maryknoll Schools that she met Lei Melket, with whom she later formed Keahiwai, one of the most popular female duos in Hawai‘i.
Keahiwai released its first album, “Local Girls,” in May 2001. “Local Girls” garnered the duo two Na Hōkū Hanohano Awards and growing acclaim. Their sophomore album, “Satisfied,” was released the following year in 2002, and included the hit song “Falling.” The duo went on to release three additional award-winning albums and tour throughout Polynesia and the West Coast.
Mailani, who balanced her music career with college, went on to graduate from the University of Hawai`i at Mänoa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hawaiian Studies. Subsequently, she built on her interest in the healing arts by becoming a licensed massage therapist and a practioner of lomilomi.
In 2003 and 2004, Mailani was honored to perform at the Merrie Monarch Festival in support of Halau Mohala ‘Ilima with Uncle Kihei, Aunty Mapu, and their daughter Kapalai’ula de Silva.
In 2006, Mailani was invited to do a podcast with Doctor Trey and Jroq that focused on the Hawaiian music industry. This involvement led her to begin a new project with two other women in the industry, Jenn Jroq Wright of Kanalo and Simple Souls, and Tiki Suan from Milo Shade. Together, they formed Mighty J and in 2007, released the album “Calling Out.”
Mailani continues to explore new ventures, most recently opening a boutique day spa in the Kalihi neighborhood of Honolulu. The Oasen Spa is located right next door to her parent’s business, Makainai Cabinets.
The 5 original songs on this new album hold true to Mailani’s belief in holding ‘ohana, community and tradition close to her heart. Her sweet distinctive voice and honest emotions come through in every song, making her one of Hawai‘i’s most endearing rising stars.