Daylan-Blake Kalaʻi with Mamo Esera, who portrays Queen Liliʻuokalani in the music video "No Liliʻuokalani".
To honor our Queen.
That was the motivation which sparked Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi alumnus Daylan-Blake Kalaʻi to create a mele and then a music video for “No Liliʻuokalani”.
A member of Kauluwena, KSH’s class of 2017, Kalaʻi began working on the song as a senior and after performing the song many times, was encouraged by his mom to create the video. This mele was inspired and derived from the opening number of the Tony Award winning Broadway musical, Hamilton, written by Lin Manuel Miranda.
“I was very intrigued by how [Miranda] was able to tell American history through the hip-hop, rap genre,” Kala‘i told Hawaii News Now. “And knowing how successful it became, I thought, why can’t our culture be told through a genre that reaches the youth’s ear?”
Working with fellow alumni and current students over this past summer, the video was both recorded (audio) and filmed (video) over the course of four days. He officially released the video on November 11, 2018 on the 101st anniversary of Liliʻuokalani’s death. Lydia Liliʻu Loloku Walania Kamakaʻeha was crowned Queen Liliʻuokalani on January 29, 1891, as the sovereign monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi.
“This has been a project that I started at the beginning of my senior year of high school and has been in development since,” shared Kalaʻi on his post releasing the video.
“It began simply as a rap that then evolved into this full length music video. This video is the result of where the state of this project is in now, but as all art is, it is still a work in progress. And I am not sure where the next phase is, but that is, too, all apart of the process.
“From the bottom of my heart, I thank everyone who was involved in the making of this. I could not have done it without you.”
Current KS Hawaiʻi senior Mamo Esera portrays Liliʻuokalani and sings on the track. Kalaʻi’s classmate Ryan Young filmed the video, which also features KSH ʻ18 alumni Kuʻuhiapo Jeong and Kaʻeo Cachola as dancers.
Kalaʻi is currently a student at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and has been actively pursuing his passion for music and theatre and showcasing his talents both at home and abroad. He was also a member of the cast who brought a Hawaiian opera to the world’s largest performing arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, for the first time in the festival's 68 years.
It’s only a matter of time before we see his name in lights on Broadway.
Sound & Vocalists
SOUND SCULPTURE RECORDING
Props & Implements
MERRIE MONARCH FESTIVAL
MERRIE MONARCH FESTIVAL
LEKELEKE BATTLE GROUNDS
UNITED STATES POST OFFICE AND COURT HOUSE
Video & Film
RYAN YOUNG PRODUCTIONS