"Nothing feels like aloha does," sings Hawaiian actress and singer Auliʻi Cravahlo in the closing line of a new "May Day is Lei Day in Hawaiʻi" remix, written and produced exclusively for Hawaiian Airlines by Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner Paula Fuga.
Sharing aloha was the inspiration behind the catchy song – a fun, modern rendition of the 1929 original tune by Ruth and Leonard ‘Red” Hawk. In the same year of the famous track’s debut, Hawaiian Airlines launched its first scheduled flight from Honolulu to Hilo, stopping at Maui, using two Sikorsky S-38 amphibian planes that carried eight passengers and two crewmembers.
“We celebrate Lei Day in Hawaiʻi through mele (music), hula and sharing lei or acts of kindness. This melodic remake is our gift to the world that we hope will inspire our followers to spread aloha this May Day in their own special way,” explained Jeremy Althof, director of global advertising at Hawaiian Airlines.
"Auliʻi and Paula are local girls who grew up celebrating Lei Day. What they came up with is inspired by their personal memories and remixes a classic so that newer generations can pay homage, sing along, and share with others in the same way we share lei here in the islands," he added.
@hawaiianair If you can’t share a lei 🌺 on #LeiDay, why not share a mele? 🎵 @auliicravahloofficial and Paula Fuga are helping us spread the aloha spirit this #LeiDayRemix. #HawaiianAirlines @mastercard #DuetWithUs ♬ original sound - Hawaiian Airlines
The musical celebrations continue with the annual Lei Day concert by Robert Cazimero and Keauhou, who return to headline the Hawaiian Airlines May Day 2023 presented by Kilohana.
This year, Debbie Nakanelua-Richard, Hawaiian’s director of community and cultural relations, joins Hawaiʻi entertainer Billy V. in co-hosting the live broadcast event.
“Connecting people with aloha begins with honoring the traditions of our island home, and we’re excited to set the stage for a celebration of one of our most cherished holidays by showcasing several of Hawaii’s greatest musicians,” said Nakanelua-Richards.
The concert, a production of nonprofit Kāhuli Leo Leʻa, will feature performances of mele, hula, and moʻolelo (stories) that serve to entertain and educate. Producer and Kāhuli Leo Leʻa Executive Director Zachary Lum explains that the theme of this year’s show is centered around the ‘kilohana,’ a cultural symbol of celebrated excellence and representation.
“The show will feature three legendary ‘kilohana’: Robert Cazimero, Nina Kealiʻiwahamana and Jerry Santos. Their melodies have become the soundtracks of generations, the anthems of movements, the familiar voice that brings us together. Their songs remain at the highest standard of Hawaiʻi's music, and as such, they continue to exemplify excellence in representing Hawaiʻi,” shared Lum.
Hawaiian Airlines May Day 2023 presented by Kilohana will kick off from the Great Lawn at Bishop Museum tonight at 7 p.m. HST. To stream the live event online, visit www.mele.com.
The concert will also be held for the first time in Japan on May 28, with performances by Keauhou Robert Cazimero, Nina Kealiʻiwahamana, Kuana Torres-Kahele, Miss Aloha Hula 2010 Mahealani Mika and the Hawaiian Airlines Serenaders.
Tickets for the live Japan concert can be purchased here.