Actress Tia Carrere takes another shot at Grammy gold
By Kim Devore / Special to The Malibu Times
Tia Carrere is on her way back to rainy Los Angeles from snowy New York. She’s gearing up for a special Christmas Eve concert for the Los Angeles Arts Council at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. But in addition to the holidays, she has another reason to celebrate-it’s her fourth Grammy nomination for the Hawaiian music album “Huana Ke Aloha.”
The local mom, actress and singer has become a familiar face at the annual awards show. She has performed at the event and co-hosted the pre-telecast in years past. Her proudest accomplishment came when she won a golden statuette for the album “‘ikena.”
The Hawaiian born beauty made a name for herself in films like “Wayne’s World” and “True Lies,” but music has become her real passion.
“I’m known for my acting for these many years,” she said, “but I really wanted to be a singer since I was a child.”
All four of Carrere’s albums have been produced by her childhood friend and fellow Grammy winner Daniel Ho. The two started out when they were just kids in school.
“We were in a jazz orchestra at the time,” she said. “We performed together as teens and now as adults we’ve had the good fortune to perform at the Grammys.”
She described her musical success as “a dream come true.”
It’s been a big change since she played a rock chick in “Wayne’s World.” “Folks are under the impression that all I sing is rock. To the contrary, my heart lies in a mellower laid-back place. I like to think we capture the feeling you have when you are on the islands. I‘ve been told that listening to the music is like being in paradise.”
Carrere’s first album, “hawaiiana,” was released in 2006 and featured traditional Hawaiian standards. “Every kid in Hawaii knows these songs,” she said. “They are hulas and lullabies, all very simple and easy to learn.”
Her music may have started out simply but now she said she is taking Hawaiian music in a jazzy new direction. “You can see we are stretching our wings musically and taking chances outside the box of what has been considered Hawaiian music thus far,” she said. “I think that these songs are so wonderful they could be covered by other artists in the future.”
If Carrere wins another Grammy she said it would just be icing on the cake. “To be recognized and awarded for the past four years for doing music I love with people I love makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world.”