COURTESY LYDIA MIYASHIRO
Old pals Tia Carrere and Daniel Ho collaborated on Carrere's new album, "Hawaiiana."
Tia the Songbird
Tia Carrere returns to Honolulu to promote the new CD, "Hawaiiana," she made with old friend Daniel Ho
SHE's Best known as an actress, but Tia Carrere's latest venture takes her back to her passion for singing -- and to her Hawaii roots. The 40-year-old Chinese, Spanish and Filipino movie star returns to Honolulu this weekend to promote her new Hawaiian music CD, "Hawaiiana," produced with old friend Daniel Ho. The Star-Bulletin caught up with the effervescent Carrere earlier this week in Los Angeles.
Free posters given with purchase of "Hawaiiana" CD, while supplies last. Carrere will autograph her CDs and posters only.
Saturday: 2 p.m., Borders Pearlridge; 8:30 p.m., Borders Ward Centre
Sunday: 4 p.m., Flavors of Honolulu, live performance
Monday: 1 p.m., outdoor cafe, Pacific Beach Hotel, live broadcast for Japanese radio station FM 101.1
What made you decide to go in this direction with your music?
Answer: I did the soundtrack for "Wayne's World," and I did a record with Warner Bros. called "Dream," but this is my first Hawaiian-language album. Daniel (Ho) and I have known each other since we were 14. I went to Sacred Hearts, and he went to St. Louis. We had our own separate trajectories with our work and everything. Along the way, we wrote some songs together. Finally we just said, "Let's do a record!" And it just sort of came together effortlessly.
I had my daughter a year and a half ago, and I was thinking about how I really wanted her to be connected to Hawaii and to know that part of her culture -- even though we live in L.A. When people who come from Hawaii get married to someone from the mainland, their kids have no concept of how wonderful and beautiful it is. I hope I've been able to capture that on the record -- the feeling of what it's like to be in Hawaii and be from Hawaii.
Do you sing in both Hawaiian and English?
A: Yes, I have a few songs that are hapa-haole. It was sort of inadvertent, but a lot of the songs are small-kid songs. We didn't even realize it until we started playing them.
Q: You have several small performances lined up in Honolulu. Anything in the works for a bigger venue?
A: Maybe, eventually. This was put together rather quickly. It sort of snowballed into this press push. (Laughter) It's just a small record with songs that we love.
Q: You said it's been a couple of years since you've visited Hawaii. How do you feel about coming back home?
A: I'm so excited! But I'm bummed that it's only going to be a short period of time, and every minute of every day is full of stuff. But we're going to come back at Thanksgiving time, and I want to take my daughter to the Menehune Surf Contest.
Q: What do you miss most about Hawaii?
A: Everything! (Laughter) Every single thing.
Q: What are your goals for the album?
A: I had no expectations. I wanted to do a record of songs I loved ... and I like the way Daniel made my voice sound. It's just fun working with someone you like and enjoy hanging out with. Now we're going to get to play places live and discover new things about the songs. So it's just basically about fun, and I'm just happy that other people get it!