Made up of brothers Chase Kauhane and Carl Kauhane, the indie band, Olelo is based out of and native to Big Island, Hawaii.
Olelo tells their stories through the lens of modern Hawaiian culture and music as they represent a new indie sound emerging from the Pacific Islands. Their indie acoustic-pop songs are co-written with Malibu songwriter Nitanee Paris and produced by LA engineer Mark Dorflinger.
Through the warmth and organic sounds of their latest single, “Lean Into Me,” we get a profound view of Olelo’s looking glass. Behind each sincere lyrical motif that delves into the heartfelt essence of leaning into your person during times of anxiety and hardship, the passion emanated outwards of this record captures a fruitful light.
This sincere message comes when mental health awareness is rising, and a call to action is needed. As the earnest guitar strums progress, they make up most of the instrumentation, encapsulating a simplistic elegance to “Lean Into Me,” thus allowing the focus to be on every soulful word performed.
Each verse seamlessly evolves into the chorus as ambient pads and poignant keys trickle through the speakers. The quintessence of Olelo unravels as the bridge comes hurdling in, and we fixate upon the passionate word, “I’m right here.”
Stepping up to ensure that nobody feels alone, Olelo’s “Lean Into Me” is a profound representation of their mission – to make people feel more than just the music.
Listen to “Lean Into Me” on all streaming platforms today.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Olelo. We loved taking in your latest release, “Lean Into Me.” With such a heartfelt message pouring through this single, what inspired the initiative to create a song regarding mental health?
The headspace we were in when we wrote Lean into Me with our co-writer Nitanee Paris was about having the desire to shelter the ones we love while simultaneously struggling to be seen and heard through the hurt our loved ones were experiencing. The emotion showcased embodies artistry at its finest. Do your songs often take such a sincere spotlight?
We try to be as real as we can. Having our sound engineer Mark Dorflinger record the songs as we write them on the same day if we can. In a way, our songs are like documented Testimonies.
Is there a large stigma surrounding mental health in Hawaii, or do you feel the resources are adequate? What’s your personal experience, and what do you wish to see?
Hawaii has always been filled with Natural resources for mental health found in our beautiful oceans, forest, and waterfalls. But in our modern culture and as a people, we are losing access to those resources due to miss management, terrible leadership in the state, and simply not speaking out about it. There definitely is a stigma when it comes to mental health in Hawaii's culture. Personally, we were raised in a broken home where our Mother was regularly abused mentally and physically by our father, who spent time in and out of prison because of it. So writing songs and singing about healing and protecting the ones we love is healing in and of itself for us.
What advice do you have for your audience struggling to manage their mental health?
Don’t be silent about it. Sing the hurt out loud, and someone who knows and loves you will hear you. Anyone can DM us anytime at @olelo_music. We’d love to talk to you!
What is your mission statement as a band? Do you feel that “Lean Into Me” speaks on that?
Our mission statement is found in our band's name. ‘Olelo is a Hawaiian word directly translated to English means “To Speak.” We hope all of our music speaks to the heart of Ke Akua’s love and encouragement. We deeply respect our collaborators on this song, Rob Kleiner, who did the masters on this song, Again Mark Doerflinger, our sound engineer, and our co-writer Nitanee Paris. Lean into Me is an extension of our band's values and an invitation to all those we love.