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The best kept secret in music


"New Kaleo Agsalda CD worth a listen"

"Aloha Monday" by Kaleo; Esperanza Records

Genre: Island contemporary.

Distinguishing notes: Kaleo Agsalda is a singer, guitarist, 'ukulele player and teacher. Since 2006, he's been a voice and guitar instructor at William Daquioag's Performing Artist Academy in Kapolei (the school where Jasmine Trias earlier learned her vocal chops from Daquioag, who is a member of the Society of Seven Las Vegas).

Kaleo brings lot of experience to his debut CD, having served as choral director for the Kaleoaloha Keiki Choir and as a young member of the Honolulu Boy Choir. He even was a lead voice for the latter-day version of The Krush, and has been the instrumental half of Tahiti and Kaleo.

So now the spotlight shines on him and his choice of music — which is both a challenge and a blessing. While most performers his age are into reggae or rock, Kaleo focuses on contemporary pop with an Island spin, echoing his early influences (Country Comfort, Kalapana, Cecilio and Kapono).

This possibly leaves him standing in the field alone; he's different, he's yesterday, but he brings pleasure to the ears. "Aloha for Now," with uke accompaniment, typifies his manner and his mana'o — sweet love songs that bring out his soul and his charm. "Last Song" is a plaintive ballad that echoes the spirit of Mackey Feary and could evolve as a signature. "A Little Longer" similarly is expressive, poetic, poignant, with voice and guitar in synch with lyrics and melody to subtly soothe the heartstrings.

"Monday Trouble" boasts the soaring sax of Rocky Holmes in a bluesy, light-jazz tune that recalls Kalapana and Summer and even, in spots, Seawind. And helps give the CD its title.

All the words and the melodies are his. So there you go: a today guy with a yesterday attitude.

Our take: Kaleo means "the voice" and Kaleo's got a voice that plays well, wears well. - Honolulu Advertiser


Aloha Monday
Aloha For Now



“Kaleo’s music stands on its own merit.”
John Berger, Honolulu Star Bulletin

“He’s different, he’s yesterday … he brings pleasure to the ears.”
Wayne Harada, Honolulu Advertiser

“His style is reminiscent of some of the great music of Hawaii’s past.”
John Kitakis, Luthier, Ko’olau Guitar & Ukulele Co.

Quickly becoming one of Oahu’s most influential music-makers, Kaleo has been sought after by locally and nationally renowned entertainers alike for his soulful presence and creativity.

In less than a year since the release of Aloha Monday (June 2008), he has shared the stage with American Idol’s Camile Velasco and platinum recording artist Colbie Caillat, written and collaborated with Na Leo’s award-winning singer/songwriter Lehua Kalima, garnered a nomination from the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts for Jazz Album of the Year, and entertained troops in the Middle East where Miss Hawaii 2008, Nicole Fox, danced hula to his first single and best-selling track, Aloha For Now.

Kaleo’s musical ear began to develop at the age of eight as a member of the Honolulu Boy Choir. Raised in Pupukea on Oahu’s North Shore, he graduated from Waialua High, and studied blues and gospel at the University of Oregon. In 2004, he broke into the entertainment business as lead singer of the Krush.

The debut release Aloha Monday features eleven all-original songs, from sweet and simple acoustic ballads to jazz-infused R&B. In November 2008, the single Aloha For Now was re-released under Esperanza Records Hawaii. In August of 2009, the record was picked up by CCRE Japan for international distribution. Both the album and the single are available online, in stores across the state, and select locations abroad.

© Esperanza Records Hawaii 2008, 2009