Positive Vibes Only: Kalani Pe'a Whisks Us Away To Hawaii With A Feel-Good Performance Of "E Nā Kini"

Kalani Pe'a


Positive Vibes Only: Kalani Pe'a Whisks Us Away To Hawaii With A Feel-Good Performance Of "E Nā Kini"

The two-time GRAMMY-winning Hawaiian singer-songwriter transports us to the Paradise of the Pacific with a unifying anthem meant to uplift spirits and bring encouragement

GRAMMYs/Oct 4, 2020 - 11:00 pm

While fall has officially set in, Positive Vibes Only,'s new digital series offering motivation, affirmation and uplifting energy, is bringing the sunshine back on this beautiful Sunday. 

In this week's episode, two-time GRAMMY-winning Hawaiian singer-songwriter Kalani Pe'a whisks us away to the Paradise of the Pacific with a feel-good performance of "E Nā Kini." The song, whose title translates to "all the masses" or "all the people," was originally composed as a unifying anthem for the people of Molokai, on the Kalaupapa Peninsula, who were quarantined on the Hawaiian island for leprosy treatment. Meant to uplift spirits and bring encouragement to those suffering, the song brought the Hawaiian nation together, reminding its citizens and natives that as a united tribe working and living as one, they will thrive through the trials and tribulations of the time. 

For the performance, Pe'a is joined by the graceful hula dancer Teva Medeiros from the esteemed hula school, Hālau Kekuaokalā'au'ala'iliahi. 

Watch: Kalani Pe'a On How Music Helped Him Overcome Struggles

"E Nā Kini" is featured on Pe'a's 2016 debut album, E Walea, which, in 2017, garnered the artist his first of two GRAMMY wins in the Best Regional Roots Music Album, making Pe'a the only Hawaiian artist to win in this category, according to his official bio. He won the category again in 2019 with his 2018 album, No 'Ane'i

Ahead of the joyous performance, entertainment journalist and on-air talent Gia Peppers reminds us of the power of breathing, disconnecting and being in the moment.'s newly launched Positive Vibes Only series aims to affirm audiences everywhere as the country continues to face the COVID-19 pandemic and racial reckoning. The series will feature upcoming performances by Christian music artists Hannah Kerr and Wande; Latin GRAMMY-nominated group Miel San Marcos; GRAMMY-nominated singers Koryn HawthorneMali Music and Natalie Grant; and GRAMMY-winning singer Lauren Daigle

Spoken word artist J. Ivy, poet Sabrina Benaim and internet sensation and actress Tabitha Brown are among the speakers who will open each episode. 

Positive Vibes Only posts every Sunday at noon PST/3 p.m. EST on and via the Recording Academy's official YouTube channel, Facebook page and Instagram profile.

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Positive Vibes Only: Watch Lakewood Music Perform A Soul-Healing Rendition Of "Decimos Amén"
Lakewood Music

Photo: Eunice Luis


Positive Vibes Only: Watch Lakewood Music Perform A Soul-Healing Rendition Of "Decimos Amén"

Revered worship group Lakewood Music perform an ascendant version of "Decimos Amén," a song that stays true to their mission to "extend an open invitation of hope."

GRAMMYs/May 28, 2023 - 01:33 pm

The song title "Decimos Amén" translates to "We say amen." That sense of togetherness and solidarity lies at the heart of Lakewood Music, the worship collective who perform "Decimos Amén" in this captivating episode of Positive Vibes Only.

True to their message of spiritual uplift, "Decimos Amén" points its arrow skyward, building with a profound sense of dynamic tension and release. Their stated mission is to "extend an open invitation of hope"; via the universal language of music, Lakewood Music do just that.

As "Decimos Amén" builds and builds, it becomes evermore danceable; a kinetic energy is charged through the ensemble. By the end of the tune, chances are your mind will be cleared, your heart rendered at peace — and most importantly, your spirit connected to a higher purpose.

Watch the heart-strengthening performance above, and keep checking every Sunday for new episodes of Positive Vibes Only.

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Here's What Went Down At The 2023 Blues Music Awards In Memphis
Shemekia Copeland accepts an award at the 2023 Blues Music Awards in Memphis, Tennessee

Photo: Joseph Rosen


Here's What Went Down At The 2023 Blues Music Awards In Memphis

A crowd of more than 1,100 filled the ballroom of the Renasant Convention Center in Memphis for a music-filled show. Here are four takeaways from the soulful evening.

GRAMMYs/May 24, 2023 - 09:33 pm

For more than four decades — even during the pandemic — the Memphis-based Blues Foundation has annually recognized the genre's best, including such GRAMMY-winning luminaries as B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

On May 11, the foundation presented the 44th Annual Blues Music Awards, featuring a host of blues mainstays — as well as younger artists who combine the various strains of the blues with diverse strands of Americana.

A crowd of more than 1,100 filled the ballroom of the Renasant Convention Center in Memphis for a music-filled show that packed 25 awards and more than a dozen musical performances into a deceptively tight five-hour show.

Here are four takeaways from this year's Blues Music Awards:

Big Winners Were Touched By Tribulations

This was the second in-person BMA ceremony following two years of virtual presentations due to COVID. But while the pandemic has abated, illness still loomed over some of the night's wins.

Tommy Castro, who won B.B. King Entertainer of the Year for the second year in a row — and whose band is, ironically, called the Painkillers — missed the ceremony because he was recuperating from back surgery. His award was accepted by his frequent collaborator, Deanna Bogart, also a winner for Best Instrumentalist - Horns.

BMA regular John Németh, who recently survived a bout with a jaw tumor, was thankful just to be alive to accept his two awards on the night, one for best instrumentalist-harmonica and another for Best Traditional Blues Album for the aptly-titled May be the Last Time, a collaboration with Elvin Bishop and others that was recorded two weeks before his cancer surgery.

"I had no idea if I was going to be able to make it here tonight, but I did," said Nemeth to a round of applause. "I want to thank the Blues Foundation, I want to thank their HART Fund, and I want to thank everybody who donate to my GoFundMe to help me get a brand-new jawbone so I can play some more harmonica."

Repeat Winners Ruled The Night

A lot of familiar names were called out from the stage. In addition to Nemeth, Buddy Guy (Album of the Year and Contemporary Blues Album) and blues rock up-and-comer Albert Castiglia (Blues Rock Album and Blues Rock Artist) each won two awards on the night. 

Meanwhile, Castro led the way among artists winning categories for consecutive years, including Albert Castiglia (Blues Rock Artist), Danielle Nicole (Instrumentalist Bass), Curtis Salgado (Soul Blues Male Artist) and Sue Foley (Traditional Blues Female Artist).

Perhaps most impressive though was GRAMMY-winning blues guitarist Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, who won Contemporary Blues Male Artist for an impressive fourth year in a row. 

While ccepting the award, a humble Ingram said he hadn't prepared anything to say because he didn't expect to win. Right then, he thanked his fellow nominees, and returned to the stage for an acoustic set that showcased his strong, assured vocals as much as his adroit fretwork.

Hill Country Blues Are Alive And Well

The night before the BMAs, the Blues Foundation held a ceremony at the Halloran Centre in downtown Memphis to induct a new class into the Blues Hall of Fame.

This included departed greats Esther Phillips, Carey Bell, Snooky Pryor, Fenton Robinson, Josh White, and Junior Kimbrough, the late Holly Springs bluesman who helped pioneer what has become the North Mississippi Hill Country style.

At the BMAs, the sound made famous by Kimbrough and his close contemporary, the late R.L. Burnside, proved to be alive and well.

R.L.'s grandson, GRAMMY winner Cedric Burnside, who holds an impressive 10 BMAs, was, scheduled to perform but, for whatever reason, missed his slot.

His uncle Duwayne Burnside, who has written and played with his father, Kimbrough, and the North Mississippi Allstars, among others, carried the torch. He played an acoustic set of hill country classics backed by R.L.'s longtime guitarist Kenny Brown.

Young Artists Made Their Mark

Veteran blues artists dominated this year's BMAs, but a handful of young performers broke through at the show as well, wowing the audience with their performances.

McComb, Mississippi's Mr. Sipp (aka, Casto Coleman) returned to close out the night with a gospel-infused closing set that brought the crowd to their feet.

Two more former emerging artist winners also provided show highlights: GRAMMY-nominated band Southern Avenue rocked the house with an inspired acoustic stage mini set, featuring a trio of female voices.

Meanwhile, Detroit's Annika Chambers and her musical partner Paul DesLauriers delivered a high-energy segment that fused rock and soul into their blues.

Joining these up-and-comers was this year's Emerging Artist winner, 22-year-old St. Louis native Dylan Triplett.

A prodigy blessed with a four-and-a-half octave vocal range, Triplett took the stage early with his band to play R&B-inflected selections from his debut album, Who Is He? When his name was called for his award, he acknowledged his faith and thanked his parents — including his father, saxophone player Art Pollard.

Clearly, the blues are alive and well — and the 2023 Blues Music Awards remain a critical part of this magnificent musical sphere.

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Positive Vibes Only: Cochren & Co. Offer A Supportive Hand In This Healing Performance Of "Be There For You"
Michael Cochren of Cochren & Co

Photo: Mike Dunn


Positive Vibes Only: Cochren & Co. Offer A Supportive Hand In This Healing Performance Of "Be There For You"

Christian worship group Cochren & Co. vow to be a shoulder to lean on with "Be There for You," a track from their second album, 'Running Home.'

GRAMMYs/May 21, 2023 - 05:55 pm

It's always hard to watch someone you love go through a difficult time. But as Cochren & Co. remind in "Be There for You," words of support can be the best medicine.

"Days fade in and leave the same/ An endless battle, seems like nothing has changed/ I wish I could tell you when this season will end/ Better days are coming," they sing in the track's chorus.

In this episode of Positive Vibes Only, Cochren & Co. deliver a healing performance of "Be There for You." The collective's front man, Michael Cochren, performs the song alongside six other lively musicians, driving home the message of community and support.

"Be There for You" is a track from Cochren & Co.'s second album, Running Home. The project is about Cochren's return to the arms of God, and is meant to be an encouraging message for anyone who's found themselves losing their spirituality.

"When we go off looking for things in the broken world, we will never find them," Cochren said to the Christian Beat

"Ultimately, we only find what we need when we return to our loving God." 

Press play on the video above to watch Cochren & Co.'s inspiring performance of "Be There for You," and check back to for more new episodes of Positive Vibes Only.

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Positive Vibes Only: Brandee Younger Reimagines The Enchantment Of Stevie Wonder's "If It's Magic" In This Instrumental Cover
Brandee Younger

Photo: Erin O'Brien


Positive Vibes Only: Brandee Younger Reimagines The Enchantment Of Stevie Wonder's "If It's Magic" In This Instrumental Cover

Using just a harp, Brandee Younger delivers a moving performance of Stevie Wonder's 1976 deep cut "If It's Magic."

GRAMMYs/May 14, 2023 - 05:48 pm

Almost 50 years ago, Stevie Wonder graced the world with his critically acclaimed (and Album Of The Year-winning)  studio album, Songs in the Key of Life. Beyond notable singles "Isn't She Lovely" and "I Wish" lives "If It's Magic," a song about the unavoidable failure of unprotected love.

"If it's magic/ Then why can't it be everlasting?/ Like the sun that always shines/ Like the poet's endless rhymes/ Like the galaxies in time," Wonder questions in the track's opening verse. "It holds the key to every heart/ Throughout the universe/ It fills you up without a bite/ And quenches every thirst."

In this episode of Positive Vibes Only, American harpist Brandee Younger performs a soothing, instrumental cover of "If It's Magic." Younger plays the harp from a well-lit room covered in  plants, increasing the serene ambiance of the performance.

Last month, Younger released her latest album, Brand New Life. As one of the most prominent Black, female harpists, Younger created Brand New Life as one of her many efforts to highlight the musical contributions of Black women. In 2022, she became the first Black woman to be nominated for a GRAMMY Award in the Best Instrumental Composition category.

Press play on the video above to watch Brandee Younger's tranquil cover of Stevie Wonder's deep cut "If It's Magic," and check back to every Sunday for more new episodes of Positive Vibes Only.

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