Acclaimed for originality in her song compositions and spellbinding, soulful vocals, Paula Fuga is one of Hawaii’s top musicians. I had the pleasure of speaking with her via Zoom about various topics, including her new album Rain On Sunday, and her Sept. 19 livestream concert presented by the Kahilu Theatre. Paula also shared a special heartfelt connection she had with longtime collaborator Jack Johnson.
Tell me about your new album Rain On Sunday.
The album was released at the end of June, and I’m really excited about it. I’ve been working on it for over five years and am just so glad that it’s finally out in the world doing its thing, you know, touching hearts, changing lives, and all that jazz. I feel so blessed to have this gift of music and able to experience things and translate them through poetry and music.
What does the song title refer to?
It’s the title track. I was sitting in my living room on a Sunday morning, and I just finished having breakfast with my husband. He was watching TV, and I was on my phone, and suddenly there came this huge rain, a thunderous rain. So, I told my husband to turn off the TV so we could listen to the rain. And he’s like, “Oh, you’re crazy, you know?” How could you not want to listen to the rain? Preposterous.
After a couple of minutes, this beautiful melody came flooding in. The lyrics and the melody came at the same time. [Paula starts singing the song] “Listen to the rain on a Sunday morning, let it fall, let it wash away…” It’s basically a love song to nature.
Let’s talk about the new single with Jack Johnson.
The song’s called “If Ever.” I was already done with my album, and it was being mixed. And then Jack reached out and was like, “Hey, I heard you’re done with your album.” I’ve worked with him for many years, and I’m under Jack’s wing.
He showed me “If Ever,” which was written about his father who’d passed away. His dad loved me, and Jack will tell you that I was his father’s favorite singer in the world. Between the time that Jack lost his father, and that day that I went into the studio to talk with him about songs, my father had died. Jack was able to take those words, those experiences that I shared with him, and turn them into song lyrics. He credits me for the writing, but I credit myself for the inspiration.
Tell me about your upcoming livestream show on Sunday, September 19, with the Kahilu Theatre. What can fans look forward to at the concert?
It will be a night of music and heart-filled emotion. I’ll be joined by Brad Watanabe on bass and Ethan Capone on keyboards. They’re the best in the game! I hope that people watch with their friends and loved ones and just really enjoy this time because things are so uncertain now. My music comes from a deep and meaningful place, and I think people can look forward to experiencing those emotions.
I see after the Kahilu show you’re heading out on a mainland tour, hitting multiple cities.
Yes, I haven’t been on tour since 2019. So, I’m definitely looking forward to getting back on the road and visiting some people. I was supposed to be out on the road now, but we had to cancel or postpone the tour for a later date.
I was put on Earth to make music. I believe that music is medicine and that it has healing power. It helps people to process their own emotions and thoughts. Yeah, in a way, maybe they didn’t have the tools to do so on their own. I’m definitely blessed to be able to do what I do, and I’m looking forward to bringing this music and this experience of love and acceptance and healing to the folks watching my Kahilu Theatre livestream concert.
Livestream Ticket Info
Paula Fuga will livestream her concert Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, at 7 p.m. exclusively on Kahilu.TV. On-demand individual tickets for this show are suitable for an entire household and are $19.99. They are available at Kahilu.TV. You catch the show on-demand the next day, the next week, or the next month.
Courtesy photos provided