Swaying palm trees, baby blue skies, and mellow Sunday mornings are only a few things that come to mind when listening to beachside pop songstress, Mailani Makainai. It’s easy to get lost in the warm, breezy feeling she so easily conveys through her optimistic lyrics and sunny songwriting style. She explains, “Life is only as hard as the type of music you’re listening to, that’s why I write about happiness.”

Hailing from Kailua Town, O’ahu, Hawai`i, Mailani Makainai cannot remember a time when music wasn’t playing in her home. Cultivating her talents came naturally as her life was always filled to the brim with song. The importance and tradition of her Hawaiian culture was instilled early on by her loving parents. Inspired by her roots, Mailani dove in head first and began learning everything about Hawaiian music. She explains, “I’ve always been working towards telling stories more effectively and serving my heritage justice through song…It’s a lifelong process, and I am totally okay with that!”

Armed with her bubbly personality, contagious smile, and a sand-scrubbed ukulele, Mailani eludes an exotic charm reminiscent of the hula maidens that have been designed on vintage postcards for years. When she isn’t on stage performing, she can be found at her Kahalu`u home enjoying the company of her husband and daughter, relaxing at the beach, or withfriends, ‘talking story’ and sipping on Mimosas.

When asked if Mailani had a favorite quote to share, her response was immediate: “Mai maka’u i ka hana, maka’u i ka moloā.” She explains, “It means ‘don’t be afraid of work, be afraid of laziness,’ and is my favorite quote ever.” Lucky for us, that means paradise will always be a song away.