With a delicate balance of fragility, strength and sass, Hawaiian born singer/songwriter Anuhea blends engaging lyrics, acoustic soul, pop, rap and reggae into a style that has earned her a reputation as Hawaii’s #1 female artist. Rylee Anuheake’alaokalokelani Jenkins (Anuhea) was born in December 1985 on the island of Maui. She is of German, Hawaiian, Welsh, Chinese and Native American (Cherokee) decent.
A self-taught guitarist and song writer, Anuhea began showcasing her talents while boarding at Hawaii’s famous Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu. “We would print out guitar chords to Bob Marley and Jack Johnson songs at school then skip water polo practice to go back to the dorms and jam them. Once I got the basic idea of guitar I then started writing my own songs.” Anuhea enjoyed the spotlight. She was the head anchor for the daily campus-wide news, hosted a variety of TV shows for local television stations, and acted in school musicals. Fluent in Hawaiian Anuhea is proud of her island roots and plans to honoring her heritage by utilizing her growing fame for the good of her land and people.
After attending film school in Orange County for a year, Anuhea realized she wasn’t heading in the direction she was most passionate about, music. So she abandoned her scholarships and embarked on a soul-searching odyssey to Australia. She returned to the islands and immediately got into the scene, performing at a local coffee shop. These gigs turned into paid restaurant gigs and she eventually put a band together using friends from around the island.
In 2006 Anuhea competed for a crown in the Miss Maui Scholarship Pageant, the preliminary to the Miss Hawaii and Miss America Pageants. Not the pageant-girl cliche by any means, Anuhea embraced the challenge of the pageant and performed an original song “I Just Want You Around” for the talent portion of the competition. She walked away with a trophy for Miss Congeniality and 2nd Runner Up. “I thrive off of challenges. I had hit a point where I was pretty stagnant, and I had some student loans I really wanted to pay off. Plus you see pageants on TV as a kid, and I just always wanted to try to be that girly girl for once in my life.”
Anuhea’s musical and performance skills continued to improved with every performance, and successes came steadily and deservedly. She took the initiative to market herself as a musician initially acting as her own manager, booking agent, music producer and distributor. Anuhea even took recordings from a live taping for a public radio station and turned them into her first real demo CD “Rough Cuts” which through her myspace page got her discovered by manager / record label co-owner Warren Wyatt.
A naturally gifted songwriter, Anuhea’s word choices are a clever balance of emotions where each song tells a unique story, each story a lesson learned.”I’m influenced highly by R&B and Soul, Hip Hop and Funk, but my instrument is acoustic guitar. I tend to write most of my songs during the craziest parts of my life. I’ll write pages and pages in my notebook in no order then go back with my guitar in my hands and sing the words as lyrics to some chords. That’s how most songs start for me.” Anuhea wants to be a part of a new generation melding the melodic traditions of her island upbringing with modern beats and influences.
Music has been in Anuhea’s family for generations, so it was inevitable that her seeded passions would reflect the same. Anuhea’s father is from the North Shore of Oahu in the surfing culture of Haleiwa. His younger sister, Nalani is a founding member of the most popular female group in the history of Hawaiian Music, Na Leo Pilimehana. Anuhea’s mother, an Oregon native, comes from a musical family as well, her father is a country guitarist.
She is currently writing and recording new music, and has already released two new singles under Mailboat Records, “Sweet Thing” (a cover of Chaka Kahn’s 1975 original), and “Island Inside Me”, an original written with a Kickstarter Backer Brian Fielkow. She plans to release a full EP of new music in 2015, followed by a Christmas EP later this year.
The future is bright for this Maui songbird. Anuhea’s determination, passion, optimism and raw talent are the foundations for the success that is to come. “I just feel lucky that I’ve found my dream and am able to pursue it… My main goal as a music-maker is to help people find theirs, whatever it may be.”
Anuhea sang the National Anthem at the Golden State Warriors vs Portland Trailblazers NBA game at the Oracle Arena in Oakland.
Her debut album “Anuhea” released in April of 2009. It shot to #7 on the iTunes Pop Charts, #4 on R&B, and #3 on the World/Reggae Billboard Charts. She went on to win 2 prestigious Hawaiian “Na Hoku Hanohano Awards” for Contemporary Album of the Year and Most Promising Artist for that album. Her song “Right Love, Wrong Time” was featured as an iTunes Discovery Download and is featured on the iTunes 9 video tutorial.
Her second release “For Love” was self-funded by her fans on Kickstarter in 2012. It showed the truth behind the commitment her fans have for her, and the excitement they had for anything new she was releasing. That album became Hawaiʻiʻs #1 album, and had numerous radio hits in the islands and in the Pacific. For Love was also nominated for 3 Na Hoku Hanohano awards.
Anuhea’s third album “Butterflies: Anuhea Live” was released on September 17th, 2013 through Mailboat Records, a record label started by Jimmy Buffett.
She and her band have toured Japan and Guam with the Armed Forces Entertainment Tour for the troops and their families.
She had official showcases at South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin Texas in 2009 and 2010 and 2013.
She has performed as the headline act of the 2011 NFL ProBowl Halftime show at the Aloha Stadium.
In April 2010 Anuhea performed alongside Jack Johnson, Ziggy Marley & Taj Mahal at the sold out Kokua Festival at the Waikiki Shell.
Anuhea headlined the national 2010 Right Love Tour, and the 2010 Surf Roots Tour along with iTunes #1 reggae album recipients, The Green, toured across the country with reggae artist Mishka for the Love and Roots Tour, and headlined her own tours in 2013 from coast to coast. Touring throughout the US steadily for the past few years, Anuhea and her band have played with countless amazing bands and artists. Al Green, Babyface, Bruno Mars, Jack Johnson, Ziggy Marley and SOJA to name a few.
Anuhea has met and performed for his holiness, the Dalai Lama.
In fall 2013, the ever-working Anuhea surprised her fans with the birth of her first child, ‘Ikena Jack. She and her fiance Kaimana and their son currently live on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Anuhea has also been featured on SOJAʻs Grammy Nominated album “Amid the Noise and Haste” on a song entitled “Easier” alongside reggae star JBoog.
Basic Wikipedia bio:
Rylee Anuheakeʻalaokalokelani Jenkins (born December 10, 1985), but always known as Anuhea, is a Hawaiian contemporary folk rocksinger and songwriter. Born and raised on the island of Maui, she is of Caucasian, Hawaiian, Chinese and Native American decent. Her debut album Anuhea was released on April 21, 2009. Her second album, For Love, was released on February 14, 2012. Her third album Butterflies: Anuhea Live was released on September 17th, 2013 through Mailboat Records, a record label started by Jimmy Buffett. She is currently writing and recording new music, and has currently released two new singles under Mailboat Records, “Sweet Thing” (a cover of Chaka Kahn’s 1975 original), and “Island Inside Me”, an original written with a Kickstarter Backer Brian Fielkow. She plans to release a full EP of new music in 2015, followed by a Christmas EP in 2015 as well.