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About Raiatea Helm

Young Female vocalist who is inspiring younger generations and preserving the authenticity of mele “Hawaiian Music.”

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About Raiatea Helm

Young Female vocalist who is inspiring younger generations and preserving the authenticity of mele “Hawaiian Music.”

Authentic Hawaiian Singer

Growing up with her family on the island of Molokai, Raiatea gained a deep love and appreciation for her surroundings and culture. Today, she strives to share her experiences and knowledge of Hawaiʻi’s rich history through traditional song and dance.

She is musically trained in the style of “leo ki’eki’e” (Female falsetto), and is currently working towards creating a University Degree in Musicology with an emphasis in Hawaiian music, language and culture. Eventually, she hopes to teach future generations and to encourage others to preserve the authenticity of mele “Hawaiian Music.”

Raiatea’s success as an artist also includes many prestigious awards including 2 Grammy nominations, 6 Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards, and Native Arts & Cultures Fellowship.

"It is my responsibility to perpetuate traditional Hawaiian music for the younger generations."

Meet Raiatea Helm

Raiatea Mokihana Maile Helm thrilled the Hawaiian music community when she was merely 18-years-old, with the release of her debut album Far Away Heaven in 2002.

Raiatea’s melodic voice made her a natural performer of leo kiʻe kiʻe (Hawaiian falsetto), and earned her the reputation of being the successor to Hawaiian music legends such as Lena Machado, Leināʻala Haili and Aunty Genoa Keawe.

Her debut album continued to propel her career into stardom as she received two prestigious Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards for Female Vocalist of the Year and Most Promising Artist in 2003.
The release of Raiatea’s second album, Sweet and Lovely, more than confirmed her early promise and earned her two additional Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards in 2006.

The success of Sweet and Lovely further garnered her national fame as she became Hawaiʻi’s first-ever solo female vocalist to be nominated for a Grammy©. The album was recognized in the top 10 of “The 25 Greatest Hawaiʻi Albums of the New Century” and Raiatea would later receive her second Grammy nomination in 2008.

In 2011, she became the first Hawaiian recipient of a prestigious Native Arts & Cultures Fellowship and her peers upon being awarded her sixth Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award recently named more Female Vocalist of the Year in 2017.

Even more recent, Raiatea received the 2019 award for “Leadership in the Industry – Outstanding Individual in Music and Entertainment” from the AIO media and Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association.

Raiatea is now recognized as one of Hawaiʻi’s premier female vocalists and a keeper of the Hawaiian falsetto tradition of the early to mid-20th century. She has captivated the attention of audiences throughout the Hawaiian Islands and around the world, interpreting traditional Hawaiian songs with classical elegance.

Family history

Raiatea’s love for music and the Ukulele was inspired by her close bond with her Maternal Grandmother. She taught her to have a deep respect and appreciation for music, her culture, and family.

Today, family is still a huge part of Raiatea’s life and music career as professional singer. 

Community

Giving back is important to Raiatea’s as a traditional Hawaiian singer. She uses her love, experience and education as a way to work with local non-profits and youth to inspire a love for both music and to encourage the authenticity of mele “Hawaiian Music.”. 

What's next?

As an influential female vocalist in Hawaii, Raiatea has big plans to start teaching online through her website and using her non-profit, Raiatea Helm Foundation, to give back to her community and set a legacy for her career. 

The New York Times
The New York TimesThe New York Times
"Raiatea Helm is poised and utterly elegant"
Honolulu Magazine
Honolulu MagazineMichael Keany
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"Who knew that traditional Hawaiian-language vocals backed with lounge-y, exotica-inspired instrumentation would work so well? Brushed cymbals, vibraphones, steel guitar—Martin Denny would be proud."
Natives Arts & Culture Foundation
Natives Arts & Culture FoundationFellowship Program
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"Raiatea Helm is a much-heralded musician with a singular and captivating voice, who possesses focused artistic vision and an innate and rhythmic giftedness."
Ukulele Magazine
Ukulele MagazineAudrey Coleman
"Whether performing at a fundraiser, festival, or on a concert stage, Helm’s singing and strumming flow from the foundation of her family’s love, especially from her tutu’s and grandma’s nurturing."
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