Paula Fuga

Paula Fuga – Lilikoi (Live)(mp3)
Paula Fuga – Loloiwi (Live)(mp3)
Paula Fuga – Queen (Live)(mp3) via Paula Fuga Music.

Female Hawaiian singers are something of an acquired taste. The traditional yodelling and vocal ululations aren’t the most commercial sounds in the world. But Paula Fuga has a voice that is set to do for female Hawaiian performers what Israel Kamakawiwo’ole did for the guys.

Rather than the traditional style, her voice is deep, rich and soulful voice similar to the likes of Erykah Badu and Jill Scott.

After a thankfully unsuccessful shot at American Idol, she joined up with Hawaiian reggae band Dubkonscious before releasing her debut solo album Lilikoi. She’s attracted the attention of some big hitters; collaborating with Jack Johnson (you can hear the song on her MySpace) and has impressed the likes of India.Arie and Jason Mraz.

The album gets a bit too Jawaiian for my tastes, but this acoustic session for KTUH blew me away. She blends her Southern Soul vocals with Hawaiian and Jamaican sounds without sounding like self-conscious fusion. She slips between singing in English and Hawaiian so naturally you’d barely notice. And the minimal accompaniment showcases her magnificent voice.

The standout track of both the album and session is Lilikoi (named after a type of passion fruit)). The song throws a little flamenco into the mix with this nifty little intro:

Paula Fuga Lilikoi ukulele tab
Lilikoi Intro (midi)

The chords are Em and B7 throughout.

I can’t wait until she records a whole album acoustically (fingers crossed).

View Comments


  1. John January 8th, 2008 11:23 am

    Wow – she has a fantastic voice!

    I really love that little chord progression too, just lifting off the bottom string of the chord really adds some colour to it. I’m only just starting to learn the uke little tricks like this are so handy for me to learn.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. LonnaB January 8th, 2008 2:29 pm

    Thanks for bringing attention to Paula Fuga.

    Finding new music to enjoy is a true gift.

    She is outstanding!

  3. Woodshed January 10th, 2008 9:02 pm

    You’re both welcome. I hope we hear more from her. She’s got such a talent.

  4. loleni July 7th, 2008 6:37 am

    She does have a beautiful voice.I’m a big fan. May she continue her great work.

  5. Captain Choppy August 1st, 2010 11:23 am

    Very nice. Simple but effective… good stuff :)

  6. justin owens March 14th, 2011 11:00 pm

    On the morning of January 28th, I woke on and put on Pandora. Jack Johnson and Paula Fuga were playing “Better Together” at a festival in Hawaii.

    I quickly begin to cry uncontrollably, and had no explanation as to why this was happening to me.

    It was later that evening that I found my brother had been shot to death at the very moment I hear that rendition for the first time.

    If I could have one wish granted, it would be that Paula would some how find my wedding on Oahu’s Northshore on May 7th (Fanger Estates).

    Her beauty is incredible inside and out. I am touched by her voice and feel blessed that I was able to find comfort in her voice.


  7. Donette August 20th, 2012 3:22 am

    jUST SAW PAULA in concert , such a treat…look forward to hearing her years to come…

  8. Chris September 2nd, 2017 9:47 am

    What brand of ukulele is Paula playing?

  9. Woodshed September 2nd, 2017 3:30 pm

    Chris: I can’t tell from that video. But usually she plays a Kamaka.

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