Pohai Nā Mele is Norman DeCosta’s first CD. Initially conceived as an archival assortment of favorite nā mele o Hawai’i for members of his ‘Ohana, it quickly developed into a much more meaningful project. Pohai Nā Mele showcases all that makes Norman DeCosta’s music so special and appealing--his clear, pure voice, his tender styling, and his respect for the vivid musical storytelling that captures the Island culture.
A native of Hawaii, he married after high school and was drafted in the U.S. military soon after. During this time he dabbled in diverse musical forms, including country, folk and slack key guitar. He returned to Hawaii from Vietnam in 1969 when, he says, “my guitar went under the bed and stayed there while I earned a living and raised my two boys.”
Twelve years later he took up his guitar, and returning to his Hawaiian musical roots, re-fined his slack key technique under Slack Key Master Ron Loo. He earned the recognition as a Traditional Slack Key Apprentice by the Hawaii State Foundation for the Culture and Arts.
Norm lives on Molokai with his wife and has become a fixture in the island’s musical life. At the insistent urging of his ‘ohana and friends, and coupled with a desire to “give back something to all who have helped him over the years”, through this CD, a labor of love, Norman is finally, ‘embracing the music’. In doing that, he has given something beautiful to us all.