How It All Began

It’s rare when an artist arrives on the scene offering a refreshing new spin on a traditional genre of music. Steven Espaniola is that artist. Raised in Aliamanu, Hawai’i and now residing in the California Bay Area, Steven is a multi-instrumentalist specializing in Ki Ho’alu (Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar), ‘Ukulele, Upright Bass, and Leo Ki’e Ki’e (Traditional Hawaiian falsetto). Of Hawaiian, Filipino and Spanish decent, his ethnicity is as diverse as his unique sound which preserves the integrity of the traditional with a flourish of the modern.


Through the years, Steven has had the pleasure of performing alongside some of Hawaii’s top entertainers including Willie K, Amy Hanaiali’i Gilliom, Makana, Ho’okena, and Ledward Kaapana. Though an accomplished musician, Steven continues to grow as a humble student of Hawaiian music while contributing to perpetuate its legacy for future generations. Steven hopes to be a perennial mainstay in the Hawaiian music scene for many years to come.

His debut recording entitled Hoʻomaka, “to begin”, features a mesmerizing collection of traditional and original Hawaiian mele recorded by Nā Hōkū  Hanohano award winning producer Dave Tucciarone. Hoʻomaka will be sure to transport the listener to the Hawaii of yesterday with soaring falsetto vocals, nahenahe slack key guitar and rhythmic ‘ukulele. Steven Espaniola’s highly anticipated debut album will carry you on a musical journey you won’t soon forget.

Steven has recently released a single entitled Sakura which has quickly climbed the world charts on iTunes and beyond. It was written and composed with the pure love of a parent to a child.

Steven Plays

Kanileʻa Custom Super Tenor nicknamed “Pea Liʻi” (see Steven’s thoughts on his custom below)

Tiny Boy black Flamed Maple Jazz 4-string fretted bass (TBJ-3400BFM)

A Special Message from Steven

“Joe and Kristen of Kanile`a `Ukulele are like extended ohana to me and have constructed an absolute masterpiece that I’m proud to call my own! A beautiful, custom built Super Tenor Pea Li`i that is without a doubt, one of the best sounding and aesthetically pleasing instruments I’ve owned to date. The craftsmanship is impeccable from the subtle kolohala wood/abalone detailing around the sound hole, to the premium grade O`ahu golden koa wood for the body. The `ukulele feels like a natural extension of my body every time I play it. The tone is absolute perfection featuring a full, rich bottom while incorporating just the right amount of highs to balance the overall sound. My Pea Li`i sounds equally great strummed as well as picked, with ease of play-ability throughout the entire ebony fretboard. The instrument also features a custom hybrid LR Baggs pickup system with dual concentric volume/tone controls. Joe and Kristen walked me through the entire creation process advising me of various wood selections and hardware options along the way. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect creation. Mahalo nui Kanileʻa!  -Steven Espaniola