Wells joins kama‘aina wife on stage
BY STEFANIE NAKASONE / firstname.lastname@example.org
First-time fatherhood inspired Tyrone Wells to record “Aria” on his last album, singing, “never has a melody been so beautiful to me.”
The beauty of that song makes one wonder what Wells will come up with once baby No. 2 arrives. He and wife Erin, a Kaneohe native who performs under the name Elina, are expecting their second child in November. Before the new bundle arrives, the Los Angeles couple is back on Oahu this week for a special family show at Doris Duke Theatre.
» Where: Doris Duke Theatre, 900 S. Beretania St.
Joining the couple is Kevin Chang, Elina’s brother and lead vocalist, composer and ukulele player for Hawaiian band Kupa’aina.
“We come as often as our schedule allows,” said Tyrone Wells, who stays busy touring across the country and Europe.
The Spokane, Wash., native said touring as much as he does is difficult, but essential.
“It’s kind of a necessary evil of this trade, being a musician,” he said. “Especially in today’s day and age, when people buy music less often and just stream music, it makes the live show even more important as a performer.”
WELLS, who has been a solo performer since 2000, said he draws inspiration from all facets of the human experience: heartbreak, faith, struggle, but especially love.
“That’s probably what I’m most known for, because what can be better than love?” he said.
Wells has had two No. 1 albums on the iTunes singer-songwriter chart — “Where We Meet” in 2012 and “Metal & Wood” in 2010.
His sound, which ranges from relaxing, acoustic melodies to modern rock, is the kind everyone can enjoy, which is probably why his music has been featured in more than 50 films and television shows over the years, including “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Vampire Diaries” and “Something Borrowed.”
Wells is writing a new album, his first since 2012, when he released three records — “Where We Meet,” the EP “Beautiful World” and “This Love.” He said he has 20 to 30 songs written already and intends to write 20 or 30 more before starting to choose which ones will make the cut for an early 2015 release.
He knows for sure, though, that one song he intends to record is “I Will Always Love You.” He wrote it for Aria, now 2 1/2 years old and a minor YouTube celebrity.
A video on Wells’ official YouTube channel features a crying Aria who is immediately calmed by the sound of her father’s song “Beautiful Girl, Beautiful World.” She smiles, giggles and babbles away, seemingly trying to sing along with daddy.
The video, titled “The Only Thing That Works Every Time …,” was uploaded last September and went viral early this year when it was picked up by a few websites. It now has more than 800,000 views.
SATURDAY’S performance marks a return of a special ohana show the Wellses used to do early in their marriage, which is nine years strong.
When visiting Elina’s family, they would perform in public around Christmastime — but haven’t in recent years with Aria keeping them busy.
The format of the show will follow that of past performances in which Elina Wells performs first, followed by Chang and then Tyrone, who also joins his wife for a few duets. The two recorded album “Different as Can Be” together in 2010.
Sure to be watching will be scores of friends and family, including Wells’ father-in-law Nelson Chang, who often makes Wells bust out a guitar or ukulele at family parties even halfway around the world: While staying at bed-and-breakfasts during a family vacation in Ireland, Chang had Tyrone and Elina perform for each of the owners.
“He literally made the people who owned the home sit down and listen to us play music whenever we came in,” Tyrone Wells said.
“It was hilarious. I think he was just proud, but we were always like, ‘Man, do they even want to hear us play?’ But it was always really great.”