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Praised for her spellbinding vocals and ability to stir the deepest emotions with her soulful melodies, Paula Fuga has established herself as one of Hawai’i’s most sought-after live performers.

Born in Louisiana where her father was stationed in the Army, she grew up in Hawai‘i, her mom Native Hawaiian, French, English, Filipino, Chinese, and Puerto Rican, her dad Samoan and Chinese. As she notes, “In Hawaii every nationality counts.” At an early age, she faced the vulnerabilities of living homeless on the beaches of Hawai‘i, seeing the destruction caused by drugs and violence. Fuga began with poetry as a platform to express her experiences. She blossomed into a songwriter when she began playing ‘ukulele in high school.

Invited to audition for American Idol in 2004, she did not make the cut but was then asked to come to Hollywood to participate in a show of other “rejects” (whose successes outnumber those of the American Idols). It was there she met her future business partner Spencer Toyama who helped produce her first CD, Lilikoi, which garnered her the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for Most Promising Artist in 2007.

She has toured extensively with Jack Johnson, and recorded with reggae royalty Ziggy Marley – both are featured on her second release Misery’s End – and she headlined the Alma Surf Festival in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Today, Paula dedicates much of herself inspiring the youth across the world, sharing her story of perseverance and hope. She is an artist on a mission and music is her vehicle.

She is a regular at Hawai’i Poetry Slams, educational interpreter at Bishop Museum and active member of Hawaii’s cultural community. She is a rising star who has been likened to a Hawaiian Lauryn Hill, and endorsed as a fresh sound by established artists like Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, and Nick Hexum of band 311. Her performance at Jack Johnson’s 2006 Kokua Festival was magnetic, captivating audiences.  She recently recorded a song she wrote with Jack Johnson called “Country Road” for the Mana Maoli CD collaboration, which benefits Native Hawaiian public charter schools.

Paula plays music for a culture, spreading the thoughtful and evocative voice of the Hawaiian people across the world. Not content to be merely a respected artist, Paula has taken on the mantle of cultural ambassador—using her talent as an instrument to help bring about positive social change within her islands and beyond.