June 13, 1949 December 27, 2018 "Over mountains, naturally. Over oceans, naturally." These timeless lyrics were written by Malani, in one of Kalapana's classic songs. Malani, a founding member of Kalapana, a person who will forever be remembered as a musical talent with a voice from heaven, a humble and free spirited friend with a big heart, and a loving family man. Born Carl James Malani Bilyeu in Honolulu and raised in Kalihi-Palama, Malani attended Kalakaua Intermediate School and Farrington High School. Music was his whole life, even at a young age. While in middle school, Malani joined a band called the Kalihi Phantoms and continued playing with them through his high school years. A gifted and passionate musician, Malani co-founded Kalapana with Mackey Feary, D.J. Pratt and Kirk Thompson in late 1973. The band successfully created their own style of contemporary Hawaiian music and produced popular hits like "Naturally," "You Make It Hard," "When the Morning Comes," "The Hurt," and "(For You) I'd Chase a Rainbow." Malani received several Hoku Awards as a member of Kalapana, a solo Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Religious Album of the Year with his album "Saved" in 1995, and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. A man of faith and humility, Malani lived in the moment, treasuring life and being thankful for everything and everyone around him. After returning from the Vietnam War, throughout the ups and downs in his life, Malani enjoyed one day at a time, knowing that each moment was precious. A loving family man, Malani raised his family on Kaua'i, and in recent years, worked as a foreman on the Hanalei Bison Ranch while still performing with Kalapana. He is survived by wife, Crystallyn K. Bilyeu; sons, Travis Isobe, James Bilyeu, Joel Bilyeu, Dion Fernandez, Jonathan Bilyeu, Jeremiah Bilyeu, Isaac-Paul Bilyeu; daughters Leina'ala Hatori, Sarah Bilyeu; 8 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; and numerous uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews & cousins. Friends may visit with the family on Friday, January 11 at Lihue Veterans Center from 10 am to 12 noon and again on Saturday, January 12 at Kawaiaha'o Church in Honolulu from 1 pm to 5:30 pm. Burial will be on Monday, January 14 at Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe at 10 am. Aloha Attire. Donations are being accepted at all First Hawaiian Bank branches under Friends of Malani Bilyeu, or at gofundme.com/malani-memorial-fund.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased