The music that Glenn Beck selected for "Restoring Love" is certainly unique, as are the talented artists behind each selection. On Tuesday, TheBlaze told you about singer-songwriter Matt Maher and his song, "Hold Us Together." The tune was selected by Beck to be the theme for "Restoring Love." On Wednesday, we caught up with Kalai -- one of the other singers who will be performing at the event -- to speak further about his career, beliefs and uplifting lyrics (download his music here).
Showcasing a unique personal history, Kalai was born in Hawaii, raised in Alaska and he currently lives in Utah. This eclectic past dovetails perfectly with his unique sound. The performer calls his style "song-based music" that comes with a personal brand of and allegiance to versatility.
"If I'm going to write a song...the song and melody can dictate a style," he explained, reiterating that, though he follows "old-school" and "vintage" rules, he allows the genre to match the words and flow of his compositions.
While he's certainly independent in every sense of the word, the talented musician has been on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," "Extra," and MTV, among other popular programs.
In an exclusive interview with TheBlaze, Kalai detailed his path to success, explaining that he first began attempting to hone his musical skills at an early age. While it wasn't a scenario in which he starting singing and playing instruments and was an instant prodigy, his dedication and passion led him down a path toward creating a refined and melodic sound.
"When I was a kid I thought to myself, 'I'm going to play music, that's what I'm going to do,'" he explained. "I had no ability to do it, so I started to look for the ability to do it...it started to more or less come easy."
For Kalai, his inspiration and ability to create comes from an understanding of and appreciation for emotion. He says he grew up in a very emotional family and that he understands what happens when personal feelings are allowed to run wild. By keeping them in check, one can learn, in retrospect, to appreciate each and every personal emotion, including sadness and pain.
Aside from emotion, Kalai is inspired by the woman at the center of his life -- his wife. While she is one of the focuses of his motivation, that doesn't necessarily mean that all of his songs are about love. Faith, naturally, is also a central tenet for the singer, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He calls it "the invisible author of everything you do."
Kalai's "All Rise," a song that is on the "Restoring Love Sessions EP," for instance, is all about the power of prayer.
"The message behind it is prayer. I hope people are praying enough but I suspect that we are not," he explained. "We need to remember the [nation's] first principles -- and the easiest to remember is prayer."
When it comes to helping our fellow man, Kalai believes that doing so is paramount. In agreeing wholeheartedly with the values inherent in the "Restoring Love" event, the singer believes that the nation has lost sight of what it truly means to selflessly reach out to those in need.
"We have perverted what it means to lend a hand to talking about it, but not really doing it," he explained. "It is hard for us -- [we say] 'I'd like to help someone, but never at the expense of myself."
Devotion to others, he says, is a necessity, as is the willingness to give sacrificially of oneself.