Ammon and Liahona Olayan
Ammon and Liahona Olayan
Uplifting Soul Blended In Pop-Hop Fun. Describes the music and messages that resonate in words and sound, by the sister-brother team, 16-year old Ammon (pronounced A-Man) and his 15-year old sister Liahona (Lee-A-Hona) Olayan, on their debut, and appropriately titled album, LIFE IS GOOD. Their Hawaiian heritage may be rooted in culture, but their colorful R&B, pop, hip-soul style is a mashup of dynamic grooves spiced with a rhythmic flow blended with meaning that is certainly universal.
More about Ammon and Liahona
Ammon and Liahona, were raised in a busy, happy-packed home with 7 fun-loving, little brothers and sisters by their Polynesian mother, a real estate broker, and father, an investor. Based on blood-line standards, "family is first: and "the more the family the bigger the blessings." So, it came as no surprise in 2015, that their parents one day would quit their jobs to leave behind a life in Utah so that their children would reconnect to the land of their heritage to become an even closer family. It was a dramatic life-changing experience,
"With just our suitcases and a desire to be free from the busy world we were living in, we went from the big city to the land of Hawaii. Our family had to resort to living in a tent, pretty much homeless, with no electricity, having to shower with a water hose, with no TV nor music. We raised 33 chickens, milked goats, ate fruits from the land, caught fish, went to the beach, and spent lots of time together," says Ammon.
Little did they know that this experience and lifestyle would tap into the creative talents for this sister-brother team, which would lead them down a path that would take them straight to their dreams – their love of music.
It all started when Ammon became weary by teen life on the Island, with little to do. Days hanging out with his school buddies, playing sports or hanging out at the mall doing what curious teens do, had vanished. He was bored doing nothing. He recalls the words echoed by his dad, "Why don't you go write a song. Do something with your time instead of just sitting around."
Which is exactly what he did! Ammon decided to put pen to paper, set his mind on storytelling, and started creating songs.
To everyone's amazement the 13-year old who'd never even dropped a line created a song title, "I'm So Glad You're My Mommy," a Mother's Day show of gratitude to his mom for her unconditional support and sacrifices she makes for her family. Liahona heard the track and was so inspired by her brother's creative flow that she decided to do the same. As a token appreciation to her dad she started penning her own melodies. She was just 12 years old. Once the teens combined their talents and began collaborating on lyrics and beats, and composing songs that fueled their passion, they knew then that music was what they wanted to do.
Several years later the family returned to Utah. Supported by both parents, Ammon and Liahona set out to pursue their goals of becoming recording artists. They knew, from their blessings and all that they'd experienced through their journey, that they had a story to tell – and they aimed to share it.
Today, Liahona (a self-trained pianist), and brother Ammon (who loves stringing on guitar/ukulele) are prepared to spin out a compilation of self-written songs with the release of their debut EP, LIFE IS GOOD, on CSP Music Group. The theme of the album journals through the lessons they have learned through their weaknesses, trials, and errors. Simply put, LIFE IS GOOD are meanings of inspiration, encouragement, and hope. While, at the same time, embracing life in gratitude and appreciation, no matter what your situation might be.
"Our message is to see the good in whatever circumstance you're in and to find joy in life. When I see kids in school that are so depressed, doing drugs, and think life sucks, I write songs to help them see and recognize the blessings in life and hope they start feeling grateful for what they have," says Ammon.
On "Downfalls"Liahona serves up girl-talk reinforcement as she admits her drawbacks with no regrets; instead of looking deep inside her flaws, learning to accept them as her platform to growth and acceptance of self.
"My downfalls help me to see the clearer view/my downfalls help me to know and understand/my downfalls shaped me into this strong woman… and that's why I'm here today … choices I made led to many hurtful mistakes and the consequences I paid I learned from. It was all from my downfalls/Oh ooo…helped me to know and understand shaped me into this strong woman.
She points out how "so many girls today compare themselves to other people, especially on social media and start feeling depressed and down. I hope my music helps them to see how special they are and that they know that they're good enough just the way they are."
Ammon adds, "This thing we call "life" comes with the bitter and the sweet, the good and the bad, the happy and the sad. The key is to see if we can rise above the hardships and learn from our choices or others' choices and become better people, not bitter people.
On "A Little Bit Lonely," a teen girl's special bond with her brother, and his super fun-loving spirit she leans on has her feeling isolated each time he chooses to hang with his guy-friends. She feels separated by him not "playing" with her instead.
"I remember sitting by myself waiting for you/I thought if I waited long enough that you might come to the rescue/But in my mind I knew it wasn't true/There's just some things in life where's there's nothing you can do/Cause when I ask you to come to play you just left me and walked away/You didn't have a clue Oh I wanted to be with you.
The beautiful love track, " To Get To You," (at first listen would have one reminisce on the love of another) was written in adoration of their 1-year old baby sister. As Ammon and Liahona embrace the joy the toddler brings to their lives and witnessing her innocence, they pledge "to always love, care, and protect her in life, - no matter what!
Ammon and Liahona remind us, "You may not be rich (Ammon still doesn't own a cell phone!), or beautiful or smart and maybe your family situation is terrible or you're getting bullied at school or on social media. You may not have friends or have done bad things in life." But they both agree …. contrary
LIFE | IS | GOOD