Eric Lee is widely known in the Hawaiian music industry for his creative musical arrangements and desire to honor the Hawaiian language through song. Raised on the westside of O‘ahu, HI, Eric’s lifelong love affair with music began at the age of 9 and grew as he ventured through instruments like ‘ukulele, piano, guitar, and electric & upright bass. He studied choral music and theory at Kamehameha Schools and later at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
After winning the 1993 Ka Hīmeni ‘Ana competition, Eric recorded his first album "Nahenahe" with The Kanile‘a Collection, and went on to form the group Nā Kama with bandmate Brian Mersberg. Together, Nā Kama released four albums including the Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning albums "Kamakolu" (2007), and "E Ola Ke Ali‘i: The Nā Kama Christmas Collection – Volume 1" (2008). As a member of the popular island music group, The Ka‘ala Boys, Eric released three studio albums, a Christmas single, and a greatest hits collection.
Eric’s 2009 release "Crossroads" marked his debut as a solo artist. With its blend of traditional Hawaiian and contemporary music, "Crossroads" provided Eric with the opportunity to showcase his musical versatility and the influence rock, country, blues, folk and jazz music have had on him over the years. "Crossroads" received the 2010 Hawai‘i Music Award for Contemporary Hawaiian CD and Eric toured extensively, playing concerts and festivals in California, Nevada, Hawai‘i, and Japan.
In 2011, Eric released his 2-song single "Hallelujah/Thunder Road" as a thank you to the fans and radio stations supporting his career. “Hallelujah”, the classic song written and composed by Leonard Cohen, and Eric’s own edgy rock instrumental “Thunder Road” became instant favorites at Eric’s live shows.
Eric’s next studio release "Kawehilani" (2012) is a venture into the classic Hawaiian mele he is known for. Featuring seven arrangements of classic Hawaiian songs, as well as four original compositions, Kawehilani embraces an intimate and very traditional approach, featuring Hawaiian percussion (ipu and pahu drums) and steel guitar in addition to Eric’s intricate guitar work and soulful vocals. “Kawehilani is a personal choice to return to my Hawaiian roots because it bookmarks a very important part of my life - the life of my daughter, whom this album is named after and dedicated to. When I thought about how I would celebrate her life with this album, I chose to do it this way: if she were physically here and asked me what it is that I do, I would’ve played and sang for her a Hawaiian tune.”
Following the release of Kawehilani in 2012, Eric’s career took an unexpected turn when he was asked to join the Mākaha Sons following the passing of longtime bassist and founding member, John Koko. Eric spent the next eighteen months touring and performing with the Mākaha Sons while continuing his solo career and working on new material for his Twentieth Anniversary Anthology project.
"Anthology: 1994 - 2014" released in October of 2014 to celebrate Eric's twentieth anniversary in the recording industry. This two-CD collection of songs both old and new from Eric's solo career, his time with popular island groups The Kanileʻa Collection, Nā Kama, Kaʻala Boys, and The Mākaha Sons, is also accompanied with a DVD documentary (narrated by Hau‘oli Akaka) filled with photos, videos, and interviews from Eric and a stellar list of Hawaiian artists who share their memories of Eric's journey over the last twenty years.
In 2017, Eric released the single "Nou E Pauahi" as a dedication to his high school classmates in commemoration of their 25th class reunion and to honor Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop for her legacy of benefiting the Hawaiian people with a decent education and a promising future.
Immediately following the release of "Nou E Pauahi", Eric embarked on a personal journey to record his very first Christian album. "Let The Light Shine Upon Me" releases November 27, 2018.
As a full-time artist, Eric performs and tours frequently, sharing the stage with many artists and traveling throughout Hawai‘i, the Mainland U.S., the Pacific Islands and Asia, especially Japan. He composes and produces music for his own recordings as well as those of others, enjoying the opportunity to support them as well as working on projects for commercial vendors.