Falsetto (Italian diminutive of falso, "false") is a singing technique that produces sounds that are pitched higher than the singer's normal range, in the treble range.
In Hawai'i, many Hawaiian songs feature falsetto, called "leo ki'eki'e". Falsetto singing, most often used by men, extends the singer's range to notes above their ordinary vocal range. The voice makes a characteristic break during the transition from the ordinary vocal register to the falsetto register. In Western falsetto singing, the singer tries to make the transition between registers as smooth as possible. In Hawaiian-style falsetto, the singer emphasizes the break between registers. Sometimes the singer exaggerates the break through repetition, as a yodel. As with other aspects of Hawaiian music, falsetto developed from a combination of sources, including pre-European Hawaiian chanting, early Christian hymn singing and the songs and yodeling of immigrant cowboys during the Kamehameha Reign in the 1800's when cowboys were brought from Mexico to teach Hawaiians how to care for cattle. Falsetto may have been a natural and comfortable vocal technique for early Hawaiians, since a similar break between registers called "ha'iha'i", is used as an ornament in some traditional chanting styles.
The singer featured here (a man!) is one of the most famous Hawaiian falsettos and he plays with his voice in a remarkable manner.
Enjoy this original aspect of the fantastic Hawaiian culture!