Līhau was born and raised in Pearl City but lived for most of her life in Kaimukī. Her musical training began with piano lessons at age 8. Three years later, Līhau decided to focus on the musical instruments that she was learning at Hanahau‘oli School, the trumpet, alto saxophone and cello. After dabbling for a year in each, she chose to concentrate on cello, which she played in the Kamehameha Schools orchestra until the 10th grade when she decided to try singing. She auditioned for and was admitted into the Kamehameha Schools Concert Glee Club, from which she received her only vocal training. After graduating from Kamehameha in 1999, she attended UH Mānoa and music somewhat disappeared from her life. An avid hula dancer since the age of 3, she had always thought of herself as a dancer, never as a musician.
A student of Hawaiian language throughout high school and college, Līhau enrolled in Puakea Nogelmeier’s Papa Mele which nurtured her fledgling attempts at song writing. Although she still did not play any Hawaiian music instruments, she fell in love with the art of creating lyrics, something she continues to work at. In 2005, Līhau was nominated for a Nā Hōkū Hanohano award in Haku Mele for her composition, Ka Lehua Pūnono, that was recorded by her brother Kale‘s group, ‘Ale‘a.
While at UH studying for Bachelors in both Hawaiian Studies and Marketing, Līhau met Kellen, with whom she shared many mutual friends. Kellen asked Līhau to start playing music with him, teaching her the bass along the way. Līhau’s musical studies began at the same time as her graduate studies and provided a much-needed outlet from her stressful dual degree JD/MBA program. When Līhau (finally!) graduated and successfully passed the Hawai‘i State Bar exam, she decided to give in to Kellen’s pleas to take music more seriously and Pili o Ke Ao was born.