Lei was born in Denver, Colorado. Her father is Panamanian and her mother is Chinese. After birth, her parents moved to Panama where she grew up and went to high school. At age 20, Lei moved to Florida with her mother. In Florida, she went to The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. It was at the university where she came to like surfing and skating. This is where her name comes from. "Keeani" is the name of a character in the surfing movie North Shore. The name means wave in Hawaiian. "Lei" means flower necklace.
Lei grew up with an interest in strong women. Her father worked as a photographer. She used to take some of the photos of naked women. Lei first started working in pornography over the Internet with her boyfriend. While working in Miami, she met the actors Kelly Kline, Harmony Rose and Tory Lane. From them, she learned more about the adult film industry. After this, Lei moved to Los Angeles to start a career in pornographic videos.
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