The awesomely talented Kina Grannis has got a new interview up, this time with Girls by Design. If you’ve ever wondered what a typical day is like for Kina, or how she grew as a musician in college, or how big a role her family plays in her life and career then make sure you give this one a read. It’s a quick one, so no worries. You can read it in full at either GBD or after the break =).
Kina Grannis has come a long way from her days as a four-year-old performing shows in front of her stuffed animals. Armed with her loving parents and her two wonderful sisters, Misa and Emi, Kina was able to fully explore her passion for music and songwriting, and has just released her beautiful album “Stairwells”.
From writing and playing songs in stairwells in her college days at USC, to her triumph of winning the “Crash the Superbowl” contest in 2007 and then shortly after leaving her major label to become an independent artist, Kina has built a huge fanbase that spans the globe. What makes Kina so amazing? Besides her talent for songwriting and her beautiful voice, Kina’s fans, or “Kinerds” would tell you it’s the time she spends connecting with each one of her fans, through her Twitter, Youtube and Facebook accounts.
I am elated to “spread the Kina love” with all of you, hope you enjoy my Interview with Kina Grannis!
1. Can you tell us how you became the “Kina Grannis” you are now?
Hmm… that’s a big question! I became the Kina I am now by having amazing family and friends, being encouraged and inspired by the most amazing supporters imaginable, pushing myself to do things outside of my comfort zone, by a lot of luck and hard work, by loving, hurting, dreaming, and learning, hard as it can be, to believe in myself.
2. What does a normal day for you look like right now?
Wake up, check my emails on my iPhone in bed, get up, make breakfast, go to the gym, do twititer Q&A on the elliptical, go home, shower, read more emails, tweet, respond to emails, update my websites, set meetings, take meetings, respond to more emails, check facebook, myspace, youtube, tweet again, think about what my next video should be, read emails, think about how grateful I am for my fans and street-teamers, tweet something corny regarding that, call up a family member, eat lunch, add more things to my to-do list, think about how I am going to get to the next step in my career, drink tea, get distracted by internet-related things, eat dinner, maybe watch a tv show, maybe play a bit of music, check email, brush my teeth, get in bed, tweet.
Something like that
3. How did going to university change your life, music-wise?
College was when I really grew into an artist. I’ve always been a pretty shy, self-conscious person, so despite the fact that singing was what I’d always wanted to do, it was not an easy thing to admit to. I found myself escaping to the stairwells in the dorms, and later, in apartment buildings, where I’d sit for hours on end with my guitar and sing my heart out. Inside the stairwells it was safe to be me and safe to sing whatever I wanted without worrying about what my roommate thought, or whether or not I was annoying the girl studying next door… haha.
I also joined a songwriting club my freshman year where I was introduced to about a dozen or so other students who were passionate about music and songwriting too. Through these people, I met other students and faculty in the music school who eventually offered to take me on with the Thornton Protege Program and produce my first EP. Quickly after finishing my first EP, I decided to record two more cds on my own in my garage. This was the point where I secretly started telling myself, “THIS is what I’m going to do.” Had it not been for those first supporters that believed in me and those very accepting stairwells… I’d be in a much different place.
4. What made you decide to leave your label and how did you make the decision?
What it really came down to was that I was not willing to sacrifice anything about my music for whatever benefits would come from working with a label. Their plans were to develop me and have me write with a bunch of other songwriters, but in my mind, I had been developing for the past six or so years and I was ready to get in the studio and make the album I’d been wanting to make for so long.
It was a tricky decision to make because of course, with a label comes a whole team of people working with you– not to mention a lot of marketing dollars that surely would have come in handy, but because I already had developed a following by being myself and making the music that meant the most to me, I knew that if I decided to do it myself I would have the support of a LOT of people who really cared. That made the decision much easier.
5. Was your family supportive of your career choice?
Definitely. I think it probably eased my parents’ minds that I graduated from college with good grades and a degree, but they never once suggested that I should consider a backup plan when it came to pursuing music. They’ve always been behind me 100%. I feel incredibly lucky to have the family that I do.
6. What do you do when you’re feeling down or stressed out?
One of a few things. 1) Call one of my sisters or parents and vent. They always make me feel better. 2) Put on a pretty album and turn off my mind for a bit. 3) Read through emails from the my supporters and remember how incredibly lucky and privileged I am to connect with so many amazing people. 4) Get outside. Walk. Put things in perspective.
7. Where do you find inspiration for songs?
Everywhere! Every person I meet, stranger I see, dream I have, song I hear, experience I go through, story I’m told, place i go — everything in my life somehow feeds into that mysterious part of my brain writes my songs.
8. What’s one of your favorite fan moments?
The Stairwells Release Party and KinaCon 2010 were just incredibly moving to me. To have so many fans there that had traveled from all over the world was very powerful and amazing. It was such an honor to meet everyone and thank them all in person for everything they’ve done for me.
9. How much time a day do you spend on the computer?
Aha. Most of it. And if it’s not on my lap, then I’m holding my iPhone.