In a futile attempt to mimic those cool BuzzFeed articles, I’m sharing reasons why Kina Grannis inspires me:
1. She is the most humble, down-to-earth artist to ever grace the planet.
It’s pretty easy to see through an artist nowadays – especially through videos and interviews.
Thus, it’s so refreshing when an artist is truly passionate and invested into music and being happy. And she hasn’t changed despite all her fame. Even back in 2008, when her name was pretty big on YouTube, you can tell she was the same Kina then that she is now. The essence and soul of her spirit is 100% still Kina. She’s poised beyond her years, she’s incredibly modest, and she emits a soft, “Thank you,” along with a huge smile after every song she plays (at every show).
2. She can rock an Aussie and Kiwi accent like a boss.
3. She jumps off buildings and makes it look as sweet as cuddling a Corgi.
4. Her song lyrics are emotionally beautiful.
Along with the obvious fact that her voice is basically sent from heaven, her lyrics are what I really, really love. And she’s a rare breed who writes every one of her songs – and they’re all well-written.
Her latest album, “Elements,” is by far my favorite album out of anything else in my musical listening history. It doesn’t just scratch the surface – it really resounds through the deepest parts of the soul.
When that album debuted on May 6, I was caught up in an emotional mess. I lost the sense of happiness and didn’t know what I wanted out of my present and future. Her songs were my solace – especially “Write It in the Sky” and “Winter.” Oddly enough, her songs are what truly helped pull me out of my funk and really focus on myself first and foremost.
5. She keeps it simple.
Who needs loads of makeup, loud outfits, and designer things? Not Kina.
Now that’s a relatable person.
6. She gave a TEDx Talk.
Only inspirational people get invited to do that. Admirable.
7. She turned down a record deal to stay true to herself – and her fans.
From her big break winning the 2008 Doritos Smash the Super Bowl contest, she scored a record deal with Interscope Records. She later turned it down – to stay true to her musical style, her handwritten lyrics, and all of her fans.
8. She loves, values and thanks her family more than the traditional artist does.
That’s a beautiful thing. She also mentions that she wrote “Forever Blue” after her grandfather passed away and that she always had a difficult time dealing with the concept of losing loved ones. Her ability to shape such tough topics into beautifully uplifting songs are an amazing feat in itself.
And “My Dear” was recorded with her two sisters (in her sister’s living room for the album).
9. She is flawless in her own pure way.
And she pulls off every hairstyle better than any other human.
She even makes Emma Watson pale in comparison.
10. She admits to being awkward.
Even though she’s not. She just comes off as genuinely sweet. I don’t think she has a single mean bone in her body.
11. She loves her fans – and does everything she can to thank them and make that known.
Okay, this should have been reason #1, since it’s truly one of the reasons that makes her stand out so much. I’ve heard her reasoning behind being eternally thankful for her fans so many times. Yet I teared up when I heard her talk about it in person at her show. You can tell that her voice is filled with gratitude and happiness when she speaks about, and to, her fans.
“I feel like I’ve really been able to get to know a lot of them and involve them in the process. I owe them everything, so it is really important to share as much as I can with them.”
Her fans are known as Kinerds.
Heck, they even have an annual KinaCon.
12. She launched her own charity project, Run Team Kina.
In 2012, it raised approx. $71,886 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
“RTK is a two-pronged project. Our mission is to make a difference in the world and in ourselves.
(1) Making a difference in the world: We raise money and awareness in support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to help fund blood cancer research and patience services.
(2) Making a difference in ourselves: We challenge ourselves to live a healthier lifestyle by creating goals, supporting each other, and tackling things we never thought we could.”
13. She graduated from USC summa cum laude.
And she concurrently wrote her entire first album while in college. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
14. She plays the guitar (acoustic & electric), piano, ukulele… etc.
15. Her music video for “In Your Arms” was made with 288,000 jelly beans.
And then Jelly Belly sponsored her “In Your Arms” tour. How cool is she?!
16. She keeps her private life to herself.
Except for two relatively vague Instagram photos, she has never even alluded to getting married to Imaginary Future (Jesse Epstein). She doesn’t introduce him as her husband on tour or in interviews. BUT she always finds a way to still address those she loves – in a more modest way. Others in the industry should probably take note of how she just lives.
In other words, she doesn’t bombard the world constantly about her BFFs, the love of her life, or her [for now non-existent] kids. It’s pretty refreshing.
17. She covers songs that blow the originals out of the water.
This is my personal opinion, but seriously.
AND THIS. Yeah, da girl can rap.
How on earth is one person so talented?
18. Her mission in making music differs from that of others.
Just read the “thank yous” in her latest album, and it’s apparent.
She really cares. She cares about the most important things – about connecting to fans. About touching hearts. Who cares about the amount of money you make or numbers of shows you play? She proves that success isn’t measured by trite, overrated ideals of LA record labels.
19. She isn’t afraid to be vulnerable, honest and raw in her songs.
As mentioned repeatedly, Kina poured out every ounce of her heart and soul into “Elements.” The lyrics flow in such a way that connects on a far more emotional level than her past EPs and even Stairwells. It takes a great deal of courage to dig deep into sorrows, past hurt, fears, worry – and she wraps all of these up in such a beautiful way that also sheds hope on the present and future.
“This album is about growth, being vulnerable and honest with myself. Things like confronting death for the first time and also getting married. ‘Elements’ is very much about all the highs and lows that I have experienced in the last few years.”
20. She is the true definition of an artist.
By artist, I mean it in all forms – art, music, singing, dancing, creating, expressing, writing. Her Youtube channel alone proves that she loves sharing her creative endeavors with her fans all over the world.
And she also proves that you don’t have to be outspoken, outlandish, and scandalous in order to be like-able. She is candid about being very introverted and “running away to stairwells” to write songs while in college. Her honesty and modesty in a crazy music industry is applaudable. If even half of the world could be more like her, I swear we’d have heart plants growing on our windowsills while smiling and running through fields of golden poppy seeds with hands outstretched happily.
Buy “Elements” here.
Who inspires YOU?