So the wonderfully amazing Kina Grannis stopped by our studio today.. I kinda fanboy’d out on her.. asking her questions about her tour and Why Judy didn’t get with Phil in the FunEmployed Series LOL But she was sooo nice, and if you haven’t had a chance to hear this brilliant singer, check out her youtube channel and subscribe..
She’s starting her tour in 2 days.. and one stop is here in San Diego’s Anthology, its a venue i’ve wanted to check out since they opened and so far only like 2 bands not including Kina, were enticing enough to make me think twice about going.. but Kina’s show is one I want to see, especially after seeing how well her Springtime tour went..
Source, Picture Credit, & More-> DjDwin.com
@KinaGrannis hey San Diego! i’m going to be playing a couple songs on San Diego Living (San Diego 6-The CW) tomorrow morning at 9am– be sure to tune in!
WHEN: Tomorrow, September 14, 2010
WHAT: Live Performance, @ 9 AM on San Diego Living
Info on tomorrow show from SanDiego6.com
• Kina Grannis performs live
• We get a preview of the up lifting artists taking the stage at the 3rd annual Praise Fest
• Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern is on the attack but will they win Burger Wars – your vote decides!
Videos Twist had on their page:
Baby-Justin Beiber Cover by Kina Grannis
Twist got to chat with Kina Grannis about her songs and upcoming tour! She told us all about her favorite artists and even some funny stories. Check it out!
Would you like to see Kina Grannis on her tour? Check out her sound in the videos above and let me know what you think!
TWIST: How have things changed for you since you got your big start at the Superbowl [Kina won the Doritos Crash the Superbowl contest, getting a recording contract and having her music video played during the commercials]?
KINA: They’ve changed in almost every way I can think of. For one, since then I’ve been doing music full-time, which is just amazing. It has been my dream for quite a while, so that’s been awesome. Some of the biggest things that came from that contest was I had this huge network of support online. People that had discovered me throughout the contest and have discovered me since on YouTube and things like that, and it’s just been really fun, kind of growing with them…
TWIST: How do you choose the cover songs that you often sing on your website?
KINA: In a few different ways. Some of them are just songs that I’ve known and loved for a while and I just really want to share with people. Other songs are songs that are big on the radio and my fans will write in with requests. Once I hear a song requested enough times, I figure I may as well do this. Those ones are a lot of fun because it’s kind of a fun challenge for me to listen to a song and try to figure how I can make it mine and how it can relate to me.
TWIST: How did your cover of “Baby” come about, was that a request?
KINA: That was a request but I also think Justin’s amazing. I think he has one of the best voices right now and it’s such a fun song. People were requesting it and I had it stuck in my head anyway, so I figured I might as well do this song.
TWIST: Do you have any funny stories from being on tour?
KINA: Touring is a bit of a new thing for me, so this time I’m kind of like let’s see what happens, if I can pull this off, and it was such a great experience. It’s fun meeting all the people in the different cities, and people bringing you little trinkets or showing you their tattoo of Kina on their arm and stuff like that.
TWIST: Do you have any embarrassing moments, anything on tour, or just something in your daily life?
KINA: It’s one of the first shows and you’re trying to come off as just not completely awkward, so I’m on stage and I stepped on the bottom of my mike stand and the microphone just smashed into my face, and I would have like almost gotten a smacked lip. That was one of those times where I’m like I think this is a moment where I just need to laugh at myself and pretend it doesn’t hurt as much as it does and just move on.
TWIST: Do you have any dating advice?
KINA: The most important thing when you start dating is to make sure that they’re always being honest and they’re communicating about how they’re feeling and all of that stuff. Make sure that you find someone that you can really respect and trust. I think that’s huge because, especially when you’re young, it’s so easy to be swept off your feet by someone because he’s cute or popular but at the end of the day you need someone that you can really trust and respect and that you know is going to trust and respect you also.
TWIST: Do you think you’d ever date a fellow musician?
KINA: I understand that some people like to stay away from people that are in their industry but I think the most important thing is finding a person that you really like and whatever they do, you can deal with it.
TWIST: Is there anyone who’s currently on the radio, whose music you really like?
KINA: Justin Bieber, he has an amazing voice. I remember finding him on YouTube years ago before anything had happened. I was thinking this kid is going to be huge no one can sing like this, this is crazy. I enjoyed seeing him kind of rocket to stardom, because he deserves it.
TWIST: Thank you so much Kina!
KINA: Thank you Twist!
Make sure to leave Twist a little comment too…Thanks! ❤
With concert sales falling, YouTube stars rising and “American Idol” (as fans know it) ending, this summer has raised a lot of questions around the future of the music industry. For today’s Ypulse Interview we reached out to Grammy winning songwriter and producer Toby Gad for an insider’s perspective. Along with working with many popular artists including Beyonce, Fergie, Demi Lovato and Kelly Clarkson, Toby specializes in building the careers of young talent.
Below he speaks to some of the recent changes in the record industry, what’s required to make it in music today and speculates on what will become of the record company.
Ypulse: How do you see platforms like YouTube and MySpace changing the music industry?
Toby Gad: I think it is giving the power back to the individuals. Now it’s up to the artist to not just rely on the record label to do all the footwork because artists can do most of the footwork themselves these days. They can build their own fan base via MySpace where they have their own audience and they have their own feedback. It’s a huge change and the record labels that used to be A&R-ing [Artists and Repertoire] records and putting records together and were in between the audience and the artists are now almost replaced in certain ways by media like YouTube where the artist can get direct feedback from the listener.
Look at artists like [Dutch singer] Esmée Denters. Justin Timberlake signed her to his record label after she had a huge buzz in Holland with 50 million YouTube views a year ago. She started out as an unknown kid in Holland just singing other people’s songs getting feedback like “try to sing this song,” or “I don’t like how you sing this.” That’s the same feedback A&R at a record label would give new talent. It presents a lot of opportunities for artists.
YP: How has the role of tastemakers like MTV and the radio changed in this new landscape?
TG: I think it has given them huge competition if not putting them out of business. Now kids have their own choices and can also see what their friends like with services like YouTube. The tastemakers are directly the audience.
YP: How do you see forces like The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon creating new models in the tween space with stars like The Jonas Brothers? What effects, if any, do you see with new platforms?
TG: I don’t think [the models] are new. That package has always been there where kids have sitcoms with the stars on them also making albums.
[But these platforms] allow artists to be very powerful if they seize the opportunity and artists can speak to all their fans and tell them what they like and get instant feedback. The record company and brands aren’t in between the artist and fans like they used to be.
For instance, an artist I’m writing with in two weeks, Kina Grannis, has her own fan base and no record deal. She just sold out a show in New York with 500 people. That’s without a record company, without any support, just from putting her own music on MySpace and being active herself. I think that’s really amazing. A massive change.
YP: What opportunities do you see for brands in this space?
TG: There is a huge opportunity with brands and especially TV shows. If you look at that song “Jar of Hearts.” That’s by an artist that was completely unknown before and she had the chance to put the song on “So You Think You Can Dance?” It went on ITunes after that and overnight it sold 50,000 downloads. Now Atlantic Records signed a deal with her that was one of the biggest deals of the year just because of So You Think You Can Dance. So yes, if you have a brand and a song, you can do a lot of damage.
Read the rest of the Article HERE
Kina Grannis has come a long way from her days as winner of the Doritos Crash the Contest in 2007. Since then, she has not stopped using social media sites like YouTube to propel her work. As an independent artist, Kina’s album, Stairwells, debuted on the Billboard 200 when it was released in February. Meanwhile, her single, “Valentine” has received more than two million views on YouTube.
She started playing the guitar at the age of 15. At the University of Southern California, she was selected by Thornton School of Music to produce a six-song EP during her sophomore year, Sincerely Me was released in 2005. Grannis now plays in front of sold out crowds in New York and has toured throughout North America. Her songs have been featured on ABC’s General Hospital and MTV’s College Life. Stairwells strongly showcases her sweet voice with melancholy tones, filled with hope.
She recently performed songs from Stairwells at Berklee College’s Red Room in Café 939. I was fortunate to speak with her about everything leading to her career up to this point and her newest CD, Stairwells.
BLAST: You have an interesting ethnic background (Japanese, English, Irish, French, Dutch, Welsh, and Scottish). Does this affect you as an artist or your writing?
KINA GRANNIS: I’m not sure that it affects the words so much because I’m just going through life feeling and thinking just like anyone else. In the industry, it definitely has played a role because you connect with different people in many ways. I’m kind of this in between weird thing, so finding that connection can be harder. I’ve always been proud of my heritage and I definitely feel ownership over both sides. I think it’s just a part of me that I grew up with and I carry along with me.
BLAST: How has your writing changed after you graduated college?
KG: I don’t know that it did not necessarily change now that I’m done. Ever since I’ve been writing, I have slowly been growing and learning how to do it better and honing in on my craft so to speak. I guess what I’ve really gotten better at since then is not being as afraid to write about the things that really scare me or are really personal. It’s easy to write about ambiguous things. To really open up and bear it all can be really hard to do, but that’s when you get the most meaningful songs. So, trying to get better at that is a little hard.
BLAST: Do you feel your education prepared you for your music career?
KG: Well, I studied social sciences and psychology, which I studied because I just find people very interesting. I had originally thought I would study music theory or music industry. Once I started studying those, I realized I wanted to do that but I did not want to learn it. I guess my college education has helped to prepare me in that in trained me to learn how to think and problem solve and be competent.
BLAST: What do you plan on doing with your degree in social science?
KG: I loved my college experience. It was great and I thought my classes were incredibly interesting but deep down I knew that I could never picture myself doing anything other than signing and sharing my music with the world. As long as I’m able to do that I will continue to do that.
BLAST: How has your life changed in the past two years since releasing Stairwells?
KG: Everything’s been amplified so much! The fan support they are just amazing and they have been there with me the whole way. Being able to tour the country and meet all these amazing people has been an amazing experience. I came from a place where I would play in my hometown and hope that twenty people came to now, where I can go across the country and 550 people come to my New York show. It’s just been an amazing transition.
BLAST: Winning the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest helped you to become known to the public. Do you think there are any negative effects of winning that contest?
KG: None that are too negative to outweigh the positives. The only negatives were that for a while people are going to call me “the Doritos girl” or “the super bowl girl” and things like that but I’m just a musician. At the same time, they launched my career and gave me the opportunity to do it full time. Whatever nicknames come along, I am fine with.
BLAST: What made you decide to stay an independent artist since you were offered a record label with Interscope Records after winning the Crash the Super Bowl contest?
KG: It was an interesting decision but when I finally met with the label, I was ready to go. I had an album written and I was ready to give it to everyone. Their plan was a slower one where they would have me be developed and write with a bunch of different song writers. I couldn’t give up these songs that meant so much to me and give up my creative freedom like that; it didn’t feel right. Especially having the amazing online support, I knew that if I go out by myself, I’m still going to have people who believe in me and supporting me in my decision.
BLAST: I read that you shipped your own merchandise, booked you own shows, and other tasks that normally a record deal would manage. Do you continue doing this and when did you find the time to write?
KG: I did, right until I released Stairwells. Thank goodness or else I would have died! I started doing it probably two and a half years ago. I had my three old CD’s and it was a fun way for me to really connect with people and thank them. I’d write little thank you notes in every CD, put some stickers in, and handwrite the thing. It was really fun for me and I was sad to give it up; but at the same time, it was like, well, you can postage things for five hours or you can pick up your guitar and be a musician again.
BLAST: I’ve also read that you taught yourself how to play the guitar. How hard was learning?
KG: I don’t remember it being too hard. I was so excited and wanted to do it so badly that I kind of locked myself in my room and did it, I played day after day after day. It’s kind of a blur in my mind, I don’t really remember. I’m sure I struggled but I do remember my fingers hurting a lot.
BLAST: What motivated your decision to allow free downloads of your single “Valentine”?
KG: Valentine was the first song that was getting out for the album. I wanted as many people to hear it as possible and have them give it to their friends and family and put it out in the world. At that point, my album was going to come out and people could buy it but I wanted to let people know that here’s this little gift from me, please take it and give it to everyone.
BLAST: You post cover songs on your Youtube channel. Why did you decide not to use any on Stairwells?
KG: This was a really important album in that it was my first legitimate whole album I was putting out by myself. I wanted it to be all songs that I had written and meant a lot to me. While I love doing covers and they are all great songs, they are not my words and my emotions and it was not the right time for that but it’s something that I’m open to.
BLAST: What is the significance of the title Stairwells since it isn’t a song on your album?
KG: When I was in college, I had already started playing guitar and singing and songwriting but I was still very shy. At that point, I had this huge desire to be writing and singing but I didn’t necessarily want to be doing it in front of anyone or disturb the peace. So I found myself retreating to random stairwells and my dorm and lecture halls and I would just sit there and play for hours. The stairwells were the place where I grew into an artist and I just wanted to pay it tribute.
BLAST: I’ve read you’re an avid supporter of cancer research. Is there a personal significance for supporting this cause?
KG: Yes, my mother was actually diagnosed with polysithia vera about maybe ten years ago at this point. Obviously it’s something that is really important anyways but when that happened, it really hit home. It’s such a scary and unfair thing and I like to fight it as much as I can.
BLAST: Is she well now?
KG: She is ok. It’s under control right now.
BLAST: I’m glad to hear that.
KG: Thank you.
BLAST: Now that you’re album is out, what can we expect next from you?
KG: I’ve got another tour coming up in the fall on the west coast and a little tour date next summer. Other than that, I’m going to try to get back in the writing process again because I’ve been in release mode for so long.
BLAST: We want to congratulate you again with your tour and your performance today because you were really amazing.
KG: Thank you. Thank you so much!
Meet soulful singer/songwriter Kina Grannis. If her name sounds familiar, well, her single “Valentine” has been viewed on YouTubenearly 1.5 million times! The 24-year-old made her mark online back in 2007 when she entered and won the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl Contest. Her video for a song called “Message from Your Heart” was seen by the 97 million viewers of the game and well, the rest is history. Now the unique indie-pop darling of Japanese, English, Irish, French, Dutch, Welsh, and Scottish descent self-released her debut album Stairwells in February and has been on the road ever since. CG was lucky enough to pin Kina down and get the scoop on what it’s like to live out her dreams!
Cosmogirl: When did you start singing?
Kina Grannis: I’ve loved singing since forever. Whether it was with my sisters while cleaning the kitchen, putting shows on for my stuffed animals, writing songs about my stuffed animals, starting an a capella group with my cousins while on vacation, or awkwardly singing along to karaoke tracks alone in my bedroom – singing always found a way into my life. However, it wasn’t until halfway through high school that it dawned on me that singing wasn’t just a hobby, it was something I had a growing need for in my life, and that was about when I adopted the neglected guitar I found under our piano and started singing about all the things I could never say.
CG: You have a multiethnic background – how has that influenced you?
KG: Being hapa, or more specifically, half-Japanese half-Euro mutt (English, Irish, Scottish, Dutch, French, Welsh, German. . .in case you were wondering), has definitely helped shape who I am. It’s very cool to get to identify and learn about all these unique cultures and I think it’s helped put the world in perspective. Since I don’t feel like I belong solely to any one of them I find that it makes me even more interested and open to other cultures as well. It’s also fun looking ethnically ambiguous because no one can quite put a finger on what I am and it’s very entertaining to me!
CG: You won the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest a few years ago – what was that like and why do you think you won?
KG: That was an amazing experience. The two months I was competing in the contest were completely insane . . . I posted a video a day for almost two months and was hardly sleeping, but I think it really pushed me to give music everything I had in me. I knew it was a chance I couldn’t miss. The funny thing is I never saw my music video when it aired during the Super Bowl because as soon as I heard my song start I was in tears for the next 10 minutes! The most amazing thing that came out of all of this, however, was the support that had developed online. Without the people that came back day after day to vote for me, I’d be nowhere, and I really owe it all to them.
CG: You were very brave and actually walked away from your first record deal. Why?
KG: The people at the label were great but at the end of the day our visions didn’t match up and I knew I had to do it my way. The potential success that could come with signing with a major label didn’t quite outweigh how important it was for me to make my music the way I knew it needed to be made. It was a hard decision to make, but I’ve never regretted it for a second and it’s only become more clear to me after making and releasing Stairwells that it was the right one.
CG: Tell us about Stairwells and the inspiration behind the album.
KG: In college, I faced an interesting problem. I wanted to play music all the time and yet I wasn’t ready for anyone to hear it. To remedy this, I took to retreating to stairwells as a safe place to sing and write music. It was there that I wrote most of my songs in college and really grew into an artist. When I was trying to name the new album I did a lot of reflecting on how far I’ve come from those days and it just seemed like the right time to pay tribute to all the stairwells that took me in.
CG: Your first single is called “Valentine.” What have you experienced when it comes to love and relationships?
KG: There were two main points I wanted to get across in Valentine, the first being that yes, Valentine’s Day is an arbitrary day, but why would you not take that excuse to celebrate love? The second point. . .since it is just an arbitrary day. . .why not treat every day like Valentine’s Day? In finding love, I think it’s important to be patient. In being in a relationship, I think it’s important to be honest, to communicate, to respect and trust, and to strive to give more than you take. As for heartbreak. . .there’s no easy way out, but it’s important to remember that even though everything feels awful now, it will get better, you will meet someone else, and in the meantime, you can continue to grow and learn and live life surrounded by people that love you.
Make sure you leave a comment at Cosmo Girl and show Kina support, woot! This is so Exciting! Keep up the Street Teaming Guys! You’re doing a Fabulous Job! Need Material go -> Street Teaming Items