Last Friday, I flew all the way across the United States to attend the album release party of a singer/songwriter I met through the internet and to hang out with 30+ fans whom I had never met face-to-face before that day.
You’re rolling your eyes right now. “This guy has had such a saaad life so far…best weekend ever? What a looooser!” That’s what you’re probably saying. Unless…you’re a member of the Kina Grannis Street Team. If you’re a member of the KGST, you’re probably smiling and nodding in affirmation.
People who are outside Kination have a hard time understanding the loyalty, enthusiasm, and love we have for Kina and her music. People have called me obsessed, laughing at and even belittling my constant twitter and facebook updates about Kina. It’s easy to judge someone who extends himself for something or someone he feels strongly about.
All of us Kinerds desperately want to see Kina get the attention she deserves. We want others to know and experience how genuinely happy Kina and her music make us. But, let’s be clear. I’ve never had any doubts at all about her bright future in the music industry.
The fact is: I believe in Kina Grannis. I believe in her because she’s a supremely talented vocalist and performer. I believe in her because her music is meaningful, complex, and poignant. I believe in her because of the way she goes about spreading her music: making lasting personal connections, embracing her endearingly quirky personality, and going independent in order to carve her own path as a personable and humble musician in a world inundated by boring and pompous musicians. I believe in her because she’s a wonderful person.
As Sher, a Street Teamer from Las Vegas who also attended Kinacon, writes in her own beautiful post about Kinacon, “I don’t think i can put into words every detail of the things that happened that weekend or the way i felt. i just don’t have the words to say to describe something as awesome as it was.” If Sher can’t do it, I’m sure I can’t do it either…the whole weekend was a surreal blur to me anyways. I’ll let pictures tell the story of the weekend…
Aaah I miss you Kinerds…let’s all meet up again soon. East coast please =)
Video Credit: Kina Grannis
Download Stairwells on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/…
Order a physical copy: http://www.kinagrannis.com
so… holy moly! last week was exciting. Stairwells debuted on the Billboard 200 without the help of a label or publicist!! it is 100% thanks to all of you for supporting me and my music and helping to get the word out– huge thanks to the kg street team, all the kinerds, youtubers, kg gift chain participants, anyone that’s passed my music on to a friend or bought my album! thank you times infinity!
for those that don’t have a copy yet, you can order a physical copy here:
& you can download from the following online stores:iTunes, Amazon, eMusic
hoping to do some touring soon! the more demand in a given city, the better chance i’ll get there, so spread the word in your area 🙂
also– gigantic shout out and thank you to all the kinerds behind KinaCon 2010. it was a huge success and it was such an honor to meet all of you! you all are amazing people and i cannot thank you enough for everything you’ve done and continue to do for me. so awesome.
oovret: Week 75
How much sushi did you eat?
no judging! *ahem*
1 piece of albacore toro
1 piece of albacore
1 piece of snapper
1 spicy scallop
1 normal scallop
2 pieces of salmon
2 pieces of hamachi
1 piece of hirame
1 piece of unagi
1 spicy hamachi handroll
2 spicy tuna handrolls
1 piece of amaebi
and i would’ve had an order of uni but they were out *tear*
Has there been an increase in web traffic since your article in the OC Register?
a little bit!
What are you going to do now that your album is finally out?
spread it as far and wide as possible. and tour 🙂 (eventually…)
Do you enjoy listening to “Vampire Weekend”?
i really do 🙂
Are you planning on selling “kg” boxers?
apparently people want them! should i do it?
Video Credit: PlasticAfro
Sorry I’m not sure why the Video is not showing up on the site…but you can go to the Source and see it there..Sorry about that Kinerds.. ❤
Even though you may have never met Kina Grannis, you might feel like you know her from somewhere. With the help of Doritos and an army of online voters, she was selected to have the video for her song “A Message From Your Heart” played during the 2008 Super Bowl and to be signed by Interscope records for a multi-album recording deal. She found, however, that as a small (yet talented) fish in a major label pond, she was better suited to find her way by booking her own gigs, producing her own music, and using love and attention to amass her ever-growing and devoted fan base.
This past Saturday night, she celebrated the release of her new album “Stairwells” at the Dakota Lounge in Santa Monica. A few hundred people packed into the tiny club to wish Kina well, sing along, and enjoy cuts off her new record. If you haven’t heard Grannis’ music, I’d describe it as uplifting and introspective, painful and hopeful, and without fail the kind of music you can’t help but smile at. Watching Kina play live (and listening to her talk between songs), you really see that she’s a genuine person playing genuine music. These songs are her life and she is eternally grateful you want to listen to them.
During the course of the show Kina played crowd favorites like “A Message From Your Heart” and her new single “Valentine,” and gave VH1 Storytellers treatment to newer tracks like “Mr. Sun” and “The Goldfish Song.” She also took the time after her set to talk to a long line of fans and autograph every copy of “Stairwells” that was put in front of her. This polite young girl from Orange County cracked the Top 25 albums on iTunes this week without the help of a record company or radio stations, and last night’s show proved why: Kina Grannis is very good at what she does and she cares about those who care about her.
Find out what all the buzz is about – download “Stairwells” on iTunes and watch out for tour dates at kinagrannis.com.
Source: Los Angeles Concert Calendar.com
You may remember Kina Grannis.Kina Grannis performs at her private CD release party at the Dakota Lounge, in Santa Monica, on Saturday, Feb. 27.ARMANDO BROWN, FOR THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Overnight, the Mission Viejo waitress’s wildest dreams came true, right? Well, not exactly.
Two Super Bowls later: No CD. No tour. No Big Splash.
“Every time I told someone what I did,” says Grannis, 24, sipping coffee in a West Hollywood Starbucks, “they were like, ‘You did what? You’re crazy.'”
Instead of a major tour, her career took a major detour.
Or did it?
MESSAGE FROM HER HEART
When her song aired during Super Bowl XLII, Grannis says, “My heart almost fell out of my body. I broke down for like five minutes, hugging people and just crying.”
The next day, her face adorned full-page ads in USA TODAY. And her song, “Message From Your Heart,” – recorded in one take in front of her laptop computer – shot into the iTunes Top 30.
Her euphoria lasted three months. That’s when her label suggested their songwriters help Grannis write an album.
“While it could’ve been a nice album,” she says, “I already had an entire album written. Those songs meant a lot to me.”
And not just her.
They meant a lot to “Kination,” her legion of 140,000 online fans, who’ve made her the 31st “most-subscribed to” YouTube musician of all time. Ahead of U2, Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson. And based, almost entirely, on songs recorded at home, in front of her laptop computer.
Grannis felt torn. In one hand, she held hundreds of thousands of dollars in big-time backing – instant fame. In the other, she held a thin stack of her own songs. She asked her online fans for advice.
Play your own music, they said. We’re behind you 100 percent.
Grannis took that as a message … from her heart. And walked away from a major label.
GOING IT ALONE
It is four days before her CD-release party – already postponed five times. But if she doesn’t fix this shipping problem herself, fans will get crumpled $10 posters.
“It’s all up to me now,” she says.
Actually, it’s up to her, her sisters and parents, who help with everything.
“I call (sister) Emi when I want to cry,” Grannis says. “And I call my parents when I have a decision to make.”
She reads more than 200 fan e-mails a day. Writes 100. She Tweets. Facebooks. Blogs. YouTubes. Posts homemade music videos with Happy Birthdays and shout-outs to fans.
She’s nurtured an intensely personal relationship with her fans, but the more popular she gets, the more exacting its price.
“Lately, I’ve had zero time for music,” she says. “I need every second to make this the most successful release it can be.”
She spent her life savings to record the new CD, “Stairwells.” With it came a flood of self-doubts for the singer who chose to go it alone.
“What if I spent all this time and money and it’s not any good?” she asks. “What if my fans don’t like the album?”
Excuse us, but if you’ve ever met a “Kinerd,” (and get ready, because you’re about to), well, that’s one problem she can cross off her list right now.
Two days early, they start flying in from Australia. Finland. Canada. New York. New Jersey. Driving up from Vegas and down from the Bay.
This for an unsigned singer who doesn’t even have a publicist. Or a booking agent. For a singer whose mother baked cookies for the event!
“Kinerds,” they call themselves. And “Kination.” The name tags, goody bags and awards they’re preparing are for “KinaCon,” a convention they’ve planned around her release party.
“I know,” says early arriver Alison Cosker, an Australian university teacher. “It sounds like a Star Trek convention. Or a cult.”
And at first it does.
These are fans who write Grannis’s name on school chalkboards – in Poland. Who play Kina Grannis CDs for passersby – in Paris. And leave Post-its with her name on trees – in Japan.
But then you hear how they all pitched in to buy a Finnish fan’s airplane ticket to this week’s party. How they send care packages to troops in Iraq and Kuwait. How they chat online with Grannis’ mom (“Mama G”) and dad (“Dr. G”) and sisters Emi and Misa.
“I’ve never met them in person,” says Army Sgt. Fabian Gloria, in Kuwait, “but it feels like we’re best friends.”
And then there are moments like this…
PART OF THE JOURNEY
“Bum-bum,” is the sound of a heart.
Grannis sings this near the end of “Message From Your Heart.”
Every time you laugh – bum-bum, bum-bum…
Every time you cry – bum-bum, bum-bum…
“I remember when I wrote that song, sitting alone in my bedroom, hoping someday people would sing this with me,” she says.
On Saturday, Feb. 27, they did – all 300 strong at the Dakota Lounge in Santa Monica.
“The buildup, the electricity, of waiting for that line,” recalls Cosker who stood in front. “I leaned over the stage and said, ‘Oh God, this is going to kill me.’ I couldn’t help but cry.”
Grannis herself could hardly sing the line.
“I was so overwhelmed with gratitude and excitement,” she says. “There was so much history in that moment.”
Tucked inside those few heartbeats was an unknown coffee-shop waitress singing in front her laptop computer and, possibly, a star waiting to emerge – on her own terms.
“It was more than singing along to a song in the car,” says Cosker. “It was part of Kina’s journey.”
Within a few days, Grannis’s self-made CD would hit #25 on iTunes and debut at #139 on the Billboard 200. With no more promotion than “kinerds” writing her name on chalkboards and in the snow and on Post-its left in trees.
“It felt like the beginning,” says Cosker.
In more ways than one.
Contact the writer: 714-796-6979 firstname.lastname@example.org