When you love something that much, it’s hard to get it off your mind. And when you find something that just fits with you and sticks, you’ve got every reason to keep that alive in your life.
Singer-songwriter Kina Grannis has been at the game for several years; and one Super Bowl commercial contest later in early 2008, she was propelled into YouTube stardom. Collaborating with dozens of popular YouTube artists, singer-songwriters and aspiring production companies over the years, Grannis has become one of the most familiar faces on the Internet. With her sweet, bubbly melodies and airy vocals, her melodic and enchanting presence on and off-screen can be widely felt. With her latest release Elements, she creates an emotionally-driven album that lies testament to all of the lessons, experiences and highs-and-lows that have shaped her into the person she is today.
With Tuesday night’s May 6 album release, Grannis opens up her 7-city U.S. tour (including 5 outside performances) at the Troubadour club in Los Angeles–a venue she feels at home to. With many family, friends, managers, artists and fans alike, Grannis laughed, teared up, knocked her mic-stand and silently tuned her guitar as everyone could feel the immense amount of gratitude that was seeping out of the girl.
It was a lovely and honest space to be in. And her voice touched hearts.
As myself a college-student who came into my studies knowing that I wanted to write and play music, going through college has been a little difficult at times. The days go by knowing my time could be creatively spent elsewhere. Precious time to fine-tune your art and skill seems to dissipate. And, having closely followed musicians who have inspired my own creativity and independence for the past decade, they make the road to following your heart seem feasible. Family, friends and mentors who have actively supported my work and upheld belief in my potential makes it that much harder to stop following your bliss. My bliss.
Though, I will never be bitter. College has allowed me the space to continue the growth that I started in high-school. As constantly moving and growing into a person who is starving to grow comfortable in her own skin, I have learned invaluable lessons about myself–from an ancestral past I never knew, a comfort around people, communities and movement, and an ability to produce, lead and collaborate–perhaps the most valuable lesson of them all is that, in everything that I do and at the end of the day, I find my heart slowly but surely finding its return within music.
As Grannis throughout the night continued to recount her thanks–thanking her producer for allowing her all the time in the world to create the album that she dreamed to make–I felt a familiar and old feeling of renewal. I could feel and understand the hardship of a starving artist; I could feel the utter bliss of a song that feels so right and natural; I could taste the nostalgia of memory and progress; and I could feel the passion for following, loving and embracing your gift.
Grown old of my own time and commitments within the school system, Grannis’ performance shed a light onto me. Leaving with a newfound feeling of calm, content and ease on my face, I was remembering why I love what I love. I was remembering what truly moves and motivates me. And I was remembering what that little girl inside of me always pictured for herself.
So, as one last thing, I would just like to say, “Thank you, Kina.” Thank you for reigniting this fire within me. Thank you for creating a space in which I remember–and we all remember–our bliss. Our bliss, as that humbling and creating force that drives our natural habitudes.
You are such a lovely force, and one of the most genuine and humble performers I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. And your image seems all-too-perfect all-the-time! Even though I was lucky to have only been 2nd-in-line to meet you, it was lovely to see how you were in no rush and up for our conversation (even when your management tried to rush. P.S. She “looooves Dia”!) There will always be haters commenting on your videos about your hair, but honestly–you rock it when others hardly can. (Your face is too fair and picture-perfect, anyway.) Keep following your bliss and doing you. Your work ethic is truly admirable.
“You let the fire out, and it’s right in front of me”
Check out my Video Compilation and full playlist of the concert here: Kina Grannis’ laughs, mishaps and sentiments at her “Elements” Album Release Show: A video compilation | beauty within