Posts Tagged ‘Kina Grannis’

Getting to Know Starlet Kina Grannis

Posted by    |    April 14th, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Kina Grannis performs at the Kessler Theater Sunday, April 15, Doors at 7, Show at 8pm. The below interview was conducted in October 2010, when Grannis appeared in the Cambridge Room at House of Blues.

Kina Grannis is freezing. The green room at the House of Blues, which is adorned with funky wallpaper instead of living up to its namesake, is entirely too cold for the month of October in Texas, and Grannis’s thin black sweater isn’t helping very much.

It’s the Fall of 2010 and Kina is getting ready for her performance in the Cambridge Room, a cozy environment perfect for her fans that take her lyrics to heart. The audience will be able to get close enough to the stage to shout out their requests and see her fingers fly across the frets.

We begin the interview, and within moments, she and I are talking like old friends. Put two California girls in a room in Texas and they’re bound to bond over the lack of palm trees in the Lone Star state. After a stint in Austin, Kina can relate.

Photographer Emili Carmichael is taking pictures of Grannis during our conversation. “I feel like that light is probably doing scary things to my face!” she laughs as Carmichael’s flash emits a blinding light and the camera shutter clicks open and closed. It is pretty much impossible to make this girl look anything but gorgeous.

The first time I heard Grannis’s voice, I was casually listening to The Sixty One, browsing for new artists to add to my self-professed awesome collection of underground singers when I stumbled across her cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence“. My ears have forever submitted to her sweet voice and talent powerhouse. Her music is a comforting blend of honesty and hope. Grannis, the eternal optimist, has a way of writing the most dismal affairs into positive, uplifting melodies. (more…)

Band of Brothers, and not the Miniseries

Posted by    |    February 23rd, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Former US Presidents having nothing on Boyce Avenue. They (the band, not the Presidents) are playing a sold out show on Monday, President’s Day, which means audience members have ditched their history papers and Excel spreadsheets in favor of a placid concert more relaxing than a night spent on the couch, waiting for Tuesday’s obligations to swarm their minds and hinder healthy sleeping patterns. You can hear the voices of fans at the box office range in pitch from excitement to disappointment upon hearing the Cambridge Room at House of Blues is completely out of tickets.

A band of brothers hailing from Sarasota Florida, Boyce Avenue keeps it a family affair between Alejandro, Daniel and Fabian Manzano. They fall into the rock genre with a mature lyricism wise beyond their collective years. Drummer Jason Burrows is not a sibling, but possesses the kindred downbeats of a blended family member.

Boyce Avenue has progressed from former set lists fully loaded with melodious covers of hit songs that gained them international popularity, to sets mostly composed of original work. “This is our fourth time in Dallas, and we can promise you it will not be our last,” says lead singer Alejandro. Their audience has grown with them from the beginning as they worked to establish a name and create a place for themselves in the music industry. (more…)

In the Cambridge Room

Posted by    |    October 4th, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Kina Grannis is not wearing shoes. As soon as the singer-songwriter approaches the stage in the House of Blues Cambridge Room, she removes her black ballet flats and places her set list at the base of her microphone. Comfortable in her skin, she makes her fans feel like they are attending a concert in their own living room. “Oh my gosh, this is ridiculous,” excited fans clamor at their proximity to the stage while others yell out, “I love you. I love you more!” in contest like jewelry collectors bidding on rare pieces of amethyst. Kina walks onstage to mad applause, camera flashes, and fans holding self-professed ‘Kinerd’ posters. “I love your faces,” she excitedly exhales and prepares for tonight’s set.

She opens with World In Front of Me from her latest album, Stairwells. Her voice, strong and soulful, reverberates through the sound system, and I continuously catch myself singing along. The room is so intent on listening to her that I can hear camera shutters open and close with each snapshot taken in the room. “This is a song I wrote in Costa Rica about a friend I met in New Zealand from Canada,” the crowd laughed with her as she continued, “and it’s about a little place in England coincidentally called Cambridge, so very fitting for tonight.” Kina’s acoustic music is truthful and endearing, and she has her audience captivated. “Sometimes I get so caught up I forget to take pictures,” my friend says to me, and I can relate: the notebook in my hand periodically rests when she plays my favorites. “I really, really enjoy you tonight” she confesses to the room, and smiles as the audience sings her words back to her. (more…)

Make an Imaginary Friend

Posted by    |    October 4th, 2010 at 4:52 pm

When I was little, the idea of having an imaginary friend terrified me. What if it comes to life? 5-year old me inquired. As an adult, I am less concerned with projecting my thoughts into the surrounding air and having them talk back, so upon hearing the singer-songwriter Imaginary Friend, my quelled fear opened my ears to someone else’s thoughts-turned-lyrics. Jesse Epstein, the man behind Imaginary Friend (yes it’s just him – think Five Times August or Owl City – he’s just one dude) is starting his career in the music industry. Also playing the role of Kina Grannis’s tour manager/merch seller, this jack-of-all-trades has found his calling by pouring his emotions into a microphone. I want him to be my underground secret, but for purposes of your enjoyment, I will refrain from being selfish and share his talent with you all. It’s talent like his that deserves proper acknowledgement. (more…)

Catching up with Kina Grannis

Posted by    |    September 27th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Kina Grannis is driving from Portland to San Francisco, and I’ve got her on her cell phone – hands free, of course. I caught up with the Southern California singer-songwriter to ask a few questions of her most recent album, Stairwells.

Stairwells is a beautiful album with many songs about relationships you’ve had. Now that you’re busy on tour, are you finding your upcoming songs deal with different situations?

I would say that [the songs] do change, but it’s not too drastic. Throughout life the songs will change slightly because you look at the world differently. I tend to revisit the areas of my life – the issues that you always kind of have for yourself.

Tell me about your songwriting process.
It’s pretty weird like that, if I sit down and try to write a song, it’s impossible. When they’re ready they just kind of come out. They usually come out in an hour or so without me really trying. I find them more than construct them.

Which song of yours means the most to you?
I feel like they’re all my babies; they all have a special place my heart.

You’re a rock start at keeping up with your fans.
I love being able to connect with them and talk with everyone. I spend the majority of my day doing it. I love being able to talk to anyone, and I feel really guilty when I can’t do it. My fans have been everything since day one; it’s only naturally to respond [to them]. (more…)