"Sometimes I'm in trouble and sometimes I make mistakes, but I'm ok with that." ~ Kimie
"Trouble" Kimie Miner
Local girl Kimie Miner has definitely been busy writing and singing
music that speaks to the core of each and every one of her fans. Her
music encompasses soul with a pop sensibility and an island style
that's all her own.
Kimie was born and raised in the Hawaiian islands, and became accustomed to traveling a lot as a child after her parents' divorce. After commuting back and forth for years, between Oahu and Hawai'i (Kona), Kimie found comfort in the stability of Kamehameha Schools as a boarding student and eventually developed her independence there. Although she discovered her passion for singing and music at a very young age, it was there that she developed her songwriting and artistic style.
When she was 14-years-old she started to teach herself the guitar. Inspired by artists like India Irie, Lauren Hill and Eva Cassidy, she approached her songwriting as if it were an entry in her diary. She sang about very personal experiences. One of her earliest songs called "Lullabies" reflects this passion and was just released on her new self-titled album this past fall. Because these songs were so close to her heart, Kimie would only share her music with a few of her closest friends, one being her now personal manager, Kekoa Kapua. They met as freshmen in high school where Kapua encouraged and pushed her to follow her dreams and delve into her passions. This friendship has stood fast as a pillar of support in her career.
"I ulu no ka lala i ke kumu: the branches grow because of the trunk" means that without our ancestors, we could not exist. That is the beauty of having pride in your culture and being able to know who you are." ~ Kimie Miner
"In this business it's so important to have people that you can
trust," says Kimie.
Establishing lasting relationships in this business is a vital part of success and longevity.
Success also comes with very hard work and almost always with the inevitable opposing forces.
"I've had a few fall outs with friends over the years and bad experiences with complete strangers who didn't want to share in my success. It was during a time when things were shifting in my career. Hawai'i radio was playing more of my music and I was performing a lot more, when I had to go to the police about a death threat emailed to me," Kimie shared.
"What doesn't kill me makes me stronger." ~ Kimie Miner. Kimie took all of the negativity and used it to create her song called "Haters" which later became a remix featuring some of Hawai'i's lead female artists.
"The thing about music is that it is so therapeutic. No matter what we're going through or what we're feeling, we can always express ourselves through music."
One of Kimie's most memorable experiences was her first North American tour with "The Green" in 2013.
"We did something like 28 shows in 35 days all across the states. It was the first time I had been to many of those cities." Not only was it her first time to many of these places, but it was also there that she had some of her first experiences, like her first snowfall in Aspen, Colorado or eating beignet's in the French Quarter of New Orleans.
"I'd really like to travel more abroad. It's always been one of my greatest passions to see different places, meet different people and learn about different cultures."
Speaking of culture, Kimie is very proud of her roots to Hawai'i and the wings it has inspired her to grow. She embraces her good points as well as her flaws, and draws on that for inspiration for her music.
"Kimie is a Japanese name and the Kanji, or meaning, translates to 'the branch of one's self," she shared. "I believe in the power of a name. It was in me from the beginning to forge my own path and to become independent while still understanding where I came from."
Kimie firmly stands behind her Hawaiian people through organizations whose missions align with her own. She believes that teaching the children about their culture, giving them support and love, and encouraging them to branch out and explore the world, will help them to find their true identities.
She works closely with two children's non-profit organizations in Hawai'i. One of these charities is Na Kama Kai, or "Children of the Sea". Their mission is to empower youth by creating, conducting and supporting Hawaiian cultural based ocean programs. These monthly clinics are free for children on O'ahu. The second charity is Mana Maoli and their Mana Mele Program. Established in 1999, this non-profit's vision is to "facilitate individual and community healing and empowerment by fostering lifelong learners who think, feel and act in ways that are 'pono' (harmonious, righteous). Kimie is a mentor to these students and has traveled to the neighboring islands to speak and to share music with them. Learn more about these organizations at nakamakai.org and manamaoli.org.
On May 28, 2016 Kimie won a Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Contemporary Album of the Year. This was her first Na Hoku Award and she was absolutely stunning in the gowns she wore, which were designed by New York Designer, Oday Shakar (above). Despite all of her successes, Kimie is still down-to-earth and fun loving! For instance, when we asked her what her favorite ice cream is, her response was, "honestly, I really don't think I can choose," she said laughing. "Do I really have to choose because it seems unfair to pick just one. Ok I'll take 3 scoops with Pistachio Gellato, Salted Caramel and Kona Coffee!"
She travels often but always looks forward to coming back to her island home to find her 'piko' (center) again. She loves to spend time at the beach with her family and close friends, jamming, surfing and collecting shells that have washed up on the shores of Hawai'i.
She has some advice for aspiring musicians and singers out there.
"First, you need to understand your strengths. You will want to build a team, whether it's a manager, agent, stylists, etc., so knowing what you need will help to choose team members who can help you with your weaknesses. Your team will be your backbone and help you to accomplish and juggle the many things you will have to do. Know that you can't do everything all of hard work and can be grueling at times. Surround yourself with people who will encourage and support you."
She also encourages anyone interested in the music industry to utilize the internet and social media outlets. She originally started by posting her music on Myspace and continues to post her music and music videos on YouTube and soundcloud to promote them on Social Media. She recently released a new music video of her song entitled, "Trouble", which talks about her coming into her own. Her message is about finding confidence in yourself and being happy with who you are flaws and all!
One last tip from her to you is to sign yourself up for organizations like HARA, NARAS and ASCAP or BMI in order to network with other professionals in the music industry.
Follow Kimie Miner on Social Media!