Dynamic Hawaiian singer-songwriter Kimié Miner recently spoke with the Blvd. on the making of her latest single “Bamboo”, and the release of her new album “Proud as the Sun” available for download now.
With motherhood on the near horizon, the busy songstress also runs her own music label, and music publishing company Haku. This week (starting Dec.6) she will be performing live on the “The Love and Light Tour” w/ Tenelle.
Congratulations on this new stage in your life! We can see you are expecting from your latest posts on instagram!? How are you managing to take everything in?
KM: I love being a mama already and I’m so excited for this new adventure! But it’s been a challenge balancing being a recording artist who just released a new album, a multiple business owner, (I have my own publishing and record company, and I’m growing a new production company) and preparing to become a mother. I’m balancing all these hormones and sometimes I just want to take a nap, haha!
Your new single “Bamboo” is a very chill song with a lasting message, what’s the full story behind it?
“My boyfriend and I dated years ago. Then kinda went our own ways before getting back together like 10 years later. I instantly felt a connection to him again, but it was even stronger this time. This song is inspired by that kind of love.” -Kimié Miner
KM: My boyfriend and I dated years ago. Then kinda went our own ways before getting back together like 10 years later. I instantly felt a connection to him again, but it was even stronger this time. This song is inspired by that kind of love. The kind of love where you set out on your own path of self discovery and love so that when you do find someone to share life with, you already have all the love you need.
You seem like the type of person that’s been performing since Day-1. Tell me about Kimié’ as a child growing up in Hawaii?
KM: I was pretty shy. At least when it came to singing and performing. I wouldn’t do it unless someone forced me. I would sing, “All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” at family Christmas parties. My cousin once took me to her high school and made me stand on a bucket in her P.E. locker room and sing “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston for her classmates, and coach.
I always secretly wanted to be a singer though. It wasn’t until high school when I started writing my own music, and when I got the opportunity to open for reggae singer Barrington Levy, I knew I wanted to do this for a career, and share my songs with the world.
You’ve worked with the legendary Brian McKnight on the song “Goodbye”. How was it like working with a 16-time grammy award winner, and what did you learn from that experience?
KM: It was very casual actually! I woke up that morning in L.A., I was on tour, not having a CLUE that I would be at my cousin, Tim Miner’s home studio recording with Brian McKnight later that night!! It was surreal being around him. His talent is effortless! He barely opens his mouth and vocal riffs come pouring out like honey. It was intimidating at first for sure. I wrote the lyrics down the first time hearing the song through, and then recorded it. It was that quick! He’d say, “Hey jump on this harmony here” -referring to one of his vocal runs, and I’d have to learn it on the spot. He was so cool throughout the whole experience. I felt relaxed, and honored that he asked me to be on his song. I never would’ve thought I’d hear Brian McKnight jamming on a reggae track… with me on it!
Which music artists stole your ear, and shaped your own unique sound while growing up?
KM: Stevie Wonder, Bette Midler, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (Braddah IZ) to name a few.
What does music and songwriting mean to you beneath the surface?
KM: Music is my art form, and songwriting is my form of therapy. I love creating it; just as much as I love listening to it and discovering new songs & artists. Each song represents a different story or time frame in my life. They’re like little souvenirs I get to keep forever.
“In my culture, we use the ocean as a way to cleanse us. We call it hi’u wai when we jump in and let everything go.” –Kimié Miner
Tell me about a time in your life when you’ve had to overcome a major hardship, and how did your music play a role (if any) in getting you through?
KM: I’ve been through many things, and my music has always been my source of therapy. One song I wrote called “To the Sea” was on my first EP (same title). For me, that song was about learning the harsh realities of growing up; of having to take responsibility for my own actions. Dealing with regrets and let downs. It was therapeutic for me to acknowledge my mistakes, and to let them wash away. In my culture, we use the ocean as a way to cleanse us. We call it hi’u wai when we jump in and let everything go. This song for me was about my journeys and mistakes of the past and letting them all go to the sea.
What does the name Barrington Levy mean to you and your evolution as an artist?
KM: Opening for Barrington Levy on part of his West Coast tour was the catalyst to my career as a performing artist. He jumpstarted things for me. It was a sink or swim situation, for sure. He asked me to open his shows with just me on a guitar performing my original music, and later to come to Jamaica and record without having any experience at all. It was scary as a 19-year-old, but being on stage was the turning point for me. My passion outweighed my fear, and I enjoyed every scary moment of it. I even got a chance to work with Sly and Robbie in Kingston, Jamaica!
On the production of your first album you launched a Kickstarter campaign to create your own project. How did it feel to reach your funding goal with the support and validation of your fans?
KM: It felt amazing and rewarding! Kickstarter hadn’t been around too long so I was happy to have even made my goal! I loved that I had to promise them something in return. It felt good to get their support, and then deliver the project“To the Sea” in return. It was one that I could be proud of and share from my heart.
You are much more than a music artist, can you explain your Haku Collective business?
KM: Haku is a company by the artist for the artist. I’ve been a recording artist, record label, and music publisher now since 2011. Even before that I was recording and performing; and making mistakes all along the way. I noticed the need for better artist representation, and guidance for up-and-coming artists in Hawai’i. I wanted to help. So I created a collective with the aim of providing better opportunities for music artists in our community. The soundscape in Hawai’i is ever-changing, and we want to help present that to the rest of the world.
Hawai’i is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the world; what is your favorite place to get away to that a tourist would never find on their own?
KM: Well I could tell you, but then it wouldn’t be a secret! We have so many beautiful places here that are sacred to us as native Hawaiians, and it’s important for tourists to respect that. The best advice I could give anyone wanting to experience the true side of Hawai’i would be to visit, and learn from the locals. Educate yourself on our culture, and practices and you will see Hawai’i through new eyes.
You’ve been a part of some amazing underwater photography -How did you get into this?
KM: My family are native Hawaiians and ocean people. I grew up in the ocean, and so did my father’s father. I come from a family of fishermen, divers, and surfers. Even my grandma had the “squid eye” meaning she could spot octopus or he’e camouflaged on the reef, from the surface of the water.
Being in the ocean is a very natural thing for me. We’re just lucky that nowadays, we have the means to capture it all underwater through a lens, and it’s truly one of my favorite places to be!
What would you tell youth about going after their dreams even when things don’t necessarily workout the way they initially planned?
“Be authentic! Don’t worry about what’s trending or what’s cool. Just be yourself and do what moves you and makes you happy!” –Kimié Miner
KM: The worst thing you could do would be living someone else’s dream. Once you know who you are, and what you want to do, build your team and do it!
We all succeed on the shoulders of many before us, do you have any special thank you’s, you would like to share to those who helped you along the way?
KM: My team, and collaborators have been my biggest tool to any success I’ve had. I believe that you can have all the talent in the world, but if you are trying to do everything yourself, you will never get any sleep and everything else will fall apart. I’ve worked with amazing songwriters, producers, and music creators as well as managers and friends who have helped me to reach goals in my life. I thank my family and friends for being so supportive for all these years, and of course, my fans! You guys have always been so encouraging and supportive throughout my career. Thank you #Minerbirds!!
What’s next for you Kimié?
KM: Having a baby! And growing Haku into the kind of collective of which I, and Hawai’i, can both be proud of.
Kimié MinerPROUD AS THE SUN - INTERVIEW
Listen to “Proud as the Sun”available now digitally and in physical deluxe version! Click Here
Be sure to follow the talented Kimié Miner on Facebook and Instagram!
Love and Light Tour Dec. 6th – 15th
You can catch Kimié Miner on tour this month w/Tenelle.