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THE POP FIX Pick: Kina Grannis

by David Yi 20 February 2009 716 views 2 Comments

Every Friday, THEPOPFIX hand scoops the hottest dudes and flyest chicks of the moment. From far and wide, high and low, THEPOPFIX finds celebutants, musicians, actors, philanthropists, to normal Angelenos in the region who you as readers need to know to be “in-the-know!” So check us out every Friday, and see who’s poppin! Who knows, maybe even you or someone you know may land on our pages! Know someone who should be included in THEPOPFIX Pick? Email us at info@THEPOPFIX.com

The Driver- Kina Grannis

Image via KinaGrannis.com

Image via KinaGrannis.com


THE POP FIX was able to catch up with singer/songstress Kina Grannis, the 23-year-old woman who won 2008’s Super Bowl Songwriting Contest, over cookies and coffee. Grannis, now under Interscope Records, has a new album dropping in Spring 2009 and is competing at Saturday’s Kollaboration at The Shrine in Los Angeles. Kina was not only humble and unassuming, she was downright charismatic and extremely personable–like instant-best-friend personable. Best of luck to Kina Grannis in the future!


The sun sets on La Brea Avenue as a car zooms through the orange haze, the same that we call Los Angeles smog, on a late Friday afternoon. The traffic’s unbearable and cars honk their horns incessantly as a shouting match between two men in suits ensues.

Amid the chaos outside, on the corner of 8th Street, stands local coffee shop Mudspot, where Kina Grannis can be seen through a window typing away on her black MacBook, sipping tea while eating a chocolate chip cookie.

The juxtaposition of the coffee shop and the chaos outside is much like Grannis’ own life.

Just a year ago, the small-town girl from Mission Viejo, Calif., who never dreamed of living out a serious music career, was swept into the limelight when she won the Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” songwriting competition.

It was almost exactly a year ago that the shy, unassuming then-22-year-old’s music video for her song, “Message From Your Heart,” was played during commercials at the Super Bowl, where 90 million viewers worldwide got a glimpse of the budding artist.  It was just last year when she was signed to major label Interscope Records, where she transformed and transitioned herself from amateur YouTube singer to professional recording artist.

Kina sips her tea and smiles for the camera. Image via David Yi/THE POP FIX, Copyright 2009

Kina sips her tea and smiles for the camera. Image via David Yi/THE POP FIX, Copyright 2009

Overnight fame. Instant buzz. The new “it” girl in the music business. Not only was Grannis categorized in the same league as Sarah McLachlan by the OC Register, but her song was also being sold next to the likes of Jordin Sparks and Missy Elliott.

But that was then. This is one year later.

“On a normal day I record from 11 a.m. to 7,” she says of her upcoming album, which debuts this spring. “I’ve put so much into this and just hope I don’t let people down.”

Image via David Yi/THE POP FIX, Copyright 2009

Image via David Yi/THE POP FIX, Copyright 2009

By people, she means the 47,000 subscribers of her YouTube account, where she’s received over one million video hits and counting, and the many fans from around the world who tune in each week to check up on her. It’s her laid-back demeanor and best-friend vibe that comes across in her videos that makes her many fans feel as though they really know her.

“Thanks for being my friend, I love your songs videos and your voice!” a fan commented on one of her YouTube videos. “Gosh you’re amazing!”

“Wow. I was looking you up on wikipedia and figured out we have the same birthday, August 4th,” another fan commented. “But I’m born in 1992 so I’m 16 right now.”

Indeed, Kina seems like an old friend in person as much as she does through her videos. Her smile is inviting, her giggles contagious, her aura charismatic.

“I’m so fortunate to have supporters online, the ones that support me and got me through the past,” she said. “They’re real people and day to day they are constantly cheering me on, actually.”

Image via David Yi/THE POP FIX, Copyright 2009

Image via David Yi/THE POP FIX, Copyright 2009

The invisible faces are the ones that touch Kina’s heart the most, and the fans that inspire many of her songs, like her incredibly catchy first major single, “Message From Your Heart.”

The song, which emulates a beating heart, was inspired by an anonymous fan.

“A fan left a note that said something very encouraging,” Grannis says. “And then signed, this is a message from my heart—such a nice sentiment.”

With future performances at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, at Kollaboration at The Shrine, and a brief three-day tour on the East Coast, she’ll have the opportunity to do the thing she enjoys best—connect with others through music.

“It’s amazing how much I try helping myself with my music but seeing that I can help others and they can relate to me,” she said. “It’s about connecting.”


A chattering buzz now fills the café. I forget it’s a Friday night as the late night bustle begins. I look at my watch; an hour already passed. We both agree that it’s a good time to conclude the interview and as I rise, Kina taps my arm.

“Take the last cookie,” she offers, pointing to the oval plate. “You have to try it, it’s so good.”

I see her off as she gets into her car. Right then I realize that she’s setting off onto an unpredictable musical journey where neither she nor anyone else knows where she’ll end up, one that will zig zag up and down, twist and turn on a serpentine, undetermined path.

All that’s certain is that she is the driver, in total control. All hers.

And as I watch her off I bite into the cookie:


Visit Kina online at KinaGrannis.com or check out her YouTube account: youtube.com/user/kinagrannis

Missed the past THE POP FIX Picks? See Sam Sparro here, Chester French here, and Melanie Fiona here!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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  • karisha said:

    I really love Kina. She is so inspirational to me. Her lyrics, her personality, her vibe. I am so inspired by “taking blood and making art.” She’s so cute! OH MY LOVE HER

  • Rana said:

    LOVe her she is great, and talented!

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