Hometown: Kona, Hawai’i
Latest Album/Release: “Proud as the Sun”
Influences: I grew listening to Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, and Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.
TrunkSpace: How would you describe your music?
Miner: Acoustic soul & pop with a twist of island reggae.
TrunkSpace: Where did your musical journey begin? Did it start with a love for listening to music and then turn into a love for writing/performing?
Miner: I’ve always loved music! I didn’t realize how much I loved writing and performing my own music until college, although I started writing music on my ‘ukulele in middle school.
TrunkSpace: How long did it take you to find your voice as a singer/songwriter? Was it a long journey to discover what your musical POV was?
Miner: Singing always felt very natural for me growing up. I loved journaling, so they went together perfectly. But I’m still on a journey of discovery. Hopefully I can continue to grow until I leave this earth. My albums are like little souvenirs of a time in my life. Each one represents a different point of view for me and a different element I related to at the time. My first EP, “To the Sea,” was themed around water and my stories as a traveler. My second self-titled album was themed around land and my return home to my roots. “Proud as the Sun” is themed around air, seeing things from a new perspective, a bird’s eye view and becoming a mother.
TrunkSpace: How important was your upbringing and your surroundings during those formative years in becoming the songwriter you are today?
Miner: Oh man, it’s so important! I’m an emotional person and I feed off of my environment – it’s like I can feel every vibration coming at me. So I think growing up in paradise, as opposed to a big city, raised me to be a grateful, mellow, pretty down-to-earth person. My music reflects that sultry exotic happy island environment I felt around me.
TrunkSpace: When it comes to songwriting, what is your lyrical approach? Are you writing from experience or are you writing more as a storyteller?
Miner: I like to approach each new song as it comes. I’ve written songs while tears still dripped from my cheeks and stained the paper. But I’ve also written songs inspired by other people’s stories. I have a friend who told me her crazy life’s story of addiction, homelessness, and prostitution. I went home and wrote my song “New Day” about recovery and what that means to a broken girl. I think as long as I can relate to the song, it is therapeutic for me, whether it’s my story or not.
TrunkSpace: Your music as a whole has an uncanny ability to make us feel! You just can’t help but participate in the individual journeys when you’re within earshot of it. Do you set out to elicit an emotional response when you’re writing new material?
Miner: I really try to create my songs for myself first. The fact that others can relate is such a bonus for me! I didn’t even realize how important music could be until I saw the impact it can have on people, myself included. We all just want to be able to relate to each other.
TrunkSpace: Your new album “Proud as the Sun” was released in October. Looking at the various songs on that album, how far back do they go in terms of when they were written to when they were ultimately recorded? Did any of the tracks have a particularly long journey to get where they are in their current form?
Miner: I would say they spanned over the last three years of being written. It was amazing to see which songs fit on this album and how quickly it all came together once I realized I was hapai, pregnant. This was the quickest album I’ve put together in terms of song choice and artwork, visuals, etc., because I knew exactly what I wanted to say on it.
TrunkSpace: What do you think the album says about you in terms of who you are today? Does the collection of songs give any insight into the Kimié Miner of 2017?
Miner: I’ve grown into my own as a woman, especially on this new journey of motherhood. I feel empowered, beautiful, and full of a greater purpose. I want to share the joy I feel with others and bring their own light that they possess out of them!
TrunkSpace: Where are you hardest on yourself as an artist/songwriter?
Miner: I can be a real perfectionist when it comes to my music. I can sit in the studio and record the same verse 100 times if you let me. I want the whole performance to be just right. But I realized with this last album that perfectionism is really just a fancy form of fear. Discovering the news of my pregnancy just made me realize that our time is precious and I can’t keep putting off projects because I want it to be “perfect.” I want to encourage my daughter to be her authentic self always and not let perfectionism hold her back. Being flawed is beautiful.
TrunkSpace: In your opinion, what is the best way to break through all of the noise of the times and connect with new listeners? How do you share your music with people and build fans?
Miner: You know, I’m still figuring this all out. But I notice that when I open up to my fans and let them in on some of the things I normally wouldn’t share, that’s when they really connect and engage with me, whether it be at a show or on social media. I’m still learning to open up more and just be my true, authentic self no matter what. We are all beautiful unique beings created for a purpose. We just need to get out of our own ways and let our light shine.
TrunkSpace: What can fans expect from Kimié Miner heading into 2018?
Miner: I’ve already started working on a few projects in different genres than my last album. I’ve been feeling so creative during this time and just allowing myself to experiment. I’m continuing to build my company Haku Hawai’i (Hakuhawaii.com) and even working on a Christmas album. But if you follow me on social media you’ll most likely see my new journey as a mama bird in 2018. I’m looking forward to it.
“Proud as the Sun” is available now.
Featured image by: Brooke Dombroski