Well hey there. I make music. And my album comes out today! And I like you.

Check it out the new album Elements here: http://kinagrannis.com

This is me: http://instagram.com/p/noSkDVJsR0/

Comments: 495 • Responses: 45  • Date: 

JXiaty76 karma

I guess it's not really a question but a thank you.

Around five years ago, you were playing a show in the Seattle, WA area that I desperately wanted to go to but couldn't. That night, while I was sitting at home being sad I got a phone call from a friend who had gone to your concert. I picked it up to your voice on the phone saying you were sorry I couldn't come to your concert. I just want you to know how amazing that was and how much it meant to me. Stairwells helped me through some really tough times in my life and it stunned me to actually hear the voice behind those songs say my name. Thank you for being so lovely and down to earth!

kgrannis51 karma

thank you so much for sharing this :) i am so glad that stairwells helped you through some rough times. that's really all i could ever hope to do with my music. thank you for supporting and listening! <3

noobwallerinfinity39 karma

Hi Kina. First, I want to say how inspiring you are. You've really matured as an artist, and I think Elements really showcases that, but at the same time you haven't lost that magic that made us all fall in love with you when you first posted "A Message From Your Heart." Thank you for making beautiful music. :o) Now time for questions!

  1. Do you have a song that you are particularly proud of?
  2. If you could collaborate with anyone (living or deceased), who would it be?

kgrannis41 karma

thank you so much! that really makes me so happy that you feel that way :)

  1. i'm generally pretty awful at answering questions that require me to pick any sort of favorites... but i'm going to try here. i think i am really proud of every song on this album, but if we're calling it strictly from a songwriting perspective, i think i'd have to go with "winter".

  2. imogen heap, bon iver or sigur ros.

kgrannis37 karma

thank you all so much for joining me on my first ever AMA! as much as i'd like to sit here all day and answer every single question, i just realized i actually need to head to sound check for the release show tonight in a couple hours--time to get moving! thank you all for your support and enthusiasm. i am truly so honored that there are humans like yourselves in this world that support what i'm doing and enjoy my music.

i hope you enjoy elements. i put everything i had into this album and i couldn't be more proud. i hope you become dear dear friends.


jakezorz26 karma

I LOVE your collaborations with Boyce Avenue. The cover of "Fast Car" is just fantastic. Do you plan to work with them more in the future?

kgrannis21 karma

definitely hope to!

onebluebird26 karma


kgrannis32 karma

hear hear!

littlemisfit23 karma

How many takes did it take to do the Cups video without any screw ups. That had to be quite a challenge.

kgrannis50 karma

many hours of takes. at first it was funny when someone would mess up. then, not so much.

theatreadictt2718 karma

Hi Kina, my name's Jim and you may remember me from such things as when you helped me propose to my wife at your concert in St. Louis back in 2009! I just wanted to say that you're amazing, Elements is a fantastic album, and I can't wait to see you live in Boston in a couple weeks. Can I ask for an inside scoop on what your set list might be?

PS A photo from 2009, just for fun: (http://i.imgur.com/uKhSOiY.jpg)

kgrannis24 karma

i remember your proposal so vividly! lovely to be reconnected with you after all these years and look forward to seeing you and the wife in boston!

the setlist is comprised of almost every song on elements and a handful of stairwells songs thrown in there as well.

adsfew15 karma

Any chance of a collaboration with Clara C?

kgrannis25 karma

yes! we've talked about it. just need to make it happen!

bckslash13 karma

What do you do when you have writer's block?

kgrannis84 karma

i never force it. any time i've tried to force it it just results in horrible songwriting.

here's one of my many songwriting metaphors. songwriting is like gold mining. your job is to show up every day and mine. most of the time you're not going to find anything and that doesn't mean you're doing a bad job. you need to be ok with just showing up and trying, because if you're not, there's literally no way in the world you'll ever find a thing.

krissywalkerr12 karma

Since you're coming to Toronto in a few weeks, whats your favourite thing to do while in canada? :3

kgrannis40 karma

meet cool people. eat poutine.

karla07254 karma

Just out of curiosity, where do you like dine when you're in Toronto? Do you have a specific poutinieri when you're here?

kgrannis11 karma

the bummer part about touring is you're kind of just in and out of every city and your meals end up being whatever is open and nearby. so i probably have not had the very best toronto has to offer. BUT--help me out, where should i go?

onebluebird11 karma

What was the most awkward fan interaction you've ever had? I plan to top that, haha.

kgrannis24 karma

hahaha. oh, you'd have to try very hard to top it. i actually feel bad recounting it though. the good thing is 1. i love awkwardness and 2. i find it very endearing. (except for sometimes.)

yesles9 karma

Guacamole or salsa?

kgrannis48 karma

guacamole. always. and forever.

Darxe8 karma

Hello Kina, I've been a fan ever since your "Gotta Digg" song waaay back when before your superbowl stardom. My questions: It seems like a majority of your songs are about relationships, and the man in your relationship, your wants and needs, love, etc.. Do you aim for a certain audience? Do plan to branch out more with your song topics?

Congratulations on your success, keep it up!

kgrannis12 karma

wow the olden days! thanks for sticking around :)

no, i don't aim for a certain audience when i write. i write what is real to me at that moment. on this album, that happened to be relationships, family, nostalgia, growth, change, impermanence. forcing myself to write outside of that would feel disingenuous to me.

ayas878 karma

What are your biggest musical influences?

kgrannis15 karma

james taylor, k's choice, imogen heap, sigur ros, bon iver

Breyeun8 karma

Hi Kina! If you weren't making and working with music, what would you be doing? Would you be doing something related with social sciences?


kgrannis15 karma

i've often wondered that same thing and it's so hard to say. probably something dealing with people? maybe something in health/nutrition/counseling. but who knows. or maybe i would have followed my 6 year old self's dream of becoming an entomologist (studies insects) or herpetologist (studies reptiles).

markwithers7 karma

well hi there Kina. How does it feel? I mean to see the album out in the wild?

kgrannis21 karma

it feels incredible. this album has been such a long time coming and it's really surreal to me that it's finally out there. i've kind of been lost in front of a computer being a crazy person for the last 2 weeks in preparation for the release, and yesterday i finally paused for the first time and took it all in. so exciting :)

Andtonic7 karma

Hey kina, what's your favorite guilty pleasure song?

kgrannis7 karma

justin timberlake's "not a bad thing". but totally don't feel guilty about it.

shaki266 karma

Kina, super stoked to get your new record as soon as I leave work today. I have a couple questions for you.

  1. When do you anticipate us being able to hear about new and expanded tour dates (crossing my fingers for Utah).

  2. What's a random hobby or interest that you find yourself nerding out over in your free time (past or present)?

-Shannon H

kgrannis6 karma

yay thanks!

  1. we haven't started booking them yet, but the plan is to do the full US tour sometime in the fall, and as soon as we've nailed them down i'll be announcing!

  2. knitting!

i_amnotacanadian6 karma

Hi Kina! Big fan of yours(: Just want to show you what I received in the mail yesterday!


Your signature were smudged :( but I'm sure that happened during shipping! Anyways, you're awesome and pretty as they come!

kgrannis10 karma

oh no :( i'm sorry! it gives it character?

evilkennyvil6 karma

May we know your middle name? If you have one!

kgrannis47 karma

you may! it's kasuya. it's japanese. as a child i was embarrassed by it because it reminded me of zucchini. makes absolutely no sense.

ch0c0nutz3 karma

what about your sisters's?

kgrannis15 karma

misa sugano grannis emi harriman grannis

markdawanton5 karma

First off I love your music and think you're incredibly talented.

What made you first get into music and what continues to drive you?

kgrannis17 karma

i've been drawn to music since i was little and singing has always been one of the best feelings in the world to me. as for instruments, i started tinkering around on the piano in 1st grade and wrote my first compositions then. in 4th grade i started violin and played that until halfway through high school, at which point i started teaching myself guitar and became completely obsessed. i started learning because it felt like a excuse to be singing all the time. it never occurred to me that i might try to write a song someday, but within a month of learning guitar it just kind of happened, and that's when it all started making sense to me. i was fairly shy and basically incapable of expressing myself, but with songwriting i was able to express myself for the first time. creating makes me feel alive, it makes me reflect on things and try to be a better person, and it connects me with humans all around the world, which is one of the best feelings ever. those are the things that keep me going.

littlemisfit5 karma

You've done so many amazing collaborations with other YouTube artists like Peter Hollens, Marie Digby, Alex G, Sam Tsui, Kurt Schneider, etc. Out of all them, who was your favorite? Do you have any other collaborations planned in the near future?

kgrannis4 karma

another impossible question! i can honestly say that i have truly loved every youtuber i've ever worked with. they're all the most down to earth, humble, talented, kind people ever.

TehKyle5 karma

Will you be doing more duets with your husband? You two sound amazing together!

kgrannis8 karma

i'm sure the future holds many more duets :)

Wowdudewth5 karma

Hi kina, I was one of the 2 guys in the girl rising video. Will we ever be seeing another SCP in the future?

kgrannis13 karma

haha hello! i'd like to say that you were very brave for sending one of those in/i'm sorry if you felt awkward being in that video.

Wowdudewth3 karma

Haha I don't regret it at all and the other guy was my friend. I convinced him to do it too.

kgrannis7 karma

that's adorable. high five to the both of you.

markiana5285 karma

Hi Kina, can you speak fluent Japanese? Just curious :P And when will your album be available in iTunes Store in other parts of the world? :) thanks!

kgrannis13 karma

unfortunately not! i studied for 3 years in college and got nearly conversational at one point, and then very rapidly forgot all of it after graduating. so sad :/

i believe elements will be coming out in asia in june!

Jotapete144 karma

Its my first time being on time for an AMA!

Kina, I'm a huge fan, and I really like the new songs I've heard (Dear River especially!). I can't wait to buy Elements later today!

Questions: •What is your creative process like?Are lyrics and ideas constantly coming to you?

•The music video for In Your Arms was pretty amazing but when I watch it I can't help but think of how much of a pain it was to make. Did you realize from the beginning how tedious it would be?

•So...your snakes are named Jeremy Fisher and Hubert Cumberdale? Are you a big fan of rusty spoons?

(Sorry if I'm repeating questions. I'm currently in class pretending to pay attention)

Keep being awesome!

kgrannis23 karma

hello! congrats for being on time! here are some answers for you:

  • my creative process. unfortunately, no, ideas and lyrics are not constantly flowing to me. and if i try to make them come to me, they definitely won't come. for me i have to allow the time and space for creativity to happen, and then just sit. literally just sit with my guitar in hand, pluck around a little bit, and not try to force it. when it comes, it usually comes all at once. the words, melody, and chords just start flowing out of me and usually it's a finished song within an hour. it's a very mysterious process to me. i can't really control it, so when it happens it's a very special feeling.

  • yes... 22 months was a long time to be making a music video. i knew it was an insane endeavor when i started, but at the time i thought it was only going to take 3 months. then 3 months came and went. then 6 months... etc etc until nearly 2 years went by. i'm actually really grateful we had no idea just how much we were getting ourselves into at the beginning because i'm not sure we would have done it.

  • yes i am :)

littlemisfit3 karma

Approximately how many of the 288,000 jelly beans did you end up eating?

kgrannis15 karma

none of the actual 288,000 we used, but so many of the extras. i held off for a year and didn't eat any. then i caved and ate them all day forever.

blast733 karma

  1. What was the most difficult aspect of creating the new album?
  2. What will you do with the songs that didn't make it?
  3. What's your favorite song from the new album? (This question might be the hardest)
  4. What are you favorite folk bands?

Thanks for the AMA and good luck with your album! I should get my signed vinyl today

Thanks for doing this!

kgrannis10 karma

  1. finding all the songs. i really wanted all the songs on the album to be the best work i felt i could create at the time, that they all felt connected and were all really meaningful to me. i spent about a year just allowing myself to write, and finally i whittled it down from about 60 candidates to the final 12 that made the album.

  2. great question. got any ideas?

  3. they're all my babies. too hard!

  4. i'm worried my answers wouldn't be TRUE folk bands. and i don't want to offend true folk people. so... skip!

TehKyle5 karma

(for #2) Maybe demo recordings for patreon supporters?

kgrannis4 karma

that's a great idea :)

Morzan33 karma

Have you ever heard about Poland and if yes, do you consider this country in your future tours ^ ??

kgrannis3 karma

of course!! i have been wanting to get over to poland for a long time to play a show. hopefully someday i can make that a reality.

TheWhatCo3 karma

What are some of your hobbies besides music?

kgrannis14 karma

running, hiking, yoga (though i'm horrible), cooking (though i rarely do it), knitting (when i remember how), reading, watching shows/movies, playing with small animals, sitting around with friends, wishing i was a hip hop dancer.

spaceboyng3 karma

Where are you eating when you come to NY for dinner. RAMEN>?!?!?!?

kgrannis6 karma

i think there is a very high likelihood that i will eat ramen whilst in NY.

jimmyloves2 karma

Hi Kina!

I'm a great fan of you and have followed you for quite a while now. No questions, just saw your facebook status and came by to say that I love your music! Hope that you'd make a lot more. :)

kgrannis3 karma

thanks for saying hello!

markwithers2 karma

if you could make or star in a short film, what would be the subject?

also Marshmallows or Blueberry Muffins? - which one goes best with a cup of tea?

finally, did someone else sneak in first and grab Kinagrannis reddit username :(

kgrannis4 karma

short film: probably something sad

blueberry muffin! although i really like marshmallows. especially when toasted.

yes. :(

Anchors19932 karma

Hello Kina! How many songs have you written for your new album? How did you choose which ones to keep and which ones to cut off of it? What's the process like? :) best wishes!

kgrannis6 karma

at one point there were about 60 songs in the running. it was definitely a hard task to slowly whittle those away to 12, but after spending a lot of time with each of the songs, it felt pretty clear. i wanted to pick the songs that felt the most real and relevant to me at the end, the songs i was most proud of, and the songs that i felt sonically all made sense together.

liveoutsidethelines2 karma

Hi Kina! I love the sound of your new album: your collabo with Matt Hales made some beeyootiful music. :) How did you two connect? Love.

kgrannis4 karma

thank you so much!

matt hales is an utter genius and i'm so honored i got the chance to work on this album with him. early on, we sent out a handful of songs to several producers to see which ones were excited about the project and understood what i was going for. we then met with all the producers who were interested to see how we connected as people. i believe matt's first words to me upon meeting him were "congratulations, your songs aren't shit!" :)

we did a trial song together and it immediately felt right. it was exciting and fun and easy and he understood the sound i was hoping to create perfectly.

squisheystick2 karma

hey kina! so is there going to be an actual CD that i can pick up from my local walmart/target/anywhere? cause i gotta add this to my collection! its too good not to have a physical form. haha

kgrannis3 karma

barnes and noble!

theoretica12 karma


kgrannis3 karma

thank you so much and thanks for sticking around all these years!

gme3332 karma

Do you have a tour schedule line up this year? If yes, is philippines a destination? <3

kgrannis4 karma

it hasn't been booked yet, but YES, i will definitely be coming back to the philippines!

ariapahari2 karma

Hey Kina! Elements is pure gold. On the US tour dates from May 6-20 are you going to have a band or will the shows be acoustic?

kgrannis3 karma

thank you! the US tour dates with be with my band. first show is tonight. AHH.

i_amnotacanadian2 karma

what do you enjoy doing during your free time?

kgrannis7 karma

mostly being in nature or being with people i love.

meeshmoo2 karma

What are the inspirations for your album, Elements? It's a beautiful album!

kgrannis3 karma

thank you so much!

elements is about life as i've experienced it thus far. beginnings, endings, love, heartache, past, future, impermanence, growth, family...