We had the good fortune of connecting with Kinami and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kinami, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
My favorite quote is “Winter always turns to Spring” by Nichiren Daishonin. This is also my mother’s favorite quote and it’s gotten her through life’s most challenging obstacles. Although I am young, I’d like to think that I’ve had my fair share of struggles. That is, including this pandemic that’s carried over to 2021. Through this past year, I’ve come to realize the true horrors of isolation, and the beauty of another human’s presence: physically, mentally and spiritually. Being left alone is the ultimate self-destruction timeout we all despise. With all the time and attention to yourself, anybody is bound to sway towards self-doubt, self-hate, and disappointment, but in hind site, it’s an opportunity for change. This quote has constantly reassured me that I’m capable of creating my own turning point. As long as I’m trying my best everyday, I’m walking towards the light! On a hard day, I was meditating and looked outside my window and noticed the big tree in my neighbor’s backyard. Couple months ago, this thing was bald and very twiggy, but now it’s growing leaves, showing life, and progress. It was like the quote had come to life! I instantly felt relieved, that regardless of how I view my progress, it’s happening! This quote honestly reflects nature and its divinity of timing and progress, and that’s why I love it so much.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As I get older, my art means so much more to me. It wasn’t till this past year that I truly ran to music to “escape” life at times. It might’ve been the lack of performance opportunities due to covid-19 and the mental uphill of isolation on top of everything. Regardless, I’d like to think of it as a blessing in disguise, for me to connect more to what others and I create. I love that my music has a diverse range of feels. My hooks are always catchy and “pop-y” but they branch out to different genres as I uphold the foundation of pop writing. I imagine a sense of relief and release through my songs. Whether that’s expressing frustration, finding peace, a breather, or reflecting to keep your head up. We all listen to certain songs to find ease in our emotions, and I strive to be a reliable artist for people to go to for such needs. This pandemic has given me unexpected time to really work on my music. I released two singles on all streaming platforms, one being a viral tiktok song in Japan! As an independent artist, it’s such a learning and humbling experience to do all the work myself, and I’m excited to keep honing in on my creative and business skills, as I release more music this summer!
I got to where I am professionally by drive, endurance, and confidence. At the end of the day, no matter what’s happened in my life, I have the choice to progress for the better or worse. There were moments when I disliked singing because the joy in the experience had been torn, but that didn’t stop me. I had to keep on believing that I was meant for bigger things, because of the challenge I was going to overcome — and so I did! As I went through obstacles both as an individual and artist, I learned to be more confident in myself! I realized that it’s not about being a good fit for others, rather being confident in myself that I don’t need to mold myself for them. It’s about being my most authentic self, and that itself paves a way. What I want the world to know about me is that I’m a normal gal. We all go through life’s experience and I just so happen to be an artist in hopes to bring people together through my music! So if you’ve read this far, I appreciate it and will give you virtual kiss if you could check out my music on all streaming platforms!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since I love the outdoors, we’re going to be out all week! First, we’ll start each day with a trip to a cafe to get coffee and a quick bite. I love trying new cafes so ideally everyday, we’d try someplace different! Then we’d hit the road and check out the beaches in Malibu and Santa Monica! On non-beach days, we’d go do more touristy things like Universal Studios, Hollywood Walk of Fame, The Griffith Observatory, LA Country Museum of Art, and of course – the Hollywood sign. Then grab lunch at Urth Caffe or undiscovered local restaurants (since “spontaneous” is the theme). We’d catch the sunset at Santa Monica pier and then get back to get ready for a night out! Since my best friend loves live music, we’d grab some drinks and check out the live music at Riviera 31 in Beverly Hills and others around downtown LA! After a night out, if we’re still hungry, we’d definitely go to a diner to replenish our bodies before we get some good night sleep!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My biggest shoutout goes to my mom. A single mother who’s raised three girls all alone. She put us through a private international school, then college solely on her own income. She is a living testament of the phrase, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” The countless sacrifices she’s made for us to have the education and opportunities she aspired to have really opened doors for us. Being the youngest of the three, I’ve especially been able to have the leeway to pursue my artistic career. Many asian parents are rigid about investing only in education that guarantees wealth and success, but my mom has always stood by something different. And that’s faith. Faith in me that I can achieve anything I set my mind to, regardless of the career path. Her kindness, love, patience, support and faith in me is what always keeps me in check and lifts me up when I’m down. She’s believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. And for me, that’s the biggest reassurance I could ever ask for. Her patience in my growth is immeasurable and I plan to repay my debt of gratitude in any way that I can!
Other: TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@kiinamiii?lang=en
Alex Kawasaki, Sho Sano and Jade Che