Kina Grannis of Mission Viejo is a new kind of celebrity. She just got back from her first European tour, and it was already sold out. How did her fans know about her?
The answer is YouTube. Her latest single, "In Your Arms," has been viewed almost 3.5 million times since it was posted four weeks ago, and it's not her most popular song by a longshot. "Valentine," which hit YouTube last year, has been viewed over 10 million times and counting.
Kina took some time between touring and songwriting to talk to Patch. Here's what she had to say about life on the road and being named MTV's artist of the week.
Patch: What's it like being the MTV artist of the week?
Grannis: They've been playing the video all over MTV. It's crazy. It feels very strange. I heard it was going to start playing in the network. Seeing myself pop up on MTV was like, "whaaat?" It was so strange, but very, very exciting.
Patch: What was it like touring Europe?
Grannis: It was amazing. It was sold out. People were singing along to my songs. It was an amazing thing to be on the other side of the world and have people come out and support you.
Patch: Do you like to travel?
Grannis: I do like to travel. I'd never been to Europe before this, but I've been to Japan, Costa Rica and New Zealand.
Patch: You have a lot of international fans. Why do you think your music transcends cultures?
Grannis: When I make music, I try to be honest and genuine, and make the music that makes sense to me. I think the fact that it's not trying to be anything, it's not trying to be the pop music on the radio—if people can connect to me as a fellow person, I think that must be part of it.
Patch: What was it like growing up in Mission Viejo?
Grannis: It's pretty lovely growing up in Mission Viejo. My parents still live there. I had two sisters, an older and a younger sister. And I spent a lot of time growing up with family, and the Mission Viejo mall and places like this. It was a very nice place growing up. It was safe and it was pleasant.
Patch: You've come back to perform . What does it mean to you to perform for a hometown crowd?
Grannis: It's really cool to do hometown-ish type things. It's just a world that I'm so comfortable in. People that I've known or grew up the same way I did--sometimes it does feel special.
Patch: What does your future look like?
Grannis: In the near future, I"ll be writing some more. After that I've got another European tour, then an Australian tour and an Asian tour. I will tour Europe for a month, then Asia/Australia for a month, then the U.S.
Patch: Sounds like music keeps you busy. What do you do when you're not writing songs and performing?
Grannis: I do a lot of running. I ran cross-country in high school. I also like hiking and just spending time with family and friends.