1. Kina, how did it all begin? How did you discover YouTube?
It all began with the 4-year-old version of me making up songs and performing to my stuffed animals… haha. I’ve really been singing and loving music since I can remember. As far as YouTube goes, I originally joined it as means of getting people to vote for me in a contest to get my music video played during the Super Bowl. For two months, I posted one video a day in hopes that people would come back, watch, and vote for me. I didn’t know at the time how huge a part of my life it would become.
2. YouTube has obviously been a catalyst for your music, how has it affected you in your personal life?
The biggest way it’s changed my personal life is that I’m just much more busy than I was pre-YouTube, so there’s less down time to just hang out. The good thing is, I absolutely love everything I’m spending my time doing, so I don’t mind that at all. Doing YouTube videos regularly has probably also helped me open up a little more, too. At first, I was so awkward making them, but after forcing myself to do it over and over again, I think I’ve become a little more comfortable with myself– but no less awkward.
3. What inspires the lyrics to your songs?
Everything. My life, friends, family, strangers, dreams, nature…
4. How would you describe your newest album?
Hmmm… Kina-esque? That’s not very helpful, is it? It’s very hard to step back and describe your own music. I do know that it’s honest and it’s me. It’s made up of a lot of songs inspired by life, love, and wanting to be a better person.
5. How long have you been singing, writing music, and playing guitar?
I loved singing ever since I was super teeny. I actually started writing songs then, too– little minute-long songs mostly. It wasn’t until halfway through high school that it really hit me– this need to sing– and that’s when I decided to teach myself guitar. The songwriting was just a natural progression from all of that. In a way, I think I really needed songwriting at that time because I always bottled everything up and never really knew how to express myself.
6. Your sisters are very talented, is your house just as musical off camera?
Oh yes, growing up we were all singing all the time. Singing while on road trips, singing while cleaning our rooms, singing while doing the dishes…
7. How did things change for you after winning the “Crash The Superbowl Contest”?
The biggest change was just the fact that since that day, my life has been all about music. I’ve been able to devote all my time and energy to it, whether writing, recording, making videos, tweeting– and that’s the greatest gift ever. Another huge change is that my life is now filled with so many amazing people that I would have never known if not for the contest and starting YouTube. I love that I get to connect with people from all over the word and hear their stories.
8. What is the craziest thing that has happened to you during a live show?
Hmm… nothing too insane, but a lot of silly things: accidentally dropping my guitar pick in my tea cup (which was full); hitting my face really hard on the mic; nearly falling over; forgetting the words to a chorus I wrote.
I feel like all the YouTubers are one big family. I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with so many of them already whom I really love and respect and hopefully there will be many more to come .
10. Is there anyone on YouTube you’re a fan of?
Too many to name!
Put videos up as often as you can, make sure you show who you are in your videos, be genuine, and lastly, try to take comments with a grain of salt. There are a lot of haters out there that just want to ruin your day. You just have to remember that you are doing this because you love and enjoy it.
12. What are your plans for the future?
Write more, sing more, grow, tour the world, meet people, make more albums, strive to be better in any way possible.
(Interview conducted by Jenna Anne Kroff, Cliché Magazine)