Kimie Miner: Sharing culture through mele and aloha

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Kimie Miner is a singer-songwriter who incorporates the love of her Hawaiian ancestry and culture into her music. On Oct. 9, her self-titled album, Kimie Miner, is scheduled for release, and her anticipation rings apparent as she speaks of her latest endeavor.

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Kimie Miner is a singer-songwriter who incorporates the love of her Hawaiian ancestry and culture into her music. On Oct. 9, her self-titled album, Kimie Miner, is scheduled for release, and her anticipation rings apparent as she speaks of her latest endeavor.

“I’m so excited about my new album,” said Miner. “My last album came out in 2012. It’s been a lot of hard work, so I really do feel a sense of relief. There’s so much behind the music that people don’t realize. There is so much that goes into its production before you can print the CDs — so much that goes on after the music is done. I’m beyond excited to let people hear what I’ve been working on for the past few years.”

Growing up in both Kona and Honolulu, Miner graduated from Kamehameha Schools on Oahu in 2003.

“After graduating Kamehameha, I went to University of San Diego and then transferred back to UH-Manoa,” said Miner. “Music has always been something that I loved. I started writing music and playing guitar in high school. My dad had a guitar, and he gave it to me when I went away to Kamehameha. As a writer I use music as a release. I’ve been really inspired by children. I want so many good things for our kids. I’m Hawaiian so I have this connection to my people, and I want the next generation to rise up and realize their potential.”

From Hawaiian and Portuguese decent, Miner is influenced by a variety of genres and incorporates them into her own unique style of music. Drawing inspiration from Reggae, soul, R&B, jazz, Hawaiian, and pop music, her style shines through on her new 11-track album.

“Amy Winehouse was one of my top favorite current artists. I really loved her. Eva Cassidy, Kalapana — I like a mixture of music. I have a record player and I’ve really been getting into Stevie Wonder’s old records and the old 60s and 70s music. I’ve been listening to a lot of Roberta Flack, Hall and Oats, Carol King — I just love that style of music — that easy listening genre. I’m really into that,” she said.

Miner’s musical journey has reconnected her with her native Hawaiian roots. Her new album is themed for the land, which she feels a deep connection both physically and spiritually.

“When I first started writing, I surfed. My family grew up near the water — fishing and surfing. I have a song called Ocean and it compares relationships to the ocean — things like high tides, low tides, and rocky shorelines. I started out using a lot of nature in my writing,” she said.

Being grounded in Hawaiian tradition allows Miner to embrace the lessons that the wider world has to offer. It gives her a solid sense of self, and the comfort to grow and learn from other cultures.

“I’m Hawaiian first and I’m very proud of that. I want to take my roots and really share our culture and share this beautiful lifestyle that we have here in Hawaii and share it everywhere. I want to let other people get a glimpse of who we are here in Hawaii. Inside of us is this seed and I want to plant it in other parts of the world. I want to share my culture and who I am through my music,” she said.

Miner wrote and produced most of her new album with Billy Van, whom she met while touring with The Green. They collaborated well together so Miner brought Van to Hawaii to assist her in completing the album.

Other collaborations include “Love’s in the Melody,” which was co-written with The Green’s Caleb Keolanui. Both dedicated to their partners at home, they created a song about hearing a loved one in a melody and the ultimate power of music to generate intimacy over long distances.

Her first single from the album, “New Day,” is inspired by a friend’s struggle with addiction, and how turning to music and nature helped her to heal. The song incorporates the idea of “Hiu Wai” — a Hawaiian water purification ritual based in the belief that the ocean can cleanse people.

Miner’s new album was recorded mostly in Hawaii at Blue Planet Sound Recording Studio. Her message is sincere and clear.

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“I am not just a Hawaiian entertainer,” Miner said. “I am a songwriter with a mission to let my roots give me wings. I want to be able to show young people that they can be proud of who they are and where they come from while still exploring the rest of the world.”

To learn more about Miner and her upcoming performances, visit www.kimieminer.com.