Fangirling out to Internet star and indie musician, Kina Grannis

Meet Kina Grannis. An Internet sensation and an independent musician by choice. She continues to strike a chord with people all over the world with her innate ability to make a YouTube video feel like home. Best known for her “In Your Arms” music video, which picked up over 11 million views, thanks in part to the creative use of jelly beans and stop motion animation, she’s currently touring the world with her musician husband. In the meantime, another one of her videos, Valentine, has seen over 17 million views on Youtube. And she’s still managed to stay totally grounded.

Kina walked away from the opportunity to be apart of a record label, because she wanted to make music she had control over. And her authenticity shines through in every video she produces.

That’s one of the reasons so many people love her. She’s so natural on her videos that it feels like you’re on a coffee date and she casually brought her guitar along. You’ll be swooning to her serenade one moment, only to find her laughing at herself the next. Kina, you don’t even have a clue how cool you are. Although she has the softest voice of a fairy or a Christmas elf, her actions have spoken volumes to girls everywhere. I’d just like to highlight and celebrate a few of those right now. Because Kina, you’re awesome.

1. She totally owns her style and makes no apologies.

Kina used to be known as a long-haired beauty. Then this year, she made the chop and a pixie cut it was. Fans responded with a range of extreme comments: everything from “I’M OBSESSED WITH IT” to “Are you a guy?” Go on any of her YouTube videos and you’ll find multiple heated debates about her hair–and quite frankly, it’s ridiculous. It’s ignorant and totally irrelevant to her posts–which are really meant for sharing music and art and creativity. Not her hair.

What did she do about all this? She kept it short. She kept singing. She kept being beautiful Kina. She never made a huge speech or statement about it either. Probably because she had more important things to do with her time such as change the world with her incredible music.

2. She not afraid to look people in the eye.

Kina has the most fierce, engaging eye contact I’ve even seen. Particularly in this video. By looking us in the eyes, she conveys a deep love and care for people. Because of her, I try to be more intentional with how I look at another person these days. It’s an incredibly kind and underrated act in today’s world. So proud that Kina’s changing that.

3. She brings people together.

I applaud her for this. This is why people love her so dearly. I used to think I was a dork before I found Kina. She united all of us dorks into a fan base better known as the “Kinerds” (how appropriate). She makes efforts to emerge in as many cultures as possible. She even speaks Japanese to her fans. Her background also is amazingly unique:  She’s Japanese, English, Irish, French, Dutch, Welsh, and Scottish.

And the coolest, most badass thing of all? She walks to the beat of her own drum. Both figuratively and literally. (Her new album, Elements, experiments widely with different drums.) She is baffled whenever asked what her genre of music is: “How about . . . organic acoustic indie pop with heart.” She writes all her own songs, supports other YouTube artists, and considers her fans as friends.

There is a truly unique and endearing quality to Kina. To all of the dorks out there, she gives us something to believe in about ourselves. And this makes her mission become about something so much more than music.

But if you’ve never heard Kina’s music, you need to check it out. Here’s a taste:

(Images via, via, via, via.)

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