Hawaii keeps pumping out some of the hottest music artists out right now, including Big Island’s Kimie (pronounced Kih-meeh-aye) Miner. This local girl started singing and writing songs as a freshman in high school but you would have never heard her voice in public. Miner was very shy and kept her musical talents hidden. “You would have to force me to sing in order for me to sing my songs,” she said. The only time anyone ever did hear her voice was her senior year when she recorded herself and made a cd for her friends as a senior goodbye gift.
Miner finally began singing more when she went off to college in San Diego. This sudden urge to sing more publicly landed her with a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet and sing for Reggae icon Barrington Levy. “I was going to a lot of Reggae concerts while in California but at this Barrington Levy concert, I got to sing for him. So I sang “Killing Me Softly.” From that song cover, Levy immediately offered Miner a chance to go to Jamaica and even record some music. Miner and a friend accepted the offer and were on their way to the birthplace of Reggae music. “My first time in a music studio and we were in Shaggy’s studio!” exclaimed Miner who was referring to “Boombastic” Reggae singer/rapper Shaggy. After meeting one of Reggae’s top singers and going to Jamaica to record with him, what else could Miner handle? How about a chance to open for his concert? Back on U.S. soil, Levy asked her to open for him on tour. This 7-show tour around California kicked off in San Jose in front of a crowd of 8,000 people – Miner was quickly overcome with fear. “I was so scared and my friend told me, right there and then, “If you can’t do this, then this isn’t for you; Sink or swim.” That night, she swam with even more confidence and a surety of this musical career.
Recently, Miner has written a lot of new music and is looking to get them out to the public especially to her fans. She anticipates having an EP or maybe a full album out by next year. Her ultimate goal is to go mainstream. “It doesn’t matter if I have one listener or a million – I just want people all over to hear my music.” Miner describes her music as Acoustic Soul Reggae and she’s definitely right about that. She’s got a natural, earthy tone that fits perfectly with the acoustic and Reggae sounds but then she surprises you with her riffs and runs – and that’s where the Soul comes in. Her recent single, “Is This Love,” captures her voice in all three genres.
It’s been eight years since Miner started her journey as a music artist and she says she’s a wiser musician because of her experiences. Miner travelled around the world including Hong Kong and New Zealand writing and performing her songs. “I know what the industry is like–the good and the bad. I may not know everything but I know enough.” Miner is an advocate of working hard, saying, “If you want a solid career, it’s all about the hard work. The only time I see success is when I work.” She also advises aspiring musicians to be confident, be true to who you are, and to always be open to growth.
Miner found success early on in her career because she was in the right place at the right time. She put her music out there and took advantage of an opportunity of a lifetime. Whenever she had doubts, she always told herself, “If I don’t do it now, when will I ever?” That kind of mentality will definitely take her further in her career. Success comes to those who work hard for it and Kimie Miner has undoubtedly earned her success.
-Article Written by: Pesi Kava
*photos courtesy of Kimie Miner