Roots and Wings
Beth Miller | Feb 13, 2017
Roots & Wings
For Oʻahu born recording artist Kimié Miner, there’s just something about Hawaiʻi that she can’t shake—nor does she ever desire to. “It’s the ‘family’ feeling you get when you’re here,” the singer describes of her island home. “That sense of ‘ohana—central to our culture—it’s what I love, and why I keep moving back.” But that’s not all that keeps Miner migrating back to her native state, as she’ll readily tell you.
Inspiration Behind The Magic
The artist also adores the endless array of outdoor activities this tropical paradise affords. Hiking and swimming especially set Miner’s heart aflutter. And when asked if any place in particular ranked highest on her list of favorites, she immediately offered up, “Makua, on the west side!” as being the primo spot. “It’s so beautiful there, and I often will go with my boyfriend—whose family are the DeSotos, which have a long history with the place—and just camp, have bonfires and enjoy the beach.”
In fact, according to Miner, much of her popular single, “Bottom of a Rainbow,” was inspired directly by a recent time spent circled around a beach bonfire at Makua, jamming with close friends and simply enjoying life. The singer even recalls a shooting star or several, so vividly that her voice literally lilts with the remembrance of such a special moment. Other special snippets of time that Miner cherishes at Makua? “We go and clean the beach with my boyfriend’s brother’s nonprofit, Nā Kama Kai,” she says.
“It’s a great organization that teaches kids how to care for the ocean from a cultural perspective, and is also a great way for us to give back.” Besides hiking and swimming, Miner also makes no bones about her penchant for yet another match made in heaven:
“Food and music!” she laughs, admitting her intense affinity for both. But far from being high maka maka when it comes to her taste in both, the singer insists she is simple.
Old Friends and New Acquaintances
“Food and music!” she laughs, admitting her intense affinity for both. But far from being high maka maka when it comes to her taste in both, the singer insists she is simple. “If I have a good playlist and some good food, I’m happy,” she smiles. From the unassuming warmth in her words to the genuineness in her gaze, I actually really believe her. Spending most of her childhood living in Kona on the Big Island, Miner shares distinct food-related memories that evoke nostalgia. “I paddled growing up, and I will always remember the times when my friends and I would stop by the 7-Eleven—the one that was right by the pier—after practice for snacks,” she recalls. “I would always mix the red and blue Slurpee—and grab a musubi, of course!” She grins, recalling what became a treasured routine of her younger self—one which, according to Miner, is exciting and fun to see passed down to the next generation of keiki. Now living in Hauʻula, Miner still stops frequently by her local 7-Eleven to get her snack fix, although her tastes may have evolved a bit since her red-and-blue-swirled Slurpee days. “Now I get kombucha and things like sushi hand rolls,” she says. “That’s the great thing about 7-Eleven, they have healthy options too, and they’re so close.”
Distracted between stories of beach bonfires and sweet tales of the islands’ sweet honey, I am startled to see that I’ve been chatting to the talented chanteuse for almost an hour now, and have yet to inquire of her future plans. And when asked what’s next on her agenda, Miner doesn’t miss a beat, literally, explaining that almost immediately since releasing her second full-length (and self-titled) album, she will hit the road (or in our case, the skies) to spread the aloha vibes and uplifting message of her music around the world.
But as she embarks on this upcoming tour, Miner is quick to remind me—with a smile and resolute confidence—just what she hopes her songs and lyrics convey. “I am not just a Hawaiian entertainer. I am a songwriter with a mission to let my roots give me wings,” she says. “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.”