Pop/rock songwriter Kina Grannis began exploring music as a child in Mission Viejo, California. After spending her younger years performing in front of her stuffed animals and singing with her sisters, Grannis discovered her aunt's guitar at age 15. She received her own guitar the following year and spent a month honing her songwriting skills, taking influence from the likes of Jason Mraz and Vertical Horizon. Her songwriting efforts continued at the University of Southern California, where she was selected by the Thornton School of Music to produce a six-song EP during her sophomore year. The resulting EP, Sincerely, Me., was released in 2005. Two years later, she recorded a song for Rachael Lawrence and Deborah Ellen that became heavily featured in several episodes of General Hospital.
After graduating from USC, Grannis relocated to Austin, Texas, to sing and record with a band. She also began uploading her performances to YouTube, which helped her win a Superbowl contest in 2008. A contract with Interscope Records followed, but Grannis returned to indie status shortly thereafter without releasing anything on the label. Instead, she self-released her first full-length album, Stairwells, in February 2010, cracking the Billboard 200 in the process. She spent the next two years touring in support of the album, stopping everywhere from British Columbia and New York City to Europe and Asia. Her sophomore outing, Elements, was produced by Matt Hales (aka Aqualung) and released in early 2014. ~ Katherine Fulton
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