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Today we’d like to introduce you to KINAMI.

Thanks for sharing your story with us KINAMI. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started seriously pursuing music as a career at the age of 16. After auditioning for X-factor Okinawa, Japan at the age of 15, I realized that was what I wanted to do as a lifetime career. I then applied for Berklee College of Music and got accepted to their program with a generous scholarship offer. Pursuing my higher education at Berklee was the best decision I’ve ever made. Although feeling the pressure being surrounded by musically inclined individuals, it was the push and challenge I needed to test my faith in myself. You have to believe that you as an individual, have something special to offer. In a nutshell, that’s what Berklee taught me, alongside musical experiences and meeting amazing colleagues. Being in an intense environment has shaped my performance skills and pushed me to be more true to myself. Everybody has so much to worry about that when I perform, I want to create an environment for people to forget their stressful lives for a minute. This is the Okinawan part of me with the “Ichariba choodee” spirit (once we meet, we’re all brothers and sisters). I feel that it is my calling to put a smile on people’s faces, no matter what their situation. I believe this form of care through music and performance is what keeps me going and feel of use to the people who have been supporting me and who I’ve encountered along the way.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Prior to applying to Berklee, I encountered a masseur that served a massage on my neck that negatively affected my ability to sing, which then forced me to relearn everything. It was heavily a mental effect than a physical, but with that being my very first time having lost the joy of using my voice shattered my heart. It was like I lost all control of singing, and my muscle memory I’ve trained in the past just vanished. I was in a downward spiral of doubt, insecurity, fear, and frustration towards myself. Why did I let this happen to myself – that was the constant question I asked. What helped me get out of the gutter though, was the constant support from my family, friends, and mentor. My mother raised my siblings and I around Buddhist philosophies and these teachings were what echoed in my spirit to initiate the fightback for my voice. The Buddhist philosophy is based on believing in your own full potential and reclaiming your destiny. This had become the backbone to renew my strength. Being at Berklee, surrounded by esteemed musicians have definitely triggered several breakdowns – just as many students at any institution probably would experience. Instead of spiraling further down though, through the Buddhist influence, I have been able to believe in my mission and timeline according to what is meant for me. Despite all difficulties, I am proud to say that in this past year, I was finally able to confront myself with this ongoing doubt I had in my mind about my voice and singing. I’ve learned that it’s all about acceptance and moving forward, trying to be better in the present, nowhere else. Sometimes we get hung up in the past that we end up wasting time in the present without knowing!

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
I’m an indie artist that goes by KINAMI. I am a singer-songwriter, dancer, and an illustrator. Essentially, I am known for writing catchy hooks and giving raw/engaging performances. As a rising artist, I take pride in my identity. I am from Okinawa, Japan, and I’m driven to bring my culture and heritage anywhere I go. My name, KINAMI, in Japanese translates to “the shining seven seas,” and I feel like I have the purpose of reaching the hearts of people across all bodies of water, no matter the language or background. This gives me a reason to keep creating, engaging with people, and performing for anybody that I encounter. Primarily, when I am on stage, I’m here for a fun time and to enjoy time I have on stage with my fellow musicians and have people get on their feet and smile as they sing and dance! I think you’ll have to come see me perform to see exactly what sets me apart from others!

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am currently working on my debut EP! I’m excited to announce this, especially because it is being produced by Rodrigo Martins, a Brazilian producer, nominated by the Latin Grammy. I’ve always performed these originals live but had not had the chance to get them out on streaming platforms. Therefore, it’s been a challenging yet rewarding experience to mold the EP into its best possible shape and form. Though recording resources are still limited due to Covid-19, having musicians that can remotely collaborate has made this situation smooth. After the EP release, and the pandemic simmers down, I am hoping there will be more events and venues open for performance opportunities and where I can gain more support to perform nationwide!


  • Debut Single “Every Little Thing” on iTunes: $0.99

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Dai-ichi Studio, Sho Sano, Harris Breyfogle, Alex Kawasaki, Jeff Delator, and Sarah Kane (SKK)

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