Kimié Miner is a force. We thought we knew a lot about the Native Hawaiian music artist—after all, her beautiful voice has been brightening up local airwaves and playlists for more than two decades now—but as it turns out, that’s just scratching the surface. Along with being an amazing vocalist, the Grammy-nominated songbird from Kailua-Kona is also a mother of three, an award-winning songwriter-publisher, a social activist, a mentor to aspiring artists and more.
With Miner’s annual birthday concert series (yup, she’s a Cancer) happening this month, on July 21 and July 22 at Blue Note Hawai‘i, we thought that it would be the perfect time to get to know her a little better. So we asked the rising star to share some fun, lesser-known facts about herself.
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1. She taught herself how to play the ukulele in fourth grade and guitar in high school as a boarding student at Kamehameha Schools Kapālama.
2. She’s got skills in front and behind the camera. “I studied black-and-white photography and video production and was an anchor on Puka Mai Ka Lā, my high school’s morning news program. During my career, I’ve produced, edited and directed almost all my music videos and photo shoots to date.”
3. She’s a big-time animal lover. “As a keiki, I refused to kill any bugs, even in the sink. I’d wait for them to crawl out before I turned the water on. When I finally understood that my dad was a fisherman, I became the only self-proclaimed child vegetarian of my ‘ohana.”
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4. Her first car was an orange Toyota Corona with a rooster on one of the doors. “I was a youth leader at [the nonprofit] Young Life in San Diego and that was the car they donated to me. I loved it! I wish I had kept the door as an epic art piece from that really special time in my life.”
5. She’s a foodie who loves to eat, especially Tuscan-style Italian cuisine and Japanese izakaya dishes.
6. She curates an online boutique stocked with stylish goodies from local artists and designers. You can find apparel and accessories for adults and keiki, downloadable music, gift items, home décor, artwork and Kimié’s latest collab pieces.
7. She considers renowned kumu hula and cultural practitioner Aunty Vicky Holt Takamine as her hero. “She is a visionary for Hawai‘i and our people. She just makes things happen—her dreams become realities that benefit our community. From Pa‘i Foundation, the MAMo Wearable Art Show and Merrie Monarch Festival performances to developing residential art spaces and her cultural philanthropy and advocacy, she inspires me!”
8. In preschool, she was May Day queen.
9. In 2022, she rode in her first parade alongside two of her mentees, representing Princess Ruth Ke‘elikōlani Civic Club.
10. Her signature karaoke song is Carrie Underwood’s hit “Before He Cheats.” “It’s just a fun song, and when it first came out, I loved to sing it. Now it’s my go-to—my friends will request it on the rare occasions we karaoke.”
11. She loves to cook and customize her own recipes. “Both my mom and dad taught me how to cook. There was and is always ‘ono food in my house and in my greenrooms. There is a direct correlation between good food and a great show; good food and a great day. One of my favorite things to make is my grandma’s Chicken Divine dish—my kids love it now too.”
12. Her must-have sweet (especially when pregnant) is white li hing mui with mint.
13. She holds several causes close to her heart. “That includes keiki and ‘ohana issues, indigenous rights, social justice, ocean safety, taking care of the ‘āina, Makahiki Season and connecting artists through collaborations.” Mentorship is one of her biggest missions. Through her organization Haku Collective, she launched the Haku Collective MeleCraft Bootcamp program, which mentors young artists.
“I am an artist for artists. I learned so many music industry lessons the hard way, and I want to help emerging artists not only find their voice and talents, but I want to make the path forward for them easier than what I had to navigate. I would have given anything to have a Haku Collective MeleCraft Bootcamp when I was starting my career, so to see youth stepping into their potential with safe and knowledgeable support and guidance means I am doing my part in perpetuating artistic legacy that honors our culture.”
For more info on Kimié’s 1985 + Reborn birthday concert series happening July 21–22 at Blue Note Hawai‘i, visit bluenotejazz.com.