The Kina Grannis Variety


You can bet my sister grilled me for discussing Jason Mraz again in my post, haha. In addition, she castigated me for mentioning Kina Grannis, the young,  Californian pop singer, while describing the music of Elisa, the Italian pop singer. She said I was  being a snob and trying to pick a fight with Kina Grannis’ fans, of which I know there are legions. When I told her that I often listen to Kina’s songs, she wouldn’t believe me. I said I have spent more time watching the singer’s videos on Youtube and on Vimeo than I have, listening to Elisa’s songs.

The sister then gave me a mini-quiz to verify my claim. After a while, she asked me if I have heard Kina’s rendition of Fast Car. Of course, the answer was yes. I then told her what I thought of Alejandro, the guy from the Boyce Avenue band who sang the Tracy Chapman song with Kina. She was convinced, finally – I seem to be familiar with Kina’s songs alright. Story was, when Boyce Avenue went to the Philippines, the sister happened to be seated next to the band members, on the flight from Cebu to Manila. She said they were cool and kind, asking her questions about the Jabbawockeez. At any rate, she still wants to whack me for having written about Kina that way, haha.



Lest people think that I am a fat, jealous loser (FJL) who envies Kina Grannis for her talent, beauty and popularity, let me say that is only partly true. Haha, this feels like convincing the traffic officer why I shouldn’t be made to sing the national anthem before the staring public when I did in fact, jaywalk. For one, I ain’t fat. For another, it takes a whole lot to make me jealous. Lastly, me a loser?  Why, I’m a blogger! 😉 Neither fat nor jealous and listens attentively to Kina Grannis’ songs – that’s me. Know what? I wish I could be like her. Don’t you? 🙂

Although both artists play pop music, Elisa and Kina sing different songs as they come from different molds. My guess would be that the messages of Elisa’s songs are tough love. Listening to her, one could sense the aches, the difficulties and the struggles as a person tries to grapple with the confusions and the hardships that go with life. On the other hand, Kina’s songs – as seen on MTVs – often have green grass, playful clouds and pretty flowers in them. I think the messages being conveyed are, that love is just around the corner and that dreams do come true. And doesn’t it make a lot of sense  for somebody that young?  It does.



I’ve met difficult situations and have had my share of hardships and that would perhaps explain why Elisa’s songs strike a chord with me. But just like the next person, I wish and long for sunny days, happy times and love realized. Preferably, with plenty of cheerful music thrown in, haha. Thus, I can understand myself (yes, this self that often lends itself beyond understanding) being drawn to Kina’s songs likewise. And while I am painfully aware that not everybody can be like Kina or Elisa – young talents who sing their way into our hearts and into the world – I am glad that there are a few who can, and do.

And while much can be said about songs being vehicles for propaganda, tools for escapism and there being unequal opportunities for commercialization of talents, I hold that one’s personal choice of songs can be fluid and varied. A person watches, listens to and sings along with the artists whose songs reflect his or her personal sentiments in life. And even as that life may not be as grand, as semi-charmed or as easy or as difficult as portrayed in the music video or, in the artist’s life, it remains one’s choice what kind of music he or she will patronize. I humbly suppose that to a large extent, music is instinctive. In the early stage, our exposure to it is captive, exploratory the next and a little more discriminating, as we trudge farther along.

Thus, a fan or a listener gains knowledge, if not sophistication, in music as he or she is exposed to more and more of it. Methinks a person comes around to it, ultimately. And it is not for me to tell whether one should go for the artist who gives the message and the melody to you hard or soft, as it is for you to believe. Heck, I can barely carry a tune. More often, I only remember the chorus part, dang! But I’m prattling. I said that Elisa’s music is not the Kina Grannis variety, yes. I did not mean that Kina’s music is inferior but only different. Thus, if there is any I have offended, sorry – truly sorry. No intention to bring Kina down or to lift Elisa or myself up.  I like Kina and her songs. There.

By the way, here is the Tracy Chapman original rendition of Fast Car. For those unfamiliar, Tracy is a female who looks and sounds like a male (no pun intended). She sings great! She was huge in the music scene from the late 80s to the 90s – singing about the plight of the black, poor and downtrodden people in the modern times. She is still very much around. Hey, this is where my sister and I agree – that Tracy Chapman is one superb singer and songwriter. 🙂



“Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they are yours. “

– Richard Bach


22 comments on “The Kina Grannis Variety

  1. I used to think Tracy Chapman was a guy, too (not trying to be mean). Until one morning during my sophomore year in college (which was about 5 years ago), my sister told me that Tracy was actually a girl. Biggest revelation for me that year.
    But I agree, she’s one AWESOME artist. 🙂

  2. Ah, she looked like a guy already when i saw her pics and videos 20 years ago, ahaha. But recently, I reviewed her songs and I saw Youtube entries when she was just starting in the music industry. She looked like a young, black girl then. ^^

    She was huge! I know people who worship her like an idol, really. Her music and her musicality are different from the others’, I guess. 🙂

    Oh, see her old pics here –

  3. renxkyoko says:

    I’m bad. I ‘m more into melody ( and that’s why i can listen to the classics ) than lyrics. It so happens that modern songwriters seem to have run out of good melodies. The very few who hits a bullseye become famous, and there’s a reason for that….. great melody.

    that one by tracy chapman’s is awesome ….. the other one, not really….. and that’s why tracy chapman is a great musician. Music equals melody.

    • Hello, Ren… Am glad you finally managed to sneak into some sites, mine included, hehe. 🙂 No, you’re not bad. You’re into violin and classical music, I can see where you’re coming from, dear… 🙂

      I happen to appreciate music that has both wonderful lyrics and melody. That’s why am partial to music from the 80s – Sting, U2, Michael Jackson, Tracy Chapman and a bit later, Jewel (the yodeler). I say, they have musicality thru and thru, ahaha. Songs with poetic lyrics and melodious, as well…

      Melody seems a bit tricky these days, what with the progress of sound engineering, hehe, and digitized advertising that focus more on popularity rather than music or lyrics. ^^ hey, hope your busy life’s treating you kind! 😉

      • renxkyoko says:

        My car radio is permanently tuned in to Classic Rock. the cds I have there are old ( Michael jackson, best of 70s 80s rock bands, beatles, etc. I have one by Billy joel, one by Sting, carlos santana, etc. ) their music make the hairs on my arms stand on end…, beautiful ! I even have one by the Queen. Hey, admit it, they don’t make music like they used to anymore.

      • Oh, I don’t get to listen to classic rock as much as I’d like to… but yes, they’re cool. I remember that Billy Joel’s one of the first few record artists we listened to, back in the days, hehe. And yes, Santana’s cool and Jeff Buckley and yes, the Queen.

        Don’t know if they don’t make music like they used to, as you say but I noticed that musicians then were so dedicated to their music. They lived and breathed it and it oozed from their whole being, ahaha. Dramatic way to put it, eh? 😉

  4. ladyfi says:

    Yes, she is very talented!

  5. bagotilyo says:

    pinakinggan ko yung version nila (boyce avenue) ng fast car … astig din..

    tamang tama ang post n ito lalo na sa issue ngayon kay lady gaga at ang kanyang concert sa pinas.

    very well said ang mga nabitawang linya about music. agree ako to the 100th level. galing 🙂

    • hello, bagotilyo. okey naman ang rendition ni Alejandro. ‘yong kay Kina, medyo laid-back yata masyado?^^ mas gusto ko si Kina sa songs nya kaysa sa covers. yown…

      o, di ba kagabi at mamaya ang concert ni lady gaga? ang hirap daw makakuha ng ticket bukod sa ang mahal pa, hehe. 😉

      thanks sa pag-appreciate. may bago ka nang post,hey? 😉 🙂

  6. Mars says:

    Tracy Chapman is a woman?! *BRB Mars dies from shock* Lol I really loved her songs, ironically, I learned to love her music at the time when kids my age are drooling over BSB and NSYNC since my mom loves her.

    BTW thanks for teaching me this: fat, jealous loser (FJL) HAHAHA 😀

  7. Lol! I used to listen to her songs in cassette tapes pa, as in… I remember listening to her and Tina Turner and Madonna along with U2 and The Police, hihi. But I know some of the NSync’s songs – does that make me delinquent? 😉
    Yes, your mom’s probably of Tracy Chapman generation, maybe… ^^ How about Edie Brickell, do you know her? I listened to some of her songs courtesy of my friends who were into metallic rock, haha. 😉

    FJL is what’s going to happen to me if I don’t run and brisk walk more often.^_^ Hey, sister, glad to see you back and around. 🙂

  8. J.A. Vas says:

    ‘m not familiar with you and your sister’s discussion, but with this text I’m convinced, you pulled your butt out of the fire! 😀

    anyway, lovely chosen songs! 🙂

    btw, regarding to your true statement “And while much can be said about songs being vehicles for propaganda, tools for escapism and there being unequal opportunities for commercialization of talents, I hold that one’s personal choice of songs can be fluid and varied.” I just thought of this fitting statement of Stanley Cavell about films and the film industry: “The question remains, how has film been able to provide this pleasure? From another side, the more we learn (from the Hollywood memoirs of Ben Hecht, say) of the corruptions and stupidities in the industry that formed to produce those objects, the more we are likely to wonder how the films we care about can ever been made. This is not a problem if the only films you care about are carefully chosen masterpieces: few regimes are so perfectly terrible and efficient that they prevent every drop of originality from leaking through their clutches. [take, i.e., Tarkovsky] But if one’s range of care is wider, then how is one to explain the effect of those ordinary instances, which seem just to have been made for the industry to make? What is the power of film that it could survive (even profit artistically from) so much neglect and ignorant contempt by those in power over it?” 😉

  9. oh, let’s just say that my sister’s a solid Jazon Mraz fan, haha. you think i pulled that one, huh? ahaha, i hope so, too… 😉

    thanks for liking the songs, J.A.. 🙂

    ah, yes, i think there are parallel problems in the music and film industries. i am not in the position to say (like Cavell) that they are corruption and stupidities, haha, but yes, neglects, maybe? too profit-oriented, perhaps? there are times when originality and artistry are sacrificed in the name of profit and giving in too much to popular demands? things like those… 😉

  10. Cool choice of songs! 😉

  11. aninipot says:

    hmmm. ang alam ko lang favorite ko ang “heart and mind” and “the goldfish song” ni kina grannis. Sige na nga aamin na. Nasa playlist nang phone ko ang buong album ni kina. hahaha!

    At love na love ko rin si jason mraz. Nasabi ko bang madalas sa 2 hours na travel from CDO to work place puro jason mraz songs pinapakinggan ko? haha! ganyan ako kaadik.

    papakinggan ko si eliza, na-curious tuloy ako.

    at ate, di mo kailangang magpaliwanag. Lahat tayo may kanya-kanyang taste pagdating sa music.

    Hmmm. Na-try mo po bang pakinggan ang lord of the ring soundtrack? pag nagtrip ako at gusto kong maexperience ang halo-halong emosyon yon ang pinapakinggan ko. hahaha!

    • ahaha, buong playlist ni kina? shocks… 😉 tapos, mraz addict? what can i say? ahaha. 😉

      oo, cool din si elisa, try mo, anini… oo, ang lord of the rings soundtrack, parang music ng elend band tsaka in gowan ring – parang ibang mundo, haha. 😉

  12. 100kpinoy says:

    hmmm, kina grannis..

    first time i knew her today,
    and immediately loved her voice… and a looker too!

    sort of taylor swift like but with own unique freshness.

    in a way, hearing from her drifted me about, thinking my most loved singer….. ENYA.

    do they have voice similarities or i’m simply day dreaming 😛

  13. ah, yes, kina grannis is pretty and rather middle class, haha. but she’s artistic, i guess. her music is the dreamy kind? almost like the fantasy genre? but she’s cool… 🙂

    taylor swift’s music is the angsty kind, haha. i’d say, too angsty for somebody that young. but she can sing and she writes songs really well… 🙂

    sige, i’ll watch Enya sometime today and tell you what i think… thanks for reading and listening, 100kpinoy. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s