Kina Grannis, 288,000 Jelly Beans — and Ellen
“I was in Paris, France,” Grannis said. “I was actually on a TV show there, and my manager John, pops in and he’s like, ‘Hey, you want to play Ellen on Monday?’”
After regaining her composure, Grannis, a Mission Viejo, Calif. native and University of Southern California graduate, made her appearance on the Paris TV show, called her parents with the exciting news, and started making travel plans for Monday’s Ellen appearance. (The show aired Tuesday afternoon.)
“This video is so cool,” Ellen said. “It has 2.5 million views to date.” (As of Wednesday, the video, which was directed by Greg Jardin, had more than 2.7 million YouTube views.) During Grannis’ live performance she was accompanied by cellist Keith Tutt II as her video was shown on a large screen behind the performers.
At first Grannis expected the project to take about a month, but Jardin told her it might take a little longer. When it was completed, the shooting for “In Your Arms” had taken about a year and the project lasted 22 months. The painstaking process involved taking individual photographic shots of Grannis on a glass-surfaced frame above real jelly beans, which were staged by a creative arts crew.
“The whole thing I was hoping for is to make a video that is very unique and really creative and feels handmade… but (also) something that stands on its own and is interesting,” Kina said in “The Making of ‘In Your Arms’” video.
In 2007, Grannis won the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest and was awarded a contract with Interscope Records. However, she decided to leave the label and released “Stairwells” in early 2010. She is currently signed to One Haven Records. Recently, Grannis won the Best Web-Born Artist at the MTV O Music Awards. The Kina Grannis YouTube channel has nearly 82 million views. But Kina’s web success is paying off in other ways. In early 2010, she sold out a show at the Troubadour in Hollywood, and she is on the second leg of her “World In Front of Me” tour. Early next year, she will be in Ireland, England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Denmark, Spain.
“It’s just the coolest thing,” Ellen said. “It’s very impressive and you’re impressive, and you’re doing very well on your own.”