Catherine Gagulashvili staff writer
For many, the idea of singing in front of their entire high school would be nothing short of nerve-wracking, yet for sophomore Hannah Kimura, singing for her school is just another part of her day.
KBEV Unplugged began on a whim, as Kimura and her friend, sophomore Jordan Hunt, began goofing around after a field shoot. Kimura sang a song as Hunt provided the piano accompaniment. Upon seeing this, KBEV producer and director junior Arian Tabibian decided to set up a camera and film the two performing. They posted the first video on KBEV’s YouTube channel and it initially received around 200 views, so they decided to continue with the segment, which they later named “KBEV Unplugged.”
“Since ‘Unplugged’ started, we’ve learned a lot more about how Hannah likes to perform and about how us on the tech side like to shoot it,” Tabibian said. “We’ve done a few KBEV ‘Unplugged’ [shows] where we put a lot of effort in. It was very staged and very planned, and those got substantially fewer viewers than the ones that we did on a whim where we had five minutes extra in class and were like, ‘Okay, do you have a song? Yes? Great,’ and we grabbed a camera. We went to the staircase and we shot ‘Riptide’ and ‘I’m Yours.’ Having it be on a whim really helps out the process.”
Kimura has been singing covers of pop songs and airing them on Channel 6 on Spectrum and posting them on the KBEV YouTube channel. She has been sticking with singing slower songs so she can incorporate her own style of singing.
“[The songs I like to cover are] really slow songs that you can kind of make your own. I like to sing the songs in a little bit different way and just make it my own song in a way,” Kimura said. “I like making my own music and I want to go toward that path more, but I guess doing the covers and then being surrounded by people who also like music…[has] inspired me to sing and try to make my own songs.”
Kimura has been experimenting with writing her own music and has recently posted her own original song on KBEV’s YouTube channel.
“I’ve been trying to make my own beat, which is harder than I thought it would be. I just wrote [Attached] myself about my life experiences.”
She has also been working alongside junior Matthew Liner on a new song called “Stealing Hearts.”
“I’m in the middle of writing the lyrics, but sometimes it’s hard to write lyrics. You have to make them meaningful and deep, and sometimes when you’re not actually going through something it’s kind of hard to make it deep. But it’s really good so far, it’s really good,” Liner said.
Performing on a platform that the entire school has access to can sometimes be difficult for Kimura because she knows not everyone will like her work.
“[Doing KBEV ‘Unplugged’] feels really good and at the same time sometimes it feels like, you know, we’re getting judged because you can either like it or dislike it,” Kimura said. “You see famous people who get millions of views. You see how many dislikes they have, and it’s like thousands. If I’m getting one dislike or more, it’s like I have to deal with it…not everyone’s going to like me.”
Ultimately, singing on KBEV ‘Unplugged’ and sharing her talents with other students has helped Kimura become more comfortable with herself and her voice.
“It’s definitely made me realize what I wanted to do and it’s made me more confident as well,” Kimura said. “It’s helped me improve as a singer and it’s helped me become more original, even though I’m doing covers. It’s helped me find my voice.”