Close the Distance’s Kira Santos says being a professional musician requires a tough skin “because you’re going to get knocked over 100 times in this industry.”
NAME: Kira santos
JOB: Professional musician and music teacher
BEGINNINGS: Kira Santos and her younger sister, Ezri, met their original classmates when they were students at Hawaii MusicWorks, and they started the band when they were just 8 and 4 years old. Formerly known as EMKE, the band changed their name to Close the Distance in spring 2018. The alternative pop group’s current lineup is Kira on guitar and vocals, Ezri on bass and vocals, Payton Sekigawa on drums and Raidyn Mendez on rhythm guitar.
TWO JOBS: Santos teaches at Hawaii MusicWorks in Pearl City, Monday through Thursday and Saturdays until 8 p.m., then heads straight to the band’s rehearsal. Before the pandemic, Close the Distance performed in person twice a week; since then, the group has presented live shows on Fridays and Sundays using an app called Twitch.
BIGGEST CHALLENGES: Santos remembers when a big music company wanted the band to move to Japan. However, the company also wanted to control the sound of the band and was not interested in all of the members. She says the group turned down the offer because “we wanted to stay true to ourselves” and maintain creative control.
âIt was a huge thing because we know a lot of people would have killed for this opportunity and that’s what our parents were pushing us towards, but we really had to think about if we would be happy in the end. We didn’t want our passion to turn into something we hated or something we did just to please others.
BEST PARTS: Being in a group allows Santos to step out of his comfort zone. She says if she didn’t have the group she would be more introverted.
But what Santos loves the most is connecting with people. âDuring our Twitch streams, our fans tell us that watching us play and listening to our music is something they look forward to every week. If you can make someone’s day that’s a great feeling.
CRITICAL MANAGEMENT: Santos says she is constantly learning and having new experiences, as well as being her own biggest critic. She finds it important to listen to the constructive criticism and opinions of the fans and to strike a balance between all of those comments.
âYou’ve got to be able to take that and say, ‘OK, I get it, and I’m going to use that and grow from that. “But also, when you have people who love you and complete strangers complimenting you or fans who choose to follow you and follow what you do, then I think you should definitely use that as a sign that you are carrying on. the right path.”
WHAT’S NEEDED: âIt’s going to sound clichÃ©, but you have to have that motivation because you’re going to get knocked down 100 times in this industry. You have to be able to get up and continue. “
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.