On a particularly cold night at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, a petite woman with a beaming smile enters the stage and greets fans as if they’ve been friends for years. HIRIE is her name, and that night she played a dynamic set with her wildly talented band. These days, you won’t witness anything less from a Hirie set, with performances at premiere events under her belt since she officially entered the scene in 2013. But don’t let that adorable face and sweet demeanor fool you. Hirie put in the work to get to where she is today, and it’s safe to say that her diligence and humility will have her reaching new heights.
A Gypsy Soul
After time spent in the Philippines and Italy, Hirie appreciates being raised in Hawaii: “There’s something about Hawaii that welcomes you. I moved there when I was nine and in those [next] 10-11 years, the people I met and the music I listened to, that’s all a part of me now. I’m kind of a gypsy, but Hawaii is the closest thing I call home. I always feel rooted there.”
Hirie’s experience in a multicultural society has given her an appreciation of the beauty and necessity of diversity. “Growing up in different places really helps you accept people for who they are. Seeing the best in people and understanding them; being a people-lover. Like meeting people for the first time and giving them that hug. Maybe I don’t really know you but this is a family affair – people come to [shows] for good vibes and you want to translate that in your music and the person you are off the stage.”
On Being a Woman and Mother
Hirie points out the sacrifices she has to make to push herself forward musically, and she acknowledges the importance of her approach in a male-dominated music industry as a woman and mother. “There are a ton of women who have extreme talent and have a lot to offer and it’s just a matter of rolling up your sleeves and getting dirty with the boys. And the ones who [do], like Kimie and Anuhea, who I have mad respect for, and Sister Carol, Tanya Stevens – you have [to include] those roots girls too – it’s just a matter of getting out there and putting your heart on the table. It’s about sticking out your neck and making sure you’re heard and standing up for women in general.”
The songstress hopes to have her daughter join her on the road: “[Touring is] definitely difficult but at the same time, this is my passion and this is my job. To me, it’s my duty to go out there and spread the word and to make people feel good and I feel that’s my real purpose. Just as much as I feel it’s my purpose to be a mother. They’re both my loves, they’re both my children and I would love to watch them grow and be a part as much as I can in my daughter’s life as well as affecting others. It’s all about balance.”
“Just bring awareness and be passionate. If you find that you’re passionate about anything, just follow that. Change one person, then one person can change another person and before you know it, we’re all paying it forward. That’s your purpose in life – to affect people around you positively. If you have the ability to affect a lot of people at one time, then do it.”