The first time I heard the song “Fade” (Solu Music) was in my kitchen cooking to Jeannie Hopper’s banging Liquid Sound Lounge radio show in late 2001 – it stopped me cold and my mission to follow that record began. When it debuted at Body & Soul (a performance mostly missed save for the last few bars of the song), I was amazed by the energetic song-stress who was working her powerful voice, brilliant smile and the party’s regular dancers on stage along-side her. Quickly licensed to Wave Music, by the time she performed it at the Winter Music Conference, the song had been added to the final Body & Soul mixed compilation and was on its way to becoming a global hit as well a healing anthem for a still-shocked post-911 world. Fast-forward to her spine-tingling performance of your CHOICE for Song of The Year at our inaugural awards event, and it was clear that KimBlee had become the latest dance diva destined for long-term fame. For these 5-Qs we uncovered the genus of this now globe-trotting singer, get the 411 on the full-length album she’s producing with Wil Milton and find out that the Village Voice is still the best way to help magic happen…
1. Like most dance artists and enthusiasts who are part of a brilliant community of diverse multi-taskers, you have your own checkered past of music experiences. Dish about some of your past musical lives as a developing Long Island-based vocalist. (Yes you can mention the first time you sang to your dolls…)
KIMBLEE: OK - believe it or not, I have been singing since the womb. I came out singing. While I was in school, teachers had me sing for all possible occasions - concerts, dances and assemblies. I didn't care where or when, I was there!! I also was in jazz and any theater production available. I began singing in a cover band when I was 17 and continued doing that and weddings until recently. The rest and best is yet to come!
2. Tell us the story behind the making of your first hit single “Fade.” How different is this version from the original one you recorded that was lost? What inspired the lyrics and how did you hook up with Solu music?
KIM: Making "Fade" was a lot of fun and there was no pressure. The studio setting was very homey and relaxed. I was mailed the track, came in for one session and finished it. When it was erased…"lost," I think it came out better the second time because I was more comfortable with the song and I had grown very attached to it for personal reasons. [Ed Note: Perhaps it was the love of her newly minted fiancée. Congrats KimBlee and Good luck!] Solu wrote the lyrics and music. I was in a band with Howie and Dano for like a day. I had answered an ad in the [Village] Voice and we hooked up first to form an original band playing Solu's music, but then it didn't work out and they (Solu) called and asked me to work on something they had written.
3. Tell us about the touring you are doing in support the record. How did you get booked and what/where did you appear? Details, details, details…
KIM: This past year I have been to Miami, Portugal 2x, Japan 2x and in a week I am off to Canada. Promoters in the countries where "Fade" is #1 on the top dance charts book the tours. The tours were nothing short of amazing. The clubs I appeared in were clubs that resembled "Body and Soul" [and] the crowd was loving and excited to have me there. I was thrilled and the stage is where I get to come alive.
4. You’ve been working with Wil Milton on a couple of new tracks. Take us in the studio with you and reveal what he’s like to work with?
KIM: At this time I am working toward an album and recording it with Wil. When we work together we laugh a lot and create beautiful music together. He is an amazing human being and I am honored to be working with him. Our studio time is used wisely and he feeds me good food during our breaks… I have to eat when I'm working!
5. What’s next for KimBlee and what projects are you looking forward to?
KIM: Let's just say that I am going to be around for a long time. Everyone is born with a gift and my gift is to perform and pour my soul out through my music and my performances. I am looking forward to making the album! Look out for it and support!
Get more and savor the lyrics here!