KimberlyNichole
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KimberlyNichole

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF
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“Your timing couldn’t have been more perfect,” sings artist Kimberly Nichole and she couldn’t have been more correct. The energy from such a petite young lady, matched with an amazing voice along with style and poise, she has all of the qualities of a star. Having the honor of seeing her perform live during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, the Seattle, Washington native, Atlanta groomed and New York evolved woman called the shots on stage. Kimberly Nichole is definitely someone to watch and will not be stopped.

TWU: Where does all of the energy come from and how does it relate to your music?

Kimberly Nichole: I'm not quite sure where the energy comes from. I guess it comes from the way I feel when I perform. I believe music in general is moving, figuratively and literally. My energy is not contrived or thought about, it's just what comes natural.

TWU: How was the music scene in Seattle and what made you want to move to New York?

KN: The music scene in Seattle is very much grunge/rock/alternative. It was like that growing up; it definitely exposed me to a different style of music outside of what I listened to in my home. Me and my best friends growing up always talked about moving to New York, not quite sure why, maybe just being in "the big city" and a part of something bigger than what we were used to.

TWU: What made you want to turn your dream into the reality of singing?

KN: I've always wanted to be in the arts - as I child I wrote stories, played the clarinet, painted, danced and of course sang. So, the arts have always been a part of me, I knew as a child it was definitely something I wanted to pursue. It was probably around 2006 that I decided it was time.

TWU: How did The Yellow Brick Journey come about?

KN: The Yellow Brick Journey is a project created by my creative partner Q Kegler and myself. We initially started working on a few songs together in hopes of releasing an EP, but then the EP became bigger than what we planned for it to be. We were in a creative mode and when I moved to NY it was like my creativity evolved even more. The name of the project came about when I was brainstorming titles to my best friend and we agreed upon The Yellow Brick Journey. It was definitely inspired by my favorite movie The Wiz. It really speaks to what the project is as a whole it represents my journey at a particular time. And the themes are similar to the themes scene in The Wiz.

TWU: What were you previously doing before singing?

KN: Studying, learning business and such.

TWU: How was it making the transition from Seattle to New York?

KN: It took me a good 6 months to get use to NY. The fast paced environment, the hustle and the bustle took some adjusting too. But once I adjusted, I was in the swing of things like a New Yorker. I love the city.

TWU: What brought about The Yellow Brick Journey Reloaded?

KN: Myself and Q mutually agreed that The Yellow Brick Journey was truly a great project and something we were both proud of. We felt that not enough people had been exposed to it, there's definitely a lot more people that need to hear this music. My movement is growing so we thought a re-release with new songs would definitely continue to expose me to new audiences.

TWU: What do you want audiences to gain from The Yellow Brick Journey Reloaded?

KN: My hope is that people in some way are inspired by YBJ reloaded and moved.

TWU: Who are some of your influences, musically and fashionably?

KN: Musically: Gnarls Barkley, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Josephine Baker, Tina Turner, Alice Smith and sooo many more.

Fashion: I really love Dita Von Teese's style, Rihanna, Erykah Badu, Shingai Shoniwa of the Noisettes. I'm a lover of vintage/classic style with a rock flair [laughs].

TWU: Where do you see yourself in the next few years?

KN: Touring the world, sharing my music with all types of people, making history in the arts, a successful artist and tapping into different areas of the arts too.

TWU: Who are some people you have worked with?

KN: To date I've only worked with Lyfe Jennings.

TWU: Who are some people you would like to work with?

KN: Cee-Lo, Slash, Bilal, Green Day.

TWU: Is there anything else you want fans to know?

KN: That I appreciate their love and support!

Stay up to date with Kimberly Nichole on MySpace - www.myspace.com/kimberlynicholemusic

Words: Tatiana R. Johnson - MTV UK


For most showcases, I like to do my prep work. I would diligently research every artist beforehand, listening to tracks on MySpace and Bandcamp pages, and getting a visual image of their performance before they hit the stage.

Not so for this showcase. I went in blind, and audio virgin if you will, and I’m all the better for it.

You might remember Kimberly Nichole from our 5 Year Anniversary Party out in Brooklyn. New Yorkers know her as an adamant performer, and her live show is better than anything I’ve seen on the East Coast in years.

So I was excited to see not just her, but the four artists that she selected for her Rise of the Underground at New York’s famed Le Poisson Rouge. Could they hold a candle to Kimberly’s performance? The jury was out.

The showcase began with a rather amazing introduction, complete with light show, fog emanating from the stage, and a spot on Circus Sideshow announcer. Obviously this was not a regular, standard, Thursday night show. Then Kimberly arises on stage, singing her trademark “Seven Nation Army” cover (now that The White Stripes have broken up, can we just make this her song?). I love how Nichole sets the bar high for the remaining talent. The theory here is to see if the remaining talent could match or exceed that level of talent–and they did.




First up was songstress Sophia Urista, who’s lovely afro and powerful voice caught my attention from the jump. Her rendition of the The Beatles song “Come Together,” was a spot on take on the classic, and her voluptuous catsuit made things all the more better.


Next up was Atlanta’s RAHBI, one of my favorite performers of the night. Let’s put it this way: if you come out on stage dressed as a pharoh you MUST kill it. You can’t be shy. And kill it he did. He is easily one of the most entertaining performer in R&B right now. I’ve never seen anything like this on stage. Ever.


After that was Jaiden, whose crooning tactics brought the energy level down a notch. Not saying that he was bad in any way however. The New York artist has worked with some major names such as Diddy and Alecia Keys, and that professionalism made its way on stage last Thursday.


Kimberly arrives on stage doing another spot on take of Michael Jackson’s Dirty Diana (aka the song where he took Prince lessons), introducing her backing band, who was on point all night and going though some songs from her debut, The Yellow Brick Journey. But the show was not over…

In fact in some ways it had only just begun.



Brooklyn’s Charles Perry took the stage and let’s just say it was game over from this point on. The Brooklyn singer evoked the soul revues of the past, putting on not just a show, but a spectacular event.

Now “evoking the soul revues of the past” may sound cliche, but Charle’s set was a show to itself. Flanked by 4 models, a bodyguard and more backup singers than legally allowed by the State of New York (I kid!). The show itself cannot be put into words, as Perry rocked the LPR stage like he was Prince at Madison Square Garden. For those who left, they missed out an an epic experience.

When people think of indie music, they think of struggling artists playing a weak stage in front of a handful of people. However, Kimberly Nichole does the underground a huge service, presenting these artists as if they were headlining a major label show. Forget what you’ve heard, this is how indie music should be. I look forward to more in the future.
- Couch Sessions


The title “Uniquely Seattle” doesn’t really let you in on what the hell’s happening at Chop Suey tonight, but the name is actually fairly apt. All the ladies on tonight’s bill from headliner to host(ess) are truly one-of-a-kind. Kimberly Nichole, aka “the Rock Ballerina,” is a Seattle girl who took a chance on the Big Apple that has paid off big time. She is coming home fresh off the pages of Voguewith her tutu-clad, avant rock ‘n soul style. Equally, unequivocally fierce is Seattle vocal veteran Felicia Loud, whose voice and talents are among the Northwest’s most under-appreciated musical treasures. With Big World Breaks, Piece, Hollis of Canary Sing.MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSAR
- Seattle Weekly


Here at Unsigned Finds we have a rule of thumb: when a singer's fashion sense is as buzzed-about as her music, it usually means the music is, well, mediocre. But, we're happy to report that Seattle-born songstress Kimberly Nichole has proven us wrong. She doesn't sound like anyone else you've heard, though.

Kimberly says, "My sound is heavily influenced by the music of my hometown Seattle (grunge, rock, alternative) and also the music my parents played when I was a child (Gospel & R&B). People usually don't categorize my music, because after hearing the album they feel it contains some of everything."

We couldn't agree more. After our first listen, we heard hints of reggae, pop, electronic, and even gospel, only solidifying our belief that Kimberly Nichole was very special Unsigned Find.

As taken as we were with Kimberly Nichole's diverse style of music, we were just as impressed by her fearless sense of style. The girl can dress. Her live events are full-blown stage productions, complete with gowns, glitter, and layers upon layers of tulle. "I love fashion. I'm really inspired by the Harlem Renaissance (vintage) and Ballerinas," explains Kimberly Nichole. "Fashion impacts my music a great deal. Whatever I wear on stage is usually connected to the feel of my music and sets the tone of who I am as an artist."

When an artist has the look and the sound, we have to wonder: Where's the record deal? How is it possible we're still able to call Kimberly Nichole an Unsigned Find? As is the case with many of our featured artists, independence is the name of the game. "I wouldn't mind being signed to a major," she says, "as long as the ‘joint venture' is mutually beneficial, and I'm able to be who I am." We love that positive message of staying true to yourself. If you do to, check her out on Facebook and Twitter, and head over to her Myspace to hear some of her music. Then, sound off on what you think about her in the comments!

—Jenna Hally Rubenstein - Seventeen/CosmoGirl


Discography

"the Yellow Brick Journey"

Photos

Bio

VOGUE, MTV UK and Seventeen Magazine have all recognized KimberlyNichole for her sense of style, stage presence and captivating voice. An “avant-rock n soul, tutu-clad”, singer and songwriter, Nichole hails from Seattle, Washington, the city that spawned music innovators Quincy Jones, Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix. Similar to her hometown music legends, her passion for music began at a very young age. KimberlyNichole grew up listening to the gospel/soul music played by her parents and the grunge/alternative music, which dominated the Seattle music scene. These musical styles have all influenced Nichole’s sound.

KimberlyNichole has performed at packed venues coast to coast and even internationally. KimberlyNichole has shared the stage with Janelle Monaé, English Alternative Rock group The Heavy, Aloe Blacc, Bilal, and Mayer Hawthorne. The Seattle Born, Rock Ballerina’s mesmerizing performance style has also captured the attention of Quincy Jones, Dr. Maya Angelou, Andre Leon Talley and Motown writing legends Ashford & Simpson. Ashford & Simpson were so impressed by Nichole, that they took her under their wings as mentors.

KimberlyNichole’s most amazing milestone has been completing her debut album The Yellow Brick Journey, which was self-funded and released independently. The Yellow Brick Journey is something fresh and new, with songs that showcase Nichole’s songwriting and her unique signature voice, reminiscent of greats Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner. Music from The Yellow Brick Journey has been featured on VH1‘s Mob Wives, Showtime’s The L Word and LOGO’s Set Up Squad. KimberlyNichole was also recently selected by BET for their Music Matters Campaign and made her first national TV performance on 106 & Park and on the BET 11’ Awards.

Many are not only taken by KimberlyNichole’s diverse music, they are also equally impressed with her sense of style. Being largely influenced by the Harlem Renaissance and Ballerinas, Nichole designs her show ensembles with her New York based design partner/seamstress. Her performances are complete with custom tutus, glitter and glam, visually enhancing her magical live show experience.